A message from Tim:
The Doc Wilde novels are my tribute to the pulp stories I loved growing up, and still love today. Like The Incredibles or the Indiana Jones films, they are suitable for both kids and adults, full of action and humor and weird science and occult menace and lots of derring-do.
I published the first book, Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom, with Penguin/Putnam in 2009; it did well both critically and commercially, so they contracted for more books. But in the years since, digital publishing and print-on-demand have opened up many opportunities for authors that traditional publishing doesn’t offer, and I decided to go independent with the series.
One of the benefits of doing this is I get to work with Gary Chaloner. Well before I originally finished writing Frogs, I tried to find the perfect artist to depict the Wildes, and Gary was my choice. Not only was he a gifted graphic storyteller with a distinctive style, he was a huge fan of pulp adventure and had an instinctive understanding (and love) of the material. Together we decided to produce lavishly illustrated books, and he put a lot of time into honing his designs to match my vision of the characters.
When I signed with Putnam, they opted to take a different, less ambitious, approach, and they didn't hire Gary. The resulting book had a really nice cover, but I never got so much as an email consultation with the artist and had a few minor issues with some of its details:
There were no lovely illustrations inside; instead, there were goofy typographical effects that (I felt) distracted the reader and made the book look like it was meant solely for very young readers, rather than for young and old as I intended.
I wanted more for the Wildes. I managed to regain all rights to the books Putnam had contracted, and now Gary and I are creating the books that I was hoping for all along.
The new edition of Doc Wilde and The Frogs of Doom contains the expanded "Author's Cut", my preferred edit of the novel, which includes crucial scenes that were cut in its first publication. And it, like the books to follow, has a dynamic new Chaloner cover and is packed with his lovingly-rendered illustrations.
We hope you enjoy the books, and that you'll join us for many more. Going indie has been an exciting and challenging and somewhat scary endeavor. An adventure, you might say. And only through your support will the adventure continue...