Thursday, January 1, 2015

Don't Let the Dead Bugs Bite!

Do you remember stepping on bugs as a child?

Have you ever lit one on fire with a magnifying glass?

What if all those bugs could come back from the dead?

“Don’t Let the Dead Bugs Bite!” is a family-friendly tale about two boys who enjoy killing bugs for fun. They get more than they bargained for, though, when their victims come back from the dead. Will the boys be able to stop the mischievous bugs before it’s too late? Find out in the new children’s book “Don’t Let the Dead Bugs Bite!” Written and illustrated by Stephen Zmina.

About me:

I grew up in a suburb of Chicago called Wheaton, Illinois. As a child, my friends and I would collect and torture the various bugs that would wander through my back yard. We would squash them, collect them, burn them and so on.  The poor bugs never stood a chance. I always felt bad about it and wondered if the bugs had feelings or could understand what was happening to them.

As far back as I can remember, I always enjoyed drawing. My pencil and I became pretty inseparable. I imagined that one day I would work Disney and spent every day recreating Disney characters.  In 1996 I graduated high school and enrolled in the illustration program at San Jose State University. In 2001 I received the Society of Illustrator’s Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge award for a drawing I did of Rip Van Winkle.

After graduating from college, part of me still wanted to work for Disney, but the other part of me wanted to create stories all my own.

I came up with the idea for 'Don’t Let the Dead Bugs Bite' in 2004. I was playing around with the idea of a group of ‘superhero’ bugs and needed an adversary for them. The idea was originally for the superhero bugs to face off against a bad group of bugs that had died and come back from the dead. This quickly morphed into an origin story of how the bugs died and wanted revenge on the children that had squashed them. And with that, ‘Don’t Let the Dead Bugs Bite!’ was born.

I can't wait for everyone to read 'Don't Let the Dead Bugs Bite!' I'm very happy with the way it turned out and I'm sure your family will enjoy it. I hope it will capture children's imaginations and might even make them think twice before stepping on that next bug.

- Steve

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