Today I attempted three times to record a video of me reading Hat Trick. Why? Because parents ought to know what’s in the book before they blithely hand it over to their children. Hat Trick has violence and gore, which I think children’s books ought to have, at least more than they currently do. More problematically, the hero lies and steals and seeks vigilante justice, and I offer zero commentary in the story as to whether this is right or wrong because Hat Trick is not an attempt to fortify young souls with virtue; it is an attempt to tell a fun story.
There is also religion and black magic in it, so some parents might be concerned about that. They have a right to know and decide for themselves, even if I think the stories are perfectly fine for young children.
The upshot is, I read the story three times. Each time, the video was spoiled. The first time by tons of glaringly obvious errors in the text which I had to stop and correct. The second and third times by my child, my child whom I love, bursting in and commenting.
Even were I not reluctant to bandy about my kid on the internet, and I am deeply reluctant to do so, Youtube and I have different ideas on what is appropriate for children, and so releasing the video would be just begging to be deplatformed.
But I was able to make multiple corrections to a wildly imperfect draft.
For some reason, certain errors in every book I write remain invisible to me before I place a book on sale. Once it is absolutely certain, however, that the erroneous work will make its way into the hands of paying customers, the errors bubble up out of the text and dance like evil little happy goblins.
I really ought to reserve the services of an editor. I wonder whether Brian Niemeier will offer me a discount for work that is less than a thousand words long. I wonder how I could get the stories to him in a format that permits him to easily work with it, but also interleaves the story and pictures in a sensible way. I wonder whether an editor would even break the curse, or if my manifold errors will elude the eye until publishing time regardless of precaution.
Corrections have been made and are awaiting approval by Amazon. If you want the wildly imperfect version in hopes that it’s a rare, first edition, grab it here. Otherwise, wait three days and then grab it.