Adam Mock shares his trajectory as a children’s book author and Spanish book artist Segundo Garcia.
Growing up as the son of a Pre-K teacher, not to mention being an avid cartoon aficionado, my love for children’s books and comics started early. My mother introduced me to Shel Silverstein, with his eccentric art and ideas, Dr. Seuss, with his wildly imaginative concepts, characters, and landscapes, and Fred Gwynne (yes, Herman Munster himself), who had a successful second career as a children’s book author whose stories both kids and their parents could relate to. Much of my childhood was spent drawing my own cartoon creations, hoping that one day they’d become as beloved as the ones I grew up with.
As I grew older, live-action film and animation became my focus. I attended film school, and worked on several independent features during the height of NYC’s indie film boom in the early 2000’s. Though the teamwork of filmmaking was undeniably rewarding and fun, it never gave me the whole-hearted satisfaction I found in creating my own stories. Writing screenplays and novels became hobbies which gradually lead me to where I am today, the world of children’s literature.
In late 2015 I began talking to Robert Herrera, a friend who’d been working in children’s publishing for decades and who just established Pixel Mouse House, a indie publishing company dedicated to creating exceptional new titles. Rob suggested that I write some of my “silly ideas” down and pitch them as picture books. So, with the help of veteran author/illustrator Ted Enik, my first book was born; What Does My Dog Jack Do At Night, a story about what an imaginative little boy thinks his dog Jack might be doing while the rest of us are asleep.
In time, Rob introduced me to Segundo Garcia, a wonderful Spanish artist who agreed to help bring my silly story to life with his witty and inventive illustrations. I will never forget the day I first saw Segundo’s sketches, the feeling of accomplishment was on a level I’d never experienced professionally before. Everything seemed to be coming together.
For those not in the know, launching a publishing house is a very painstaking process. So while Rob wisely concentrated on building his brand (leaving “Jack” on the back-burner for a time), I continued writing and working as an electrician. Fast forward to spring 2020, when the Coronavirus Pandemic put our country’s economy and the entire population’s future on hold. This was a week after my forty-first birthday—Happy freakin’ Birthday to me. Jobless, and wondering what my next move would be, the phone rang. It was publisher Rob with some exciting news: with children’s books and most businesses having slammed on the brakes, Rob saw a perfect-timing opportunity to publish the best books he had in reserve. Especially with parents trying to find new ways to entertain their kids suddenly stuck at home.
With final edits, art approvals, and creating a marketing plan, the next few months became a whirlwind of work for the crew at Pixel Mouse House. And in May my first children’s book was published; truly a life-changing event. Promoting a kids’ book during lockdown proved to be an “interesting” venture, given that all the usual means of marketing were unavailable. Book launches, readings, signings, and book fairs were out of the question, leaving Social Media as the only available avenue for drawing attention to the book. Thanks to family and friends on Facebook, along with the amazing Author, Educator, and Librarian communities on Instagram, “Jack” found his way into the homes of a surprising number of kids.
What Does My Dog Jack Do At Night? was selling really well, so Rob next decided to repackage it as Pixel Mouse House’s first audiobook! With me as the reader! For years people said I had a “radio voice,” and I always wanted to do voiceover work, so unbelievably, over the summer I recorded several titles, soon to be released.
I can’t imagine what I’d be doing right now if I hadn’t been given this incredible opportunity. But hard work and diligence are the keys to all success, whether it be in the Arts, Sports, Fashion, the Restaurant World, or whatever fuels you. Passion and perseverance will always be your strongest allies, and my kids’ book experience over the past half year has been an invaluable life-skills lesson.
Big “Thanks!” to Rob, Ted, Segundo, Pixel Mouse House, and Latin Business Today for all the wonderful support.
What Does My Dog Jack Do At Night? Is available now on Pixelmousehousebooks.com, Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, and Audible.com. Adam Mock can be found on Twitter @Ad_Mock and on Instagram @Mock_Adam, and @whatdoesjackdo.