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Lonestar Best Friends Prove FEAR is a LIAR

In 2012, Derek Moreland and Derrick Fleece found common ground in their love creation, comic books, and movies after meeting at Hastings, where Moreland worked as a book manager. Little did they know, they would soon become best friends with big dreams that would make a positive impact on children’s lives.

During the early stages of their friendship, Fleece needed help rewriting a script he’d created for his comic book project. Moreland, who had recently written a locally performed play, offered to help Fleece with some revisions while he continued work on his novel. This would ultimately lead to the friends having a decade-long collaboration across comics and children's books, building a lifelong friendship and creative partnership. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

After seeing Fleece’s children’s books, Moreland wanted to take a crack at the genre. It was like magic. Words began to flow. Artwork came to life. And their masterpiece would be titled, “Shmonster the Monster”. Inspired by his love of monsters, Moreland wanted to create a story that proved to kids that fear can be very deceiving. With the catchphrase, “Fear is a Liar”, the first Shmonster book would quickly become a favorite bedtime story, much to the friends’ surprise. So, what’s this terrifying tale really about?

Shmonster is the monster that lives under Emily’s bed. Emily’s mother unintentionally uses the dismissive moniker that would later become the monster’s name, “Monster, Shmonster." In Emily’s mind, her mom MUST know Shmonster, she knew his name for goodness sake. But, how would this young girl handle this frightening beast living in her room? The fear Emily experiences is something that all children go through at some point in their lives. When Emily realizes that Shmonster isn’t who she thinks he is, her idea of “fear” completely changes. This beautiful metaphor for life is powerfully laid bare in this stunning picture book; demonstrating the power of friendships, and teaching us to be careful about our assumptions, drawing readers in and keeping them coming back for more.

When reading this story, the creators want kids to have this special takeaway, "Don't be afraid to put yourself out there as a friend. That's how we became friends." -Derrick Fleece.

Shmonster the Monster was released globally on August 22, 2023. Check out reviews on Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and more! You can watch the LIVE book launch party again and again on our YouTube Channel, Tabletop Publishing. Be sure to follow the creators @shmonstermaker and @doodles_on_demand on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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