Last Ride Red and Backer, and Other Updates

Zach Toad on Red Image

After communicating with about thirty illustrators, I’ve begun working with two new ones. The concept illustration above of the bull Last Ride Red and Backer the Toad was done by Chris Cartright for my book Zach and the Toad Who Rode a Bull.

Due to Josh McGill’s extremely limited availability, a new illustrator has been selected for my book titled Misty Zebracorn. I plan to soon introduce her and the concept illustration she created of Misty.

I’m delighted to announce that Josh McGill will continue working on V.G. and Dexter Dufflebee albeit at a slower pace due to his schedule constraints.

I may add one or two more illustrators, but at least at this point the three titles I mentioned should all be released by the holidays.

The Grumpadinkles and Day in the Shade of a Ticketoe Tree may both have to wait until later.

I’ve also recently begun writing a book about a beautiful carousel horse that dreams of being free. I’ve created a story outline, but haven’t yet selected a title or her name.

You may have noticed that I’ve begun introducing female main characters into some of my more recent books. I initially focused on telling boy-centric stories because I had three grandsons and no granddaughters. I hope to also someday have one or more granddaughters so I thought it was high time to begin writing stories with girls as key characters.

With Love,





About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
This entry was posted in A Day in the Shade of a Tickletoe Tree, Animals, book, books, children, children's books, Children's Books I Wrote, children's stories, Children's Stories Under Development, Fantasy/Unicorns/Zebracorns, Grumpadinkles, Illustrations, My Creative Process, Picture Books/Bedtime/Read-to-Me, Rhyming, Self-Publishing Books, Story Poems, V.G. and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Last Ride Red and Backer, and Other Updates

  1. utesmile says:

    I do like Josh illustrations but why not have some others too. You have so much in the pipeline, that is wonderful Russ. Did you tell your children you are waiting for grand daughters???? 🙂
    Your stories are for every child, even the much older ones like me! ♥

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Ute. My Beloved often reminds my children that we love our grandsons AND we’re waiting for them to get busy on producing at least one granddaughter, so I don’t have to remind them. They are super-busy right now. My oldest son and his wife are running four businesses while raising our oldest grandson. Our middle son and his wife are about to be relocated yet again by the US Air Force and have twin two-year old sons. Our daughter is formally getting married next year and they don’t want kids. I’m glad to read your last comment because I attempt to write every story so they will be fun for children of both genders and all ages.

      • utesmile says:

        Don’t pressure your children, I know you won’t :-), and even if there is no granddaughter, they will be loved as always. You are beautiful loving souls!

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you, Ute, for your kind and loving comments.

  2. I’m looking forward to your stories with girls, although boys are really cool, too.

    • russtowne says:

      Thank you for your input, Clare. I agree that more of my stories need to include girls much more prominently. They’re on the way. “The Beach That Love Built” is a true story about a girl, and I’m working on a story about Florabelle a Carousel Horse. I recently released “Misty Zebracorn” and Misty’s friend is a girl.


      • Yes, the idea of a carousel horse that wants to be free has me enthralled. I was just reading a blog which is having a kindness challenge and I thought about you. Sweet dreams!

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