Many folks know that when I created SPORE, I intended for each chapter to open with custom social media graphics. This one, a teenager named AmandaK tweeting about seeing a naked fat dude, opens both the book and Chapter 1 and, in a lot of ways, sets the tone for the novel. The actual person in this example isn’t named Amanda, it’s Bill’s cousin Sammy (Samantha) who kindly let me use her photo. She and a lot of other people we know are sprinkled in the book. Bill’s in there several times, as is our daughter, my mother, Bill’s brother, my sister, friends, cousins, pets…. I’m in there too.

As the book progresses, the graphics expand. They leave the confines of Twitter and Facebook to hit CNN news articles, Craigslist, iPhone and android texts, even posts, comments, conversations, and pictures from other places in the world. One is entirely in Danish (a huge thanks to my friend Kenneth for that!), there’s some Spanish in there, even a worrisome conversation between potential terrorists. Since SPORE takes place entirely in small town Iowa, but the external ramifications of the toxin has a much larger impact, I tried to showcase glimpses of that story and its explosion – in all its quirky, overblown, misunderstood, opinionated or right on point glory – with the graphics. There are even a couple of independent stories told entirely through social media. There’s an older woman, ‘rescued’ from Iowa who brings a great deal of worry to her family out of state, another woman desperately trying to save children, and a man who’s commenting on Presidential hopefuls when they invade Iowa (like they always do!) the summer before caucus and primary season.

Anyway, I think they’re pretty cool, even if they are black and white in the final print and .pdf versions. The only real downside is that, due to size constraints, they’re not available in the .epub and .mobi versions. I don’t have any control over that, the files simply became too big and unwieldy. What I’m hoping to do, however, is show them all, in high-res full color, on their own page at The page will go live on June 2 (barring a ‘oh heck no!’ notice from my publisher. So watch for it!

Release day is less than a month away! Woot!  #GoSpore