Penguins With People Problems: The Book

I guess I was always sort of afraid someone from Penguin Random House might call.

I figured it would be a lawyer with some sort of cease-and-desist message.

But when the call came, it was not a lawyer. It was an editor. And she did not want the birds to cease (or desist).

I’m beyond insanely excited to share the news that The Random Penguins will be waddling into the real world as a book in the summer of 2015. Penguins With People Problems will be published by Perigee Books, an imprint of — I swear I’m not making this up — Penguin Random House.

a book


So that’s the news. If you like stories, here’s the tale of how it all went down:

One day back in February, I got an email from a person I’d never met. Her name was Meg, and she said she was an executive editor at Perigee and wanted to talk. I love to talk, so I said OK and made a list of conversation topics and called her.

Meg did not want to discuss my hair or Downton Abbey or baby goats or that bitch I don’t like — or any of the other subjects I was ready to chat about. She wanted to know if I’d ever thought of turning The Random Penguins into a book. I said: Well sure, but life is busy and I just haven’t had time to pursue it. She said: Why don’t you think about it now, and then let’s talk again. And I said: OK, cool.

Then I hung up and hyperventilated.

Anyway — blah blah blah — lots of stuff happened between then and now. Conference calls; contracts; negotiations on the penguins’ behalf by my agent, Kristyn, who is awesome and understands how little I like to deal with math. But the gist is, there’s going to be a penguin book, published by the same company that published Lord of the Flies. It’s ALSO the company that published Color Me Swooooon, the activity book where you color pictures of Channing Tatum and Benedict Cumberbatch — so there’s obviously no place the penguins could possibly fit in better.

it takes all kinds
All this party needs are some penguins.

So. That’s that.  The book will be roughly half brand-new, never-seen-before penguins and half greatest hits of the online bunch (re-drawn with better technology). Manuscript and illustration due in August . . . which, if you know me in real life, means you know I’m writing and illustrating a book at the same time my people and I are living out of boxes, having just moved. I have no idea what day it is or which end is up. Please pardon me if I seem scattered. It’s all very exciting, though, and I’m super-crazypants grateful for the support of everyone who’s been around from the start.

Meanwhile, new penguins will still continue to go up on tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. AND, starting now, they’ll be on WordPress as well. (Many thanks to Michelle on the WordPress team for helping me click a few buttons and, beep-bop-boop, make that happen.) Head on over and click to follow if you want.

Thank you!


  1. because you’re freakin’ awesome and it’s about damned time the world (that part of it that’s not connected to the web and couldn’t’ give a shit about it, those smart people) heard about you.

    yay! standing and flapping my … flippers. 🙂 -m

  2. Very cool, ML. Congrats! I better buy some penguin cards now before they get all famous and big headed and such (the penguins, not the cards).

  3. I am so proud!!!! And excited!!!! I cannot wait to see the finished project.
    I hope Jeanette makes it into the book!!!!!!!!!

  4. Fantastic news and congratulations on the smart people out there that recognized your incredible talent! I look forward to buying the book and maybe getting it signed by you some day! 


  5. Congratulations. That’s wonderful news. I love hearing how talented people from the blogging world are succeeding and getting book deals. I would love to mention this at iRetreat14 where I’m speaking about Getting Published in a Crowded Marketplace. Estelle

  6. Yea! Congrats! For some horrible reason I haven’t been getting notifications about postings here. And now you have another spot at ? I’m so confused… need to get back on notifications! Forgive me if you are suddenly bombarded with me signing up for everything I can find…

  7. Have you ever seen a picture of Baby Penguins for real? They have very fuzzy grey softest fur. I went down to the South Pole and told them about this, and they want to give you Ice Cream Social / Soiree autograph-signing party as soon as your book comes out.

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