A Year of Unemployment Spawns a Free Online Children's Picture Book

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Along Came Ziro Crash-Lands On A Website Near You

Ziro and New Friends From Earth!

“Being unemployed is frightening but it gives you the opportunity to reassess your life…to dream. And this book is about following your dreams.” Townie says.

In November 2008 when fledgling game publisher Brash Entertainment closed it’s doors, veteran game producer Stephen Townsend (aka Townie) found himself out of work with a family to support. He then spent the next year interviewing while simultaneously working on an idea he had in his head for over a decade – a children’s picture book called Along Came Ziro. On the surface, it’s a simple rhyming tale about a small blue alien who crash-lands on Earth and befriends a few farm animals, but a closer look reveals much more.

“Initially I just wanted to create a fun, positive story for kids that encouraged them to view their lives as a great adventure,” Townie explains. “It wasn’t until later that I had the idea of creating the website.”

At Alongcameziro.com kids can read the entire book for free, create their own characters and send messages directly to Ziro.

“As a kid when I finished a book I always wondered what the characters were doing between stories. The site now lets me expand the world of Ziro beyond the pages of the book.” Townie notes. “My hope is that people create their characters and build a worldwide network of people sharing their stories across the internet.”

A veteran of the video game industry, Townie is no stranger to interactive media. The UCLA art grad was launched into the entertainment industry after his self-published comic book thesis was featured in the LA Times and helped him land is first professional job at DreamWorks Interactive. Since then he’s worked on such blockbuster games as Medal of Honor, The Incredibles and Ratatouille.

“Being unemployed is frightening but it gives you the opportunity to reassess your life…to dream. And this book is about following your dreams.” Townie says.

Townie is once again employed and hopes to turn his new book into a video game. Along Came Ziro is available for purchase through Amazon.com and free to read online at Alongcameziro.com.

About The Publisher

Townie Tales is an imprint of 18 Grey Media LLC, a multimedia company comprised of pioneering talent from the film and games industries. 18 Grey Media provides a forum for artists to develop their own original intellectual properties to be licensed as both primary and ancillary derivative products.

For more information about Along Came Ziro or to schedule an interview with Townie, please call (424) 442-ZIRO (9476).

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