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Dallas Clayton: A very awesome guy creating a very awesome world

Photos courtesy of Dallas Clayton
Dallas Clayton has written all sorts of thing in his life – zines, short stories, poems, pilots, and over the last few months a culture blog for Spike Jonze’s movie Where the Wild Things Are. However, it is Dallas’s most recent offering, a children’s books, that he feels is truly changing his life and he hopes the lives of everyone else he can find to give it to. The book is An Awesome Book, and after passing some copies around to his friends and putting it up for sale on the internet, it took on a life of its own. Now Dallas marvels in amazement as his living room looks more like a warehouse. He spends his time shipping off books to keep up with his orders, which keep growing by the day. In the first five months he exceeded ten thousand copies with no publisher, and no distributor.

Dallas wrote An Awesome Book simply to create something that he could give to his young son. The premise is about dreaming big – cue cars that run on jellybeans and teeny tiny trumpet players training pet raccoons – and it inspires the reader to dream for those who don’t dream anymore.

Dallas began to dream big and created the Awesome World Foundation. The foundation’s whole purpose is to give away a book for free with the proceeds from every book sold. “When you go read to a seven-year-old you don’t want to be like, ‘Okay that will be $15 dollars.’ You want to be like, 'Here is this book, just for you. If I go read at a private school and then they buy a certain amount of books, I donate that same number to a lower income school of their choice.”

One day, after witnessing the huge success his book was having, Dallas sent off some emails to people who had bought the book about doing a tour. After returning from lunch his inbox was full and the tour had pretty much booked itself. “I want touring to be a big component of writing because writing is so solitary," he says. "I really want to have the same amenities that a touring band has, where you are able to go out and meet your fans and give things to people. I am definitely not the kind of person who likes being in a bubble.”

While Dallas was figuring out how to keep up with orders he got a call from the director Spike Jonze. “Spike had read the book and he was a fan of my blog. He contacted me and was like, ‘Hey we are filming Where the Wild Things Are and do you want to create a blog component for the website and be in charge.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, of course!’ So basically we got together and I have been writing that for the past eight months. It’s a really great project because we got to create a culture blog for Where the Wild Things Are. The response has been really positive.”

You can go to http://veryawesomeworld.com to read the full book, order it, and even order some cool shirts for your kids and be challenged to dream big, very big.
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