Of Mice and Missed Opportunities?!?


My email inbox is full of opportunities and amazing offers. Some are big…some small…many of them are missed…and a few of them might actually be legit. There are event invitations, coupons, loads of “you can work at home” schemes, teleseminars on how to be like Seth Godin and/or the occasional chance to help a millionaire in Nigeria (has anyone actually done that?).

Incidentally, this is also why much of my inbox goes unread these days.

All in all, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of filtering out the wheat from the chaff. After all, there is only so much time in a man’s life and I couldn’t possibly help all the Nigerian millionaires in the world if I tried. Still, from time to time I get that nagging feeling that I’ve been too quick to click ‘delete’ on an email. You know, that feeling that makes you think you might have just missed out on something really amazing (like a $4 pizza coupon).

Sound familiar? Well read on, worry-wart, because this post is for you. A true story that proves sometimes a really good opportunity can’t be missed even if you try.

Case in Point: Our latest book “Mech Mice: Genesis Strike”.

Confession time – I nearly missed the boat on this one. You see, that inbox of mine was full to the brim with offers when an email arrived inviting me to attend an event in Oregon called the Christian Game Developers Conference (CGDC). I was “in the zone” and hardly even glanced at the email before deleted it. After all, I was broke…I had a writing deadline to meet…and I wasn’t particularly interested in attending a conference for gaming geeks (geeks are cool, nerds aren’t…just saying). Three stikes…DELETE!

A few days later Allan and I were in the office, throwing spaghetti at the wall in our latest attempt to create a completed manuscript when out of nowhere this guy drops in. Normal drop-in guys are either ninjas or salesmen, but on this particular day it was neither. It was our good friend (and networking guru) Seth Croften (not Godin). He asked if I had seen his invite to the CGDC conference. I said yes (I didn’t have the heart to tell him I had deleted it shortly thereafter). He explained how they were looking for conference speakers and that many of the developers in attendance would be interested in hearing about our experience with reatail publishers. “Who knows,” he suggested in an off-handed manner, “one of the developers might be interested in producing our books into a game.”

It sounded like a long shot…but somehow I eventually agreed to attend. It was a good thing I went.

At the conference, I was introduced to a man by the name of Lance Priebe (don’t worry, I had no idea who he was at the time either). Turns out, in the gaming world, he’s a pretty big deal. Lance is the inventor and co-founder of Disney’s Club Penguin – the biggest online world for young kids (like over 150 million players BIG). We talked over lunch, the conference came to an end and he took home a copy of one of our Codebearer books for his kids to read.

Several months later he scheduled a trip to the Seattle area and asked to meet up again. Apparently his wife loved our writing (and his kids too) and he wanted to learn more about what we were working on. We talked at length about the Codebearers property and other ideas we were pursuing. He encouraged us to continue to think differently about the retail industry and to take big risks. The meeting ended, and he went happily on his way again, however a relationship had begun to take root.

The next time he was in town we arranged to spend a bit more time together. This time, he had an idea to share. He began to reveal his plan to create a new entertainment property, one for slightly older kids than his Club Penguin audience. He wanted it to be a military tactical strategy game with heart – a sort of “Band of Brothers” with animals in the leading role. His hope was to inspire kids with the virtues of what it meant to be a true warrior; honor, integrity, camaraderie, self-sacrifice. It sounded great, it sounded like the kind of project Allan and I would have enjoyed as kids (heck, even as adults). Then the offer came, “how would you guys like to help me build this world?”

After a bit of explaining, Lance expressed his desire to build Mech Mice into more than just a game. His desire was for it to be a book and a game and a tv series and toys. In short, he wanted to help us learn what it was like to build a brand from the ground up and he needed great writers to help him explore the potential of this world. It was a dream job and an opportunity to gain valuable experience we wanted to have for expanding our own projects as well.

It has only been a little over a year since that meeting, but so much has taken place it is almost unbelievable. The first book is completed (and you can buy it now), the game is well underway, toy companies are buzzing with excitement and an animated series of shorts is already in the works…and we’re just getting started.

Working alongside Lance and his team to develop the Mech Mice universe has been a creatively stretching and rewarding experience. Some might read this email and say, “Whew, you almost missed a great opportunity when you deleted that email.” But did I?

See, I believe in divine providence – that is, that all things happen for a reason. Life would be insane if I didn’t. Think about it for a moment. I’d be stuck in life, forever second guessing everything I did or didn’t do. What other opportunities might I be missing by taking the wrong train to the Seahawks game? What if that email from the Nigerian millionaire was actually true?

The truth is, I don’t think I could have “missed” this opportunity if we tried. I’m grateful for the friend who convinced me that attending the CGDC event might be good for me. I’m grateful that Lance decided to have lunch with me at the conference. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s really God who has put this opportunity on my plate. I’m grateful to Him for using dopes like us – dopes who still delete emails from Seth Godin and the occasional offer to fly to Hawaii for FREE.

Wait a sec…where did that email go again?


DON’T MISS OUT!  The Miller Brothers’ latest book “Mech Mice: Genesis Strike” is out now! FREE patches are available for the first 500 people who order the book from Amazon.com and/or post a review of the book during the next 2 weeks! (Offer expires 4/17/2012)

The process is simple:

1. Order a copy of the book here > http://amzn.to/AAO5sf  AND/OR  Post an honest review on Amazon.com for the book.

2. Fill out the form below and be sure to post a copy of your Amazon.com receipt or book review in the appropriate box. 

3. Tell your friends to do the same. (you can share the book for FREE at SpearheadBooks.com)

YES...Send me a FREE Patch!!!



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5 comments on “Of Mice and Missed Opportunities?!?
  1. Energezer says:

    Will this work if you buy it for kindle?

  2. Riphandle says:

    Is it just a patch or is their some kind of secret to it?

  3. Feey1 says:

    Awesome story! Will we get a preview of that cartoon soon!?! Oh and also, do you plan to launch that cartoon on a TV channel? Do not pick Disney, they’ll make it stupid. Cartoon Network would be better, or Nickeloden.