It’s a video! YIKES! And laughing at that screen capture. Ha ha ha… I’m trying out this new medium and enjoying the ease and conversational approach to it. Anywhoooo, I did want to touch on a few points I didn’t get to in the video. One, the brilliant illustrator working on THIS BOOK IS SPINELESS (Winter 2019, Page Street Kids) is Alice Brereton. By all means, go look at her work. She is phenomenal! And her website is called PickledAlice.com. Come on! Awesome. Love pickles. Also, I wanted to share a few ideas I keep in my mind when working with Page Street Kids, specifically with Charlotte Wenger, associate children’s editor:
- I’m not an expert in illustration. I’m an expert in the vision of my work and why I created it. I absolutely voice that information, but I respect the expertise of the illustrator and do not go into detail about how she should be doing her work. I try to do the same with critiquing manuscripts. If you go into too much detail, you risk changing the voice of that person’s work. (Another topic for another day.)
- I want the illustrator to be inspired by my words and go crazy with her imagination. I use limited illustrator notes. If I feel strongly (I mean STRONGLY) about a visual, I do include them. Or if the illustration is key to understanding the story, I include a note. Otherwise, it’s completely up to the illustrator.
- This is a collaboration. A dance. I need to know when to acquiesce and when to push back. I decide to push back (in a very tactful way) when my gut tells me I can’t let it go. I’ve only had that happen a couple of times and both times I was heard by Charlotte and we worked on a compromise. The whole experience feels respectful, professional, and productive.
From here on, I’m going to do my best to share more of my experiences as I dive in the publishing world as a debut picture book author. If you ever have any questions or have anything you are curious about, by all means reach out! I’m an open book. Write on, folks!