Monday, June 30, 2014

The Writing Process: Author/Illustrator Blog Tour

I got tagged by the extremely talented author-illustrator friend Lisa Anchin.  I first met Lisa at the 2012 SCBWI Summer Conference, where we both won a Portfolio Showcase Mentorship Award.  Her adorable, whimsical and lively characters always inspire me and make my day!  Check them out here on her blog!  I absolutely look forward to A Penguin Named Patience, a picture book illustrated by Lisa, written by Suzanne Lewis, and published by Sleeping Bear Press.  The book will be out February 2015.  Yay~!

By Lisa Anchin

And here is my Q&A for the Author/Illustrator Blog Tour:

1.  What am I currently working on?

I recently finished illustrating a picture book called Two Girls Want a Puppy (written by Ryan and Evie Cordell, published by HarperCollins), which will come out Summer 2015.  At the moment, I am putting together my portfolio for the upcoming SCBWI Summer Conference.  I am also working closely with my wonderful agent Joanna Volpe (New Leaf Literary & Media) on several book project ideas and dummies.

2.  Why do I write what I write?

I tend to write stories for my younger-self –– stories I know I would love as a child.  I like something light, with a sense of fun and adventure.  I also like history, so I try to integrate that into some of my stories.

3.  How does my writing/illustrating process work?

I doodle and sketch daily.  These drawings form a basis for potential characters for upcoming stories.

I read tons of picture books every week, and I study them closely.  The process helps me internalize and understand different story structures.  It also helps me see the composition and layout.

I conceptualize stories with post-it notes.  Post-its are great for switching pages around.  I have the freedom to add or delete pages, or rearrange sequences.

When I work out the story structure and theme, I refine the characters, the setting, the layout, and the text.

After fixing things for legibility, I email a rough dummy to my agent for feedback and notes.  If she thinks the story has potential, we will work on it some more.  After many revisions, when we both feel a story is ready, she will submit it to publishers.  

Thanks for reading my process~! :)

Next up is the watercolor magician Jen Betton Rogers, winner of the 2014 Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize at the New England SCBWI Conference.  I met Jen the same day I met Lisa, when we all won the mentorship award.  I have the privilege to see her watercolor demo several times when we hang out in person.  She is truly a master in watercolor, and I constantly learn from her and am completely inspired by her amazing work.  Check out her post next week! 

By Jen Betton Rogers

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