Friday, November 4, 2011

The Characters Are Coming To Life

Now we are getting into the really exciting part of making the book - Illustrations!  Of course, I've been excited ever since the day I received the contract in the mail; but now, I am seeing the characters that have been in my head come to life on the page!

I was originally told that my illustrations would start in December, but I was pleasantly surprised when my illustrator called me last week and said she was ready to begin illustrating my book!  Yesterday, she sent me the character sketches of my little boy and girl, and of one of the animals in the book.  Don't worry, they are a lot better than my little lion here.  This is why I aspire to be a writer, not an illustrator!  I will share them as soon as I am allowed to.

The illustrator sent me character sketches for my approval, and a list of the illustrations she plans to make for the book.  There will be 10 full-color illustrations.  I have a short window right now in which I may request changes.  Once she starts work, the illustrations will not be able to be changed.  She believes she will be finished by the end of November, and my book will then be ready to move into Layout!

As with the editor, I am pretty much trusting the illustrator's judgment on these drawings.  If I really want to change something for some specific reason, I will ask her, but for the most part, I figure she knows more about this than I do.  This is her full-time job, she knows what sells, and I have never illustrated a book.  In my 8th-Grade Creative Writing class, the teacher told us that if we had a children's book published, the publisher would use their own illustrator and we would not have much of a say in the illustrations, so I was prepared for that and did not have a definite picture in my mind of what my characters should look like.  That said, the illustrator did call me before she started and asked me what ideas I had.  It is a bit of a give-and-take.  I sent her photographs of animals that I had taken at the zoo, which I used when I originally wrote this book about animals for my own children.

Thankfully, I believe I have a good illustrator.  I like the sketches she sent me.  She seems to be as excited about illustrating my book as I am about writing it.  Perhaps she is acting excited because that is her job!  I think, though, that she truly is enjoying this process, and it is fun for me to see that someone else is enjoying my project as much as I am.  I can't wait to see her finished product!

If you are just now finding this blog, click "Join This Site" over there in the "Followers" section of the margin.  I'll be sure to let you know when the illustrations are done and we move into Layout.  I can't wait to show you the whole book - it won't be long now!