Monday, June 23, 2014

Writing process blog tour!

I got tagged in this writing process blog tour, by the massively talented Jen Corace. I've been a fan of Jen's work for years, but have gotten to know her through the magic of Twitter. Follow her on twitter, folks. She's really funny.

(To be completely honest, I actually got tagged in this tour some time ago by the lovely Laura Zarrin, but took so long to write my post that I got tagged again.)
What am i currently working on?

I'm currently working on my debut picture book, QUACKERS, which I wrote and illustrated. It's about a cat who is rather confused about his identity.

Cat or duck: you decide

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, let me just lay it out here: I have a bizarre sense of humor. I fell out of a lot of trees as a child, and was raised on a steady diet of weird Japanese TV shows and terrifying picture books. All of which have combined to make me the extra special person I am now.

Why do i write what i write?
I am a very visual person, so I generally start with some odd image that pops into my head, and start wondering just what the heck is happening in this picture. How did they get here? Where are they going? How'd that bird get on that elephant's head? Etc, etc.
What's happening here? No one knows... yet.
how does my process work?

For QUACKERS, I started with an idea years ago, made the story far too complicated, and promptly misplaced the paper on which I had written out the story. Which, as it turns out, was a good thing.

Then I had a baby. This is an optional, and not necessarily recommended, part of the process. Good for the adorableness quotient of the household, bad for productivity and spare time.

Multiple years passed (due to aforementioned baby).

Eventually I emerged from the haze of sleep deprivation and remembered this story idea and wrote it out anew. Having read about 1 million picture books in the meantime (rough estimate), I ended up with a much snappier story.

I did thumbnail sketches to plot it out and make sure it fit into 32 pages, then sketched out the whole story and assembled into a dummy.
Hey, here's a sketch!
I transfer the sketches to watercolor paper, and spend way too long agonizing over it. I mean... I paint it. With my totally expert and really awesome watercolor skills. Then, when that doesn't work out, I tweak it using the wonders of Photoshop.
I work in my incredible studio space, aka a cramped desk in the playroom. Sometimes I use the Barbie dream house as a desk. 
Okay then! Who's next?

I'm tagging my critique group partner, Kathryn Dennis. She's an author/illustrator and a middle grade writer. Not so coincidentally, I did some illustrations for one of her middle grade novels, Camp Secret.