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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Becoming Real

I feel like I have arrived.  No, I don't have a book deal in hand.  No one has offered to publish anything of mine but I have made it to a step that many aspiring authors never get to...a real, live, talented, artist has done some sketches for my picture book.  This awesome artist being, Sean Ingvard Ashby...go check out the sketches for yourself.  The best news of all, besides seeing a real face for my little character?  The best news is that Sean nailed it.  This excites me for two reasons.  1.) Because it proves that Sean is talented.  2.) It proves that I am talented. 
What a minute...you say.  Isn't that 2nd point a little narcissistic?  Well, yes.  But from my point of view, I've written my story in such a way that it could be illustrated the way I see it.  I left it open for artistic interpretation but the feeling I wanted to evoke is right there in the sketches from somebody I don't even know.  What an awesome experience!
Now here's the insider scoop for all of you.  I've read about illustrators who put things into their illustrations that are part of the author's life, but not known to the illustrator.  When I look at those sketches on Sean's blog, a couple things jump out at me.  Note: NONE of these things are in the text. 
1.  The story is based on my daughter.  I hoped that the illustrations would at least have the same hair color as her.  Thus far, it seems that they will.  Cool!

2.  There is a cat in the illustrations.  I like cats.  We have a cat.  Cool!

3.  The BIG thing for me, in the bathtub sketch, what is the little girl holding?  Go on...go take a look.  A mermaid.  Yeah, my daughter has a mermaid just like that for tub time.  Do thousands of girls have a mermaid like that for the tub?  Yes.  But this is my daughter and my character we're talking about, so I can be as excited about this as I want.  And, have you guessed?  I'm really excited. 

Besides these fun coincidences, I'm just relieved that my two hopes have been realized.  I wanted the character to look cartoon-y but cute.  I know these are just preliminary sketches, but that was already nailed.  I can't wait to see more! 
This is a happy moment in this author's life. 

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