Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bringing the Story to Life

This week I have been in the process of revising the initial sketches sent to me by my illustrator. It was a very surreal feeling, seeing those images for the first time. Seeing my story brought to life by an artist who can actually draw with ability and perspective was very humbling. Mostly because I cannot draw. I would love to illustrate my own books, but it would just end up as the same figure in the same position on every page. Very boring.

The initial sketches were wonderful, almost exactly what I had envisioned for the story. We needed to revise some of the details of the animals since it is a story of the real animals here on our farm. (See image below for two of the minor but definitely not small characters). I am unable to post any of the initial images yet, but stay tuned.

We are ready to move forward in the process to finalized line art and color. As the final product progresses, the story becomes even more real. Even though the story describes events that actually did happen to real animals, events that I have replayed over and over, seeing them in text and illustrations brings the story and the animals to life on the pages. I created and wrote the book in a way that children can appreciate, and hopefully inspire a love of animals in a younger generation.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

An Introduction to Inspiration

I have always thought of myself as a writer. I love to write, mostly fictional stories and inspirational ideas. And I have always wanted to write and publish children's books. Maybe because I have a bleeding heart for sweet stories about talking animals, or maybe because I like the morals and themes of most children's books. Either way, I have wanted to do it myself for a long time. I have tried to write decent children's stories for years, but my brainstorms and ideas never seemed good enough.

Then last winter a little orange kitten showed up in my barn on the coldest day of the year. I took him in and now he is a great barn mouser and is best friends with our other barn cat, Bandit. I named the kitten Odie, and just recently found out that it's an old Nordic name that means "inspiration." And everyone just thought it was the dumb dog from Garfield. Even though I took Odie in, and I would like to think that I saved him, he ended up saving me more. I was in a dark place in my life when he showed up and he gave me new hope. Not only that, but true to his name, his story inspired the children's book I had always wanted to write.

So after pouring over and editing this children's story more times than I thought possible, I have finally started the process of self-publishing. The manuscript and all cover text is completed, now I am in the process of working with an illustrator for the images in the book, based on the real animals. I am hopeful that the completed product will be available for purchase within the next three months. It will be available as a soft cover book that can be ordered through Amazon and as well directly though the AuthorHouse Publications website and other online retailers. It will also be available in eBook format for the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, Google eBookstore, Barnes & Noble nook, Kobo Book, and iBookstore.

I will use this blog as a means to keep my potential readers up to date on the progress of the book in its publication process and to share the events and ideas that inspired Odie's story. Since that original inspiration that Odie provided me, I have written many other stories that I hope to see in print someday too. My hope is that this book is just the beginning of a series of books about one cat's life on a small farm.

These images are of Odie and Bandit, then and now.