So now we are in the illustration process. It has been a while since I entered because it took a while to secure an illustrator. There were many illustrators of whom I love their style. Marian contacted many of them and either they are well out of our budget or they are too busy to begin. This part took about 2 months. This was very difficult waiting to find out who was going to bring my book alive. It was out of my hands and up to Marian to fill that important role. Fortunately, we found a woman named Denise Clemmensen to fill those shoes. She is fabulous. Her art is amazing and just what I was hoping for. She lives in California. I have not met her or talked to her yet and I probably won’t until the process is over. That is a bummer. I am hoping that if this goes smoothly, she will illustrate the whole series.
Once we found Denise and she agreed to our guidelines, she began to sketch the characters of my book. We gave her some guidelines for who the characters are and what they should look like. She actually asked me to send her pictures of my kids as samples. I was thrilled to do that. So, again, I have to wait and wait. Again, a very difficult thing to do.
Then, I get the call that the character sketches are in. Woo hoo. Kris, my editor didn’t rave about them. Why? Oh no, what if they aren’t that good? Maybe she doesn’t want to put her opinion on them. We discussed what we were hoping for. Oh no. Now I got worried. I couldn’t go see them for 4 days. Would you believe the sketches arrived on the last two days of my children’s school? No chance I could make it to Kris until the following week. Ugh.
Monday came and off I went to see Kris and MY SKETCHES. I was more nervous than any other time. I was afraid I would have to reject someone’s art work. That would make me feel terrible. When I arrived, Kris said that they were fabulous. Whew. Why didn’t she say that in the first place. I was so relieved. When I saw them, I immediately loved what I saw. they are darling. Sweet and simple and fun. I was giddy with excitement. I had to approve them so the illustrator could continue with the book sketches. We discussed the contract between myself and the illustrator. Once we sign the contract, she can begin. She is going to bring my story alive. We have to supply her with an outline of a general idea of what each page should look like and where the text will go. We also gave her some creative license to do what she feels is right for the story.
Now we wait again. She has 45 days to complete the sketches. Then, I have to approve every pictures on every page before she can go on to put color to them. She will make any changes that we request. She then has another 45 to 90 days to complete the book which is longer than we expected but the book will be done when the book gets done. And then I can share it with you.