Posted by: Robin Koontz | February 3, 2011

Feast or Famine

I went from a little work here and there to a huge project, due by April 15 (at the latest). I wrote eight 250-350 word early readers in about a week and all were accepted for the project. Then I had to complete eight book covers by the end of December. Done, and all accepted. I took a break and finished our suspension bridge book and found an “expert” to review it. We’re still waiting to hear from him.

Book maps were the next step for this project. I create these to help me to design illustrations that will work well with the text. I have a thing about white boxes in the middle of illustrations and always blame the illustrator for being careless and/or arrogant by not allowing space for the text. If you notice in well-designed picture books, text is an integral part of the design and often part of the illustrations. These are just early readers, but the same rule applies to allow space for text that doesn’t make the text look like an afterthought.

Meanwhile bad news arrived last Monday: my style was not right for two of my stories. I have published about ten titles that were illustrated by someone else and don’t have a problem with that, but after accepting the character design and final covers on both titles, then giving me the ax, well…

But life goes on. I got the okay to rewrite one story as I wanted to keep it to peddle later as a picture book. More about that later!

Last week I completed final drawings for two books (nine spreads each, 36 pages total) and am almost done with finals on the first one. I’m going to go back and add more shading and some detail, but pictured here is the style I am using for the books.

Back to work!


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