A Fishy Story, continued…

I’ve been meaning to continue the Fishy Story for a while, but it has been a busy summer and autumn so far, what with gardening and harvesting, clean-up, and acclimating our new 3-1/2 year old border collie rescue who, like all dogs, requires lots of attention. Say hello, Hank.

It turns out to be a timely time to post about fish again, since there was news this week about the Biggest Fish trying to gobble the Almost the Same Size Fish that I mentioned earlier.

On November 1, a federal judge blocked Penguin Random House’s proposed purchase of Simon & Schuster, agreeing with the Justice Department that the joining of two of the world’s biggest publishers could “lessen competition” for “top-selling books.” The ruling was a victory for the Biden administration’s tougher approach to proposed mergers.

I won’t go all politics on you, but I agree with the decision. I still mourn the less money-hungry publishing world of yesteryear, when more writers and illustrators had a chance to break in and even make a living, as I did. Gad, I sound old, missing the good old days. Sigh. Anyway, the decision is being appealed, go figure.

My fishy picture book mentioned earlier is called Autumn Spawn. It is a poem I wrote for a contest, about a decade or so ago. It lost the contest, and also failed to sell to the mainstream publishing industry as a picture book. The story is admittedly a very specific “niche” book and would most likely not sell in the numbers most of the publishers want/require these days.

Whatever. As mentioned in the previous blog, I’m illustrating this one using fabric art. Earlier blogs revealed how I learned how to sew and iron again, and have been practicing machine quilting and slowly gaining confidence. Here is the creation that inspired me to illustrate this book with fabric. It’s a family portrait.

Like the portrait, the illustrations for Autumn Spawn are made using live-edge piecing and freehand quilting. I used the computer to design the spreads and try out color schemes and patterns. I photographed the progress along the way to help me move forward. Once done piecing and quilting, I added the text to a scan of the final art.

I won’t reveal any more at this point, partly/mostly because I haven’t made any more progress on it, and partly because I did submit it for publication. Old habits die hard, especially when I still know some kind folks in the industry. My goal is for this book to somehow help fund a salmon restoration project here in Oregon, since here is the source of my inspiration for the story and the illustrations. And if it’s not through a traditional publisher, I’ll still get it done.

This is the kind of big fish I support.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Robin Koontz says:

    Thank you! I appreciate your support.

  2. L says:

    I love this. Amazing fabric art illustrations! Can’t wait to see the finished and published book! I also love the idea that it will somehow help fund a salmon restoration project.

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