Monday, August 29, 2011

You Tell Me: One Book (to rule them all)

I was chatting with one of my talented book creators today, and as we work toward narrowing in and understanding what her next book is trying to become, intriguingly, we both--separately--found ourselves asking the the same question: if she could only ever publish one more book, what would she want it to be about?

Interesting how it's a question with the kind of urgency that brings all of one's creative efforts into a new light, isn't it? (Warning: it can turn your efforts unnecessarily earnest, too, and that's not always the right answer for every writer, so take the whole question with some salt).

In any case, I'm turning it over to you to mull over in the comments, or just for yourself independently: if you got only one shot--or only one more shot--at this whole publishing thing, what would that One Book (TO RULE THEM ALL Ahem. Couldn't resist! I blame my brothers.) be about? And once you've found that answer, how does knowing it affect your creative process?

And does this picture make you giggle as much as it does me?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Magic moments & Christmas in August!

There are certain moments of sheer magic in book-making. One of my all-time favorite ones is when the very first printed copy of a newly-finished book shows up at my desk. It's pretty much a given that whenever this happens, I'll lose more than a few minutes to pouring over it, and petting it, and most of all, parading it around to colleagues while exclaiming over and over, "Look! Look! It's a real book!" (And oh, world of e-books, you are fascinating in many ways, but I can't imagine you'll ever have a moment that will quite measure up to this hands-on experience!)

There's a lot of editorial delight and pride at seeing the hard work of my authors and illustrators all added upfrom the very earliest rough drafts and sketches, to knowing well the months and years' worth of revisions that followedand finally transformed into the tangible reality. But I suspect that my delight can't even begin to compare to an even more magical moment: when the author or illustrator gets to see their very first copy of their book.

Since I haven't yet figured out how to be a fly on the wall when those packages arrive to the homes of my far-flung authors and artists, though, the power of the internet gives us the next best thing.Wanna live the magic vicariously? Then check out this delightful post from debut illustrator Sarah Jane Wright. And definitely take the extra minute to watch the short video clip of Sarah sharing her very first book with her kids for the very first timeit will leave you smiling all day! Not only does that video capture a once-in-a-career moment for this illustrator, it's a wonderful insight into how little people see and experience stories. Watching books be loved by young readersthat's the most magical moment of all!