The Next Big Thing A Global Blog Tour started in Australia and has now gone world-wide! The object is to bring awareness to authors & illustrators and their current work. Many thanks to my wonderful and supportive critique partner Lynn Alpert, for tagging me! I’ll answer some questions about one of my work-in-progress books (I have 4 book dummies going on at the moment), then pass it on to three other terrific book artists.
Lynn blogged about a book she is currently illustrating called “Annie the Scientist” by Daniel Johnson. It’s her debut book. To see what she had to say, visit her blog here.
1) What is the working title of your next book?
The Three Pirate Goats Gruff.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
I was looking through some back up CDs last week and realized I’ve been noodling with this idea since 2004. Originally, I was going to illustrate a postcard portfolio flip book with the classic Billy Goats Gruff fairy tale, but put the project aside when I received the contract for my first children’s book. I had a year to revise the text and complete the art. So my goat project got pushed to the back burner. After my book was released in 2005, I joined the SCBWI. Had my joining happened before that book, the book would never have seen the light of day. I made every newbie mistake imaginable, which included signing a less than wonderful contract. After attending a half-dozen conferences and devouring every issue of the Bulletin (the SCBWI member monthly magazine) I came across my rough manuscript for the goats again.
With my newly gained knowledge and several other books under my belt, the story I had “retold” seemed lame and ordinary. I set about to add some snap, crackle and pop to my retelling. It ended up becoming a fractured fairy tale. And my pirate goats were born.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
I would say it’s an older picture book. Good for the 5 to 8 year-old crowd.
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
When one thinks of movies and pirates, one thinks of Johnny Depp. Of course he’d be dressed up in a goat costume and be triplets. But you can never have too much Johnny Depp, can you?
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I think the title says a lot, only my pirate goats are philanthropic. I’d rather not say how, as that would spoil the ending.
6) Who is publishing your book?
My dream publisher is HarperCollins, but who will pick it up is yet undetermined.
7) How long did it take you to create the illustrations?
I’m still revising them. I keep learning new techniques and improving my style. I want the images to be multilayered. I loved looking at story books with rich detailed illustrations as a child, and I still do even as a grandma.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There’s the 3 Ninja Pigs, Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs, Cinder Edna, Jack and the Baked Beanstalk, to name a few. Fractured fairy tales are quite popular. I have not come across one like mine yet.
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Before I became a full-time illustrator, I worked as a graphic designer. I would often get printed samples from paper suppliers or presses. One of them sent me a postcard flip book with beautiful photography telling a story on 8 images. I wanted to do a promo piece using the same format and decided an illustrated fairy tale would be a good way to showcase my skills as an artist. I didn’t want to do a very popular fairy tale, but one that would be recognizable, so settled on the Billy Goats Gruff story.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
Why wouldn’t a group of goats dressing up in pirate garb and have a high sea adventure be enough? My troll stand-in has lots of tentacles. Tentacles are cool.