I never want to be solely responsible for all elements of the writing-to-publication process. Selfishly, I want to concentrate on my writing and leave the rest to folks who understand how to package my words and make them available to readers. Admittedly, I’d like to attain some modicum of success as a published author, but I can’t do it alone. For me, it takes a team.
My book, Questions: so many questions, was released in May 2016. I’ve been happy with my previous books, but this one took me by surprise. I had no idea that the end product could turn out to be so much fun.
I’m not an intentional children’s author; however, I have numerous writing projects in my repertoire that revealed the child in me at the time I wrote them. I shared the poem, Questions, with family and friends and found them very receptive to the intent of the verse. They encouraged me to publish it separately from my poetry collection. A father, family man, and proponent of books for children and their families, my publisher, Richard Keller of Wooden Pants Publishing, agreed.
The piece that developed into the book is a long rhyming poem of questions: “Why do people have to age? How does print get on the page? Will the moon stay in its place? “What is meant, the Human Race?” I didn’t know if the small book would garner broad enough appeal to be marketable – until Jennifer Schafer worked her magic with the illustrations.
After I’d rewritten the verses multiple times, Jen and I discussed what type of illustrations I envisioned. I didn’t want isolated images for the individual subjects of each question; I wanted a composite illustration for each verse on each page.
When she sent me the proof, I was amazed. Imaginative images jumped off the page and grabbed me. The layers of illustration revealed a depth that enhanced the words – more than they’d been before. The kid – and adult – in me smiled and laughed each time I looked through the pages. It had become a treasure I’d never envisioned. I felt I’d been given a gift of my own words.
With previous publications, I’d felt hesitant, unsure if my words were worth sharing with a wide market of readers. The illustrated Questions: so many questions, however, boosted my confidence and made me eager to move forward and publish a small book of Conversations Between Great Friends, first through excerpts on my web site and later as a commercial publication with additional content. Instead of doubting myself, I look forward to working with a talented team to illustrate and publish this new work.
I can attest to the advantages of an author finding professionals she feels comfortable working with: publisher, illustrator, graphic artist, editor. Working together, a project can eclipse an author’s expectations, whether it includes illustrations on every page or simply fabulous front and back covers.
Goes to show … even with writing, the end result can be greater than the sum of its parts.
Love of the written word inspired Nan to write from an early age: short stories, novels, memory snippets, scripts, and poetry. She calls Colorado the perfect place to live and is Musing at nancylreed.com about writing and designing a tiny house specifically for a wordsmith. She finds fellow writers excellent company and encourages everyone with a story to put pen to paper.