One month until the official launch of Little Kunoichi!! May 5th is the big day. My heart palpitations are on the rise and I’m vacillating to and fro between nervousness and excitement. I heard an author on one of the bazillion podcast episodes that I listen to, and I can’t remember which author it was, but she said that she was “cautiously optimistic” about her book. I feel exactly the same way.
You can see a glimpse of how the cover of Little K evolved above, and today I wanted to show you a quick overview of the pictorial process of creating the interior pages of my children’s book. I’ve already given you a long-winded text-heavy version of the same process, but images always add more, don’t you think?
So, everything started with the “pitch”. Since I would be the writer and illustrator of the story, my editor and I agreed that as a first-timer, I should take it up a notch and provide a storyboard with thumbnail sketches to try to win the team over. I worked on a formal proposal with my editor and then sketched out each spread on blank 3″ x 5″ index cards, scanned them in and submitted this:
Happily, the publisher signed me up, and the next phase involved fleshing out the details of my rough sketches. I created full-size greyscale sketches of each spread and here’s what the opening spread sketch looked like:
After some feedback and tweaking, I plunged myself into weeks of painting. I’m planning a separate post on how exactly I create my illustrations (it’s a combination of hand-painting and digital assembly), but ultimately, that greyscale sketch turned into a very colorful final version. I turned in the art, and then the lovely designer at Sasquatch prettied things up and added the necessary text. Voila:
What was so encouraging about the process was how streamlined it was. I felt like the story emerged wholly-formed from the get-go and the illustrations and text remained virtually unchanged throughout. It was a dream project, and I’m so so pleased with the outcome. I’m giving you just a little taste today, but I hope this gives an interesting inside look into the making of a children’s book — at least my version.
I’m working on more sneak peek posts and some fun activities leading up to the “pub date,” as they say in the biz. The launch party is scheduled on Mother’s Day, May 10th at Queen Anne Book Co. from 4-6pm and if you’re local, I hope you’ll be able to make it! It’ll be a special Mother’s Day gift for me, I’ve been telling K. More on that soon.
Queen Anne Book Co. is taking pre-orders as well. We wanted to make these pre-order copies a little special, and if you place your order through QABC before April 25th, you will receive a signed copy. I’d love to personalize the books (maybe with an extra little illustration!) if you leave specific names in the comments section when you order here. The only caveat is that this applies only to US residents since QABC is a charming, but very local and small independent bookstore. [Update: don’t be scared by the $180 cost that shows up! There’s some kind of display error, but the correct amount will be charged, the bookstore staff has assured]
But Little Kunoichi can be pre-ordered all over the place including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound and Powells. I even added a new My Book tab above that also includes a button for easy ordering (sigh, this required me to exercise some underused braincells and took me forever to figure out…).
Thank you for your continued support and please tell everyone you know about Little K!!