Wow! We’ve got a lot to cover today. First, a continuation of my previous post about Waiting Out the Storm.
After my manuscript was accepted, Candlewick Press generously involved me in the search for the right illustrator by sending me samples of possible illustrators’ work and asking for my opinion. I loved them all! Several illustrators turned the project down, though: one was too busy, one was working on her own books, one had recently illustrated a book with a similar theme. At one point, we discussed the possibility of making the characters animals instead of people. Finally, in April 2007, a year after the manuscript acceptance, Susan Gaber accepted the illustration project.
I pored over her portfolio online. Her work was gorgeous, luminous, perfect, and absolutely worth the wait.
And then I waited some more, trying not to be too anxious about what I knew had to be a time-consuming process. In the meantime, I revised the manuscript, cutting the text from 363 words to 311 in March 2008. The first sketch dummy was due that April, and the final artwork would be sent to the printer the following spring. My editor regularly sent me copies of updated art; I carried them around with me so I could show them off. When I received my first author copy of the finished book, I cried. Even though Federal Express had bent it in half, it was the most gorgeous book I’d ever seen.
As Jeanne Marie mentioned, the Washington Post gave Waiting Out the Storm a lovely review. I’ve posted it and several others (including a starred one from Booklist!) on my web site. I’m thrilled that Waiting Out the Storm is receiving such positive responses, and I’m thoroughly enjoying reading it to children in schools and libraries.
April is National Poetry Month. (Read all about it here.) Our own April is celebrating by taking part in the Poem-A-Day Challenge, writing a poem every day and posting them all here. (Good luck, April! As my husband says, break a pencil!) Feel free to post your own encouraging comment.
Finally, today, April 2, is International Children’s Book Day—a fitting day, I think, to announce our raffle winner. Ticia was chosen at random from the qualifying entries. She will receive an autographed copy of Waiting Out the Storm. Congratulations, Ticia, and thanks to all who participated!
JoAnn Early Macken