17 February 2015

happiness is a new book

The first proof copy arrived today. I had a few alignment changes to make, and I tweaked the cover a little. But overall I was thrilled with the quality of the book. The colours are great, the look is professional (as it should be) and I liked my illustrations more in the book form than in the sketching and painting stages. I think a little distance from them has helped.

I suppose it is inevitable that some little errors will slip through, but I think I have done as well as I can proof reading this.

Recently I was disappointed to find a typing error in the chapter heading of a book from a publisher I hold in high regard. Perhaps it was a lesson to me. My biggest problem is not "letting go" and moving on to the next book. I can always see one more thing that I think I can improve.

I tested my new book in a bookshelf of assorted children's books today and was proud of the way it held its own there. I then came home and found several things to improve on.

It's late. Sleep calls. The order for more copies has been sent. Enough is enough, and if there are imperfections that have escaped me this time then my grandchildren will have flawed versions. I don't think that will be the case though. She said. Weakly.

Rolls off couch and staggers upstairs.

Today I am grateful for efficiency. 

16 February 2015

coming soon to a link near you

One of the reasons I have been invisible - or should I say three of the reasons?

When Mum Fell Asleep in the Bath, Michelle and the Bumblebee, and The Lost Happy

When Mum Fell Asleep in the Bath is, of course, a mixture of truth and fiction. I wrote it for my children over thirty years ago, and it seemed timely to publish it in a form that my grandchildren might enjoy. 

Michelle and the Bumblebee is a true story with a conservation theme. It began its life as a comment on a Facebook page, where an avid gardener described her adventure. Someone else said "that would make a great children's story" - so of course I quickly said "I'll write it". I did. And then I illustrated it in watercolour. 

The Lost Happy was one of those elusive "a ha!" moments that grabbed my attention and demanded to be written, pushing its way in ahead of my main project which still waits patiently for me. 

I am waiting for the proof copies to arrive, and then will make these books available online. Little Goat Books was, fortuitously and without knowledge of the Chinese calendar, launched in the Year of the Goat. It feels right. 

Today I am grateful for three little emails that announce "book published". 

3 February 2015

confession time and an update

Confession time:

1. I changed computers and found myself locked out of my blog
2. I I really didn't mind not blogging for a while.
3. I don't feel the slightest bit guilty...


I have been working incredibly hard and have completed the illustrations for three of my books for children, and have written another book which is very close to my heart and will be illustrated lovingly in watercolour with a release date later this year.

So, watch this space for direction to my new children's literature blogs (not this month though!)

Today I am grateful for new found confidence.

What you have missed:

The trial "working to a deadline" illustrations. The story is a true story retold by moi, and illustrated in watercolour.

A few of the  illustrations for a children's book I wrote over 30 years ago (photographed partially completed). The story has been expanded from the original and there are 27 new illustrations ready for the book. I have a few more kittens to paint for the text-only pages, and some details to add now that I have seen which pictures my young readers prefer. The story is written largely in rhyming couplets for the early reader.
 And one from the third picture book to be completed (colour illustrated and black and white workbook versions will be available):

Book number four will remain a secret until the illustrations are well underway. 

There are another nine books in the pipeline after that one. 

Keats, I think of your wonderful line regularly! "Until my pen has gleaned my teeming brain..." 

Today I am also grateful for practical tips from a professional illustrator.