Monday, May 7, 2007

Biological Picture Books and Their Adoptive Parents

Friday's email contained one of those good-news/bad-news messages. On the one hand, we still don't have a follow-up picture book for Six O'clock so the new MS is going to start making the rounds. On the other hand, my editor is very excited about the illustrations for Six O'clock. The final art is due in July, which apparently is pushing it for our Spring 2008 debut, but it should be different and new and wonderful which is the most important part.

Today at J's baseball game (we won 15-9 Go Braves!), another parent asked me how I chose my illustrator. Ha! For those of you who don't write picture books, here's the rundown:

I write words. For picture books, not more than about 1,200 max. I send those words to my editor (or agent now). They decide if they like them, and if they do, they send me a contract and a check (yay!). Then THEY pick the illustrator and will hopefully tell me who they have decided to hire. I have no say in the illustrations and won't even see any sketches until I get the galleys and it is pretty much on its way to the printer.

I liken it to giving birth and putting the baby up for adoption. I have no say in how it is raised and won't see it again until it's full grown. Hopefully, this baby will be raised right and I will like it when it is an adult. Maybe not. But I've seen some of the other children this illustrator has raised, and I'm pretty confident.

On this date: In 1915 the Germans sink the British ocean-liner Lusitania

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