Monday, January 23, 2006

SLUG update

So to give you a sense of a book's progress in real time - at the end of December I received my first round of mechanicals from my designer at Random House, Melissa Nelson. Mechanicals are the first drafts of the pages with the art scanned in and the text put into place. The color is far from close, but this is where we make sure everything is where it needs to be before it goes to proof (where the color is corrected to be exact).

Melissa is an incredibly talented designer and we have a great working relationship. We usually go through a few drafts and she helps shape the book up to be true to my vision and she always brings something great to the table. The title itself has a great font design (which Melissa created). The second drafts came in and while it's headed to the F&G stage, we're still creating a few minor changes here and there. (F&G stands for 'folded & gathered', which is proofs cut and put together as a book, but it is unbound. They go out to reviewers and book buyers.)


I’ve been working lots of long hours lately, polishing up the new It’ll be worth it once I’m done, but it’s hard to see that sometimes when I look at the clock and suddenly it’s in the AM again and I realize that I need to get sleep! It has a lot of new features and I’m hiding little bits of stuff here and there – you’ll be able to uncover hidden pictures, complete rough drafts, old books that I made as a kid (in their entirety) and somewhere – the most embarrassing photo of me ever taken – my 9th grade student ID.

So stay tuned! I’m hoping to launch it sometime in early February!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

following through

So I haven't touched water colors in years and man - they aren't easy! My step-brother Deven had posed for some reference photos for me for a character I have down the line and I used them as source material. It was a good excercise, but frustrating! I have so much respect for artists who use this medium. I also made it to my local coffee shop to sketch. And all of this creative excerice feels good!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Tatnuck closing Worcester store

Wow- my grandfather just called. He had just heard on WTAG that Tatnuck is closing its Worcester location. I can't even begin to explain how sad this is for me. My book signings at that store have always been the pinacle of any book tour. I had my first ever book signing there on June 25, 2001 for Good Night, Monkey Boy. To read the full story, click here and to see pics from my first ever book signing there, click here.

looking forward

2006!!! Of course I have the regular New Year’s resolutions – work out more, floss more, take vitamins, etc, etc…. However, I do have a lot of creative based resolutions. But resolutions tend to break by February, so I’m calling them goals. So here are my goals for 2006 – and I’m telling you all because I want you to help me stick with them. If you see me throughout the year ask me how they are going and if I am floundering with them, make fun of me endlessly!

My goals-

A new website. Yes, I will be tearing down, so enjoy it while you can, and it is going to be rebuilt from the ground up! Expect it to run more quickly, the pages to be better integrated and there will be plenty of new features. I’m hoping to launch it by February.

Write more. I have had all of these stories floating around my head for a few years now and I just need to get them out of me. And they aren’t for kids, but teenagers. And you may be asking – “What would a JJK book be like for an older audience?” They will be about coming-of-age, unrequited love, family pain & triumph, risks, awkwardness, summers, friends, loss, trouble, dreams and teenage angst, among other things.

Sketch more. I used to sketch a lot more than I have in the past year. So this year I will be using my blog as my way of keeping at it. If you don’t see random sketches posted here every now and then, give me flack. I’d love to share my non-picture book sketches with my readers.

And all of this of course will be hindered by my love for snowboarding and I’m itching to get up on the mountain. I plan on going quite a bit this year!

Giddy Up, Cowgirl comes out in February, and while I don’t have any sort of formal book tour for it, I have events pretty much every month through April!
January = San Diego, CA
February = Denver, CO
March = Virginia
April = Houston, TX
I’m pumped for it all. I have good friends in all of those cities and remember when I was talking about snowboarding……?

In the fall for My Buddy, Slug, I may be undertaking a BIG book tour.

And for new projects…..I’ll be starting work soon on a graphic novel, which will most likely be a series of books. But I’ll tell you more about it later in the year when more things are settled.

2006 is going to ROCK!

Happy New Year everyone!!!