I was invited by Amy Courage to join a blog tour of writers and authors describing their writing process. I had the pleasure of meeting Amy at the
New England SCBWI conference in May–please check out her blog at: thedailymermaid.blogspot.com.
What am I working on now?
An art director recently commented on this image: “Now there’s a story!”
So I’ve been busy working on a set of early readers featuring these little ladies.
I also have a couple picture book manuscripts in different stages of rewrites.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I guess I’m not very trendy; I like subtle humor and I think kids appreciate it, too. When drawing, I strive to keep my linework simple, fresh and expressive. As best I can, I try to do the same with my writing. My heroes are William Steig and Arnold Lobel.
Why do I write what I do?
Many moons ago, I wrote a daily cartoon strip in college–it was my first experience with developing story and art at the same time, and the characters became very real to me–I truly missed them when the strip ended. I still find a story in every illustration I create, and each character always seems to have something to say. The hard part is determining the best way to bring the words and images together.
How does your writing process work?
As an illustrator, my stories often develop as I’m drawing. But once I get past a first draft, I find it best to put the images away so I can really concentrate on the nuances of language. It’s a tricky tango. I’ve used Mentors for Rent and SCBWI conferences for manuscript critiques, and I often refer to Cheryl Klein’s Second Sight. When I hit a roadblock, I study books I like and retype their manuscripts to analyze the pacing, cadence, and story arc. For early readers, I’ve been reading a lot, using a list of Geisel Award winners as a place to start. I have to schedule time to write (early morning or very late at night works best for me), otherwise all the time goes to illustration deadlines, marketing, and business stuff. I find writing more challenging than illustrating, so when I’m really stuck I just go back to drawing. I guess that’s what they mean by the creative cycle!
Sketches from a writing roadblock–which also (conveniently) work for this week’s Illustration Friday word prompt, “Mask.”
Thanks for visiting! I’m passing the baton to two wonderfully talented writer / illustrators I met at the NESCBWI conference:
Marty Kelley is a children’s author and illustrator but has, in the past, been a second grade teacher, a baker, a cartoonist, a newspaper art director, a drummer in a heavy metal band, a balloon delivery guy, an animator, and lots of other things. He has written and illustrated eight of his own published children’s books as well as having illustrated several books for other authors. Books he has both written and illustrated are: Fall Is Not Easy; The Rules; Winter Woes; Summer Stinks; Spring Goes Squish; The Messiest Desk; Twelve Terrible Things; and Fame, Fortune, and the Bran Muffins of Doom. You can read about his writing process on his blog, martykelley.blogspot.com.
Anneliese Juergensen is a children’s book illustrator and author who loves animals (especially whales!), terrible puns, traveling to new places, museums and bookstores, and avocado. You can see her blog and more of her artwork at AnnelieseJuergensen.com.