Hey everyone! I’ve been invited to join the blog tour by my amazing friend, Sterling Martin, who is an awesome graphic novel artist and cartoonist! Check out his blog here: Neo-graphic.tumblr.com
I’m so happy to share my thoughts on writing with you!
1. What am I working on?
As some of you know, my debut picture book MISTER COOL is set to be released to the world Jan. 6, 2015 by POW! Books (distributed by Random House) and I’m super excited! Right now I’m working on a promo campaign to help support Mister Cool, as well as trying to book any signings/school engagements for it. As far as writing goes, I’m working on another PB that deals with self-esteem and identity issues featuring the same amazing artist that illustrated Mister Cool. I’m also tinkering around with a MG novel that I like to say is like Bridget Jones’ Diary, without all the adult stuff. So busy, busy in the land of creativity!
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I think that picture books are super amazing right now. I would have to say the reason my work pops out is because of it’s edginess within the artwork and text. We really try to make the language and art hip and current and we also try to tackle current issues such as bullying in schools. I try to approach these subjects without being “preachy” – instead I like to relate to the reader with someone who would talk like them.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
When I get an idea for a book it just burns inside of me until I get it out. I literally have no relief until it is written down on paper. If I try to ignore it, I’ll start dreaming about it. I write these ideas down because I absolutely MUST and even if nothing comes of it, at least I can get some shut eye! Not to mention I love writing things that make other people laugh or think differently about their world.
4. How does my writing/creative process work?
Initially, I just write down the idea (usually with pen and paper) and I try not to judge it too harshly. I know that it will go through several rounds of edits so I try to just get the words down. During this stage, I try playing with the voice in my head. Usually during this very first draft the voice is inconsistent and the story lacks good transitions or maybe has some plot holes. I will then take a break from it, let it stew in my brain, and come back after a day or so. Then I start structuring out what’s missing. I will start marking what I like and don’t like. Strike out sentences that don’t “feel” right and start to try to establish a flow. This could go on for several versions or days. Once I feel pretty comfortable with the idea and voice I’m trying to create, I’ll send out to some beta readers to get feedback. It’s still far from perfect but I feel like beta input really helps make it exactly what I’m trying to create. After I get their feedback and wonderful ideas, I implement the ones I think work best for the story and then tweak!
For picture books, it’s after this final stage that I will send the text to the illustrator to start pondering. Or sometimes I just pitch the idea to my agent and see if it’s worth pursuing or not. If it is, it’s time to jam out some awesome artwork, make some more edits and get that baby sold!
Thanks for taking the time to read about my writing process! What a cool way to explore what other authors are doing as well!
Up next on the tour is my awesome pal Laura Moss! I’ve had the pleasure to co-author a book with Laura: “The Unofficial Harry Potter Insults Handbook: 101 Comebacks for the Slytherin in Your Life.” She writes exceptional YA and you need to read about her! (I’ll let her take it from here!)