A few weeks ago, I was tagged by the amazingly talented Courtney Pippen-Mathur in a really fun, quick author/illustrator blog hop! Say that five times fast! Courtney asked me a few questions:
What are you working on now?
I'm currently working on illustrating a book called Tree Dancers, written by the super sweet Newbury Honor Medal winner Margarita Engle.
The book is a series of beautifully written tanka poems about an orangutan family in the Borneo Rainforest. I'm honored to be working with Margarita, Noa Wheeler, and April Ward at Henry Holt Books for Young Readers.
Here are a few sneak peeks:
How does this differ from other works in this genre?
I haven't seen quite so many children's books written in the Tanka style of poetry. It's quite unique, flowy, and allows for a bit more freedom in verse. The book is going to be very interactive, too. I can see kids really getting absorbed with the adorable orangutans and making up their own orangutan dances! (Or at least I really hope they do!)
I'll sure be dancing!
Why do you write what you write?
I'm mostly illustrating right now, but I'm also participating in #PiBoIdMo, a yearly challenge where you come up with a new story idea every day. It's fun.
Though I've been focusing on art, for the past year I've also been working on a story/dummy that I've rewritten/redrawn three times.
I want to make a story that tugs at kids and parents heart strings for years. I want to write a book that people will remember a long time from now. No words can express how much the books I have from my childhood mean to me, I want to make books that kids still love when they're adults.
So I keep going back to the drawing board:
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Condensing your story. Most picture books are 700 words or less and you'd be surprised how quickly 700 words comes out! I do like revising though. You have to be ok with cutting your favorite parts if they don't help the story along.
Thanks for thinking of me for the blog hop, Courtney! I'm going to do my part and tag three illustrator friends ... my Simply Messing About counterparts:
Tag, you're it! All of these ladies work so hard, you'll love seeing what they've been up to!