TERRY ANN MARSH
From Premise to Published: Art & Words
This tip is for the those hoping to write a children’s book.
There are two people involved in the writing of a children’s book - the writer and the illustrator. Sometimes one person can do both of those things. Authors and illustrators are very much in demand right now. So, if that is you, congratulations! You have a bit of an edge.
But for many of us, we either write or we draw. I am a writer.
I wrote my manuscript. I revised my manuscript. I threw out my manuscript. I started again. I wrote a revised revision of my edited and re-edited manuscript, formatted my manuscript, and, well, you get the point. Finally, I had a completed manuscript.
At last, the time came to enter into a contract with a publisher for my children’s book, The Three Little Sprigs. More editing, more revising, and then, lo and behold…an illustrator was added to the mix!
It was great fun. The editor sent me the artwork of a host of illustrators online. I went through the assortment and picked the one I liked the most. It was as easy as walking into an art gallery and pointing, “This one!” So, may I introduce Lintang Pandu Pratiwi from Indonesia.
The amazing thing about the world we live in today is that I will most likely never meet Lintang, or my editor, Michael Hardison, in person. All will be done through email and social media. But three people, living in three different places, never having met, have produced a book, which hopefully will be a success for all of us.
The best advice I will give concerning the relationship between artist and writer is to let the artist do their thing. I offered very little in the way of direction for the artwork. In my mind the Night Wind in The Three Little Sprigs was a male character, but in her mind, she was female. I saw no reason not to go with her vision. It was different from mine, but her illustrations were lovely. Lintang came into the Woodland Kingdom that I created with words and enhanced it with her art. That’s the best you can hope for when you give someone the keys to the world you’ve created. So, unless there are specific reasons for giving instructions to the artist, let them be, and enjoy the fun of someone else’s perspective.