Awaiting an Illustrator

There are so many exciting steps along the way in a writer’s journey.  Some of them, like getting books in the mail or doing a first book signing, you’ve heard about and expect to be amazing experiences.  But some of the other milestones have taken me by surprise.  Like when my editor emailed me last year with the ISBN number for Spitfire, my first regional historical novel. 

ISBN number???  I have an ISBN number?  I have an ISBN number!!! 

I was so giddy that a slightly snarky friend suggested I have the number tattooed on my forehead.

Today was another one of those memorable milestones.  I got an email from Melissa, my editor at Chronicle Books, which is publishing my first picture book, Over and Under the Snow.  She’d just come from a meeting with Chronicle’s design department,  and she wanted to share the short list of illustrators under consideration.  They are all amazing.  I spent half the night online, looking at websites and portfolios and requesting picture books from the library.  Obviously, it’s way too early in the process for me to share much.  But I can share this…

Wow.  Just wow.   It’s humbling to think that someone with such incredible talent will create art to tell a story with my words. 

I’d love to hear thoughts from those of you who have been through this process.  I can’t begin to imagine how exciting it will be to see the final illustrations.

I know there’s more work to do with this manuscript.  There’s editing.  I still have to fill out that long author questionnaire (I’m working on it, really…).  And I’m sure there will be bumps in the road before my picture book is a book.  But for now, what a gift  – to be able to look at the work of such amazing artists and imagine what each of them might bring to SNOW with their unique styles and moods. 

Tonight, I’ll be dreaming in pen and ink, watercolor, mixed media, and everything in between.

17 Replies on “Awaiting an Illustrator

  1. I think getting an ISBN number is pretty exciting, too. 🙂

    (And I’d guess, though I’ve not written picture books, that getting an illustrator is, too!)

  2. I can imagine how excited you are…and deserve to be. How long until they make a decision? I know you can’t tell us who, but have you decided which one YOU would like best if given input?

  3. I would love to do this! I’ve always loved pbs. But *sigh* they are not meant to be for me. Sounds like you’re having a blast! Whoo hoo!
    -N
    who also went nuts when she saw her ISBN numbers. What is it about those things?

  4. I like that tattoo idea. But it’s just as well you didn’t do it, because imagine what you’d look like when your tenth book comes out!

  5. Artists Rock!

    Hey, Kate! How fun to be looking for an artist – that’s one of my favorite things about writing magazine articles. I’ve been very fortunate to work with a fantastic guy named Jim Elmore, who consistently blows me away with his illustrations. He recently did one for an article titled “Socrates in DC,” and it’s just amazing.

    So, I can’t wait to see how your picture book comes out!

    (And congrat’s on your other big writing news – my mom called and told me. Yay!)

  6. Artists Rock!

    Hey, Kate! How fun to be looking for an artist – that’s one of my favorite things about writing magazine articles. I’ve been very fortunate to work with a fantastic guy named Jim Elmore, who consistently blows me away with his illustrations. He recently did one for an article titled “Socrates in DC,” and it’s just amazing.

    So, I can’t wait to see how your picture book comes out!

    (And congrat’s on your other big writing news – my mom called and told me. Yay!)
    – Dan Ward