Blog Writing Log
It's been a while since I last posted something in this blog. So, I need to update a few things!
Hard to believe it's November already! I am hard at work on the finished art for GEMMA & GUS and hope to be finished by the end of the month. LITTLE CUB comes out on the 27th! And the board book edition of OLD BEAR AND HIS CUB comes out on the 21st! It's a busy month!
There is a new page here on the website titled: ART FOR PUPS (soon to be changed to S.E.R.F. = Sophie's Emergency Rescue Fund). I will be offering signed copies of BEAR NOEL and OLD BEAR AND HIS CUB for a $50 donation to S.E.R.F. In addition to signed copies of my books I will also be posting and offering the original artwork from my books in order to raise money to save as many desperate shelter dogs as possible in high kill shelters. If you ever thought of buying an original piece of artwork, this is the perfect opportunity! You get to own an original illustration/painting and shelter dogs lives will be saved!
LITTLE CUB, the companion book to OLD BEAR AND HIS CUB, will be published 27 November 2012! I love this book!
It's been a while since I've posted anything to this blog. I have been busy finishing book deadlines and dealing with the new rescue pups in our life. Hopefully, I will get back to writing something here more often and will get the website updated with new artwork, information regarding new books, new book reviews, and other exciting news as it develops.
It's been a while since I've posted anything here in the blog. I'm still chained to the drawing board finishing the artwork for the three remaining picture book contracts!
GIDEON and GIDEON & OTTO will be published this fall (the newest gosling to be added to Gossie & Friends). And A CHRISTMAS TREE FOR PYN will also be published.
Houghton has informed me that their marketing/design team will be posting a new website for Gossie & Friends: www.gossieandfriends.com. The website isn't up yet, but it will be in a few weeks.
Borders always carries my books, I'm happy to say. I'm a huge Borders and amazon fan, I must admit. I just finished the newest Gossie & Friends book: GIDEON. The companion book will be titled GIDEON & OTTO. These books are scheduled to be published Spring 2011. I also finished A CHRISTMAS TREE FOR PYN, which will be published in the Fall 2011.
At the moment I am working on an innovative format for GOSSIE'S FARM: A Fold-Out Story Map. I like to make paper engineered projects and this interactive map is really lots of fun. When I meet with my publisher I'll see what they think and if they want to go with the project.
Hard to believe that it is now almost the end of May! I have been working night and day on JASPER & JOOP and GIDEON. These are the three newest goslings to be added to the gaggle.
OLD BEAR AND HIS CUB and OLLIE'S HALLOWEEN come out in the fall. Both publishers are doing tremendous promotional pieces for the books: posters, cut-out figures, coffee mug, display stant for bookstores, etc.!
I'll be in NYC at Books of Wonder in late October doing a book signing. If you are in the city please stop by and say HEY!
I got a bit more good news today. OLLIE'S EASTER EGGS has moved up on the New York Times Bestseller list for the second week. And the book made the Publishers Weekly Bestseller list as well. The new BIG Fall/Winter catalog arrived from Penguin Young Readers Group with OLD BEAR AND HIS CUB featured on the front cover. Another surprise came when I saw that my publisher has also produced a terrific floor display for booksellers to feature the book in the stores. And, finallly (as if all this wasn't enough) my editor sent an email this morning telling me that they are also producing a coffee mug featuring OLD BEAR AND HIS cub that will be sent to booksellers. Spring is off to a great start!
Many years ago I wrote and illustrated a children's books titled EPPIE M. SAYS... I always intended to write (and illustrate) a tongue-in-cheek book on "How to Raise an Obedient Child" titled UNCLE OLLIE SAYS... Well, you can now read a new blog that I just started titled Uncle Ollie Says... www.uncleolliesays.wordpress.com It's not about childrearing (as I'm sure my nieces and nephews will breathe a big sigh of relief). The blog focused on my thoughts, insights and musings (as a "Dutch Uncle") on life, love, liberty, relationships, and the pursuit of happiness. I always said that if I could figure out how to make a living giving Dutch Uncle advice I'd be a rich man. Who knows? You just may find the answers you're looking for on the new blog. And, at the very least, a few things to think about...
Well, I've sent two query emails to agents after discussing the idea of taking on an agent with one of my most trusted editors. It's one of those "leaps of faith" moments when a writer wonders "Should I have an agent?" I am considering an agent ONLY for my longer writing projects: the edgy coming-of-age narrative novels and my magnum opus THE LAY OF MOEL EYRIS: The Saga of the Bear's Son. This is the epic heroic saga upon which almost every story, picture book, and novel I write is based. The children's books do well enough with my handling, but I my thought is that for the more serious writing an agent might be necessary. How does a writer ever know whether to take the plunge or not with an agent??? We'll see what happens. Stay tuned.
I'd like to say a big 'thank you' to everyone who has commented on this blog! I wasn't sure anyone (other than me) was reading it! I'm still getting used to being limited to a finite set of words to type here. NOT easy for a writer!
I'm drawing night and day and am once again "chained to the drawing board". I tend to work in intense blocks of studio time. I've never been one of those writer/illustrators who can work a little each day, do other things, etc. In other words---keep things balanced. When I am working on a new book(s) it consumes me every minute of every hour of every day.
The sketches and character studies for JASPER & JOOP and GIDEON continue to go smoothly. I've already worked out the colours for the new goslings: Jasper is white; Joop is grey; Gideon is ruddy (reddish brown).
In addition to working on the new gosling books I'm also spending time every day tweaking and improving the website. There are so many little things to keep track of: how to link pages within sections; set up PayPal; copyright protect all the artwork, etc. I HOPE that once I have the basic layouts and pages in place maintaining them will be a bit easier.
I may even create a page titled: How I Work to show books in progress.
The newest wee goslings: Jasper, Joop, and Gideon are coming along nicely on the drawing board. It's great to be drawing and painting new goslings! Gideon has especially captured my heart with his determined way of saying "NO nap!". The illustrations for the next two books should be finished in a few weeks and then on to a Christmas book: A CHRISTMAS TREE FOR PYN. It's always a bit odd to be drawing snowy, wintry Christmas scenes in the summer months.
It's a dreary, overcast, uncertain day here in the mountains. There's just enough dampness in the air to make it necessary to wear a sweatshirt while sitting in the studio tapping away on my laptop before turning my attention to the sketches on the drawing board.
I spent the better part of the afternoon reading literary agents' descriptions and guidelines. The one good thing about being on the New York Times Bestseller list is that it does attract attention to your work. I cannot make my mind up about literary agents. I've tried them and the marriages have not been happy nor productive ones. I like the idea of having an agent, but is it worth the extra hassle and 'waiting' to have one?