Halloween at Blue House. Perhaps our favorite holiday!
Thus far this autumn I’m:
~ Taking a novel revision workshop with the Francesca Lia Block. Already I’ve learned much, which I’ve applied to revising Novels #1, #2, and #3. (Yes, there is a Novel #3 in the works!) Block’s novel revision method involves twelve questions she’s developed to cut to the heart of your story. Genius! Block is also an amazing line editor.
~ Incorporating research material from my recent trip to England into Novel #2, aka the Next Novel. A portion of the Next Novel is set on the moors of Shropshire. Guess where I traveled to? (More about this in another post.)
~ Preparing for the next stage of Bad Princess, whatever that may be. Still on the docket: the cover illustration and editorial feedback. Though the publication date is set for late 2017, it’s closer than it sounds—already my editor has requested material to prep the Scholastic Books team.
~ Getting my daughter adjusted to middle school, where she’s studying creative writing. For the first time in her eight years of education, she’s commuting. She’s a real city kid! So far, she loves her new school and has made lots of friends.
Fiction, meet Reality.
Photographed on the moors of Shropshire, where my novel is set.
Updated studio chalkboard wall. The acronyms stand for books underway. (Mysterious me!)
First day of school. First official day back in the studio after a very full summer.
Time for everything to begin anew.
The Bad Princess illustrations in progress. I like to print them out as I go along, to remind myself how they’ll look reproduced to size.
For now, anyway.
Next up: waiting to hear back from my editor along with heaving a big sigh of relief, taking a long nap, and raising a toast and all that, before turning back to other books underway. In anticipation of this day, I already have a writer’s retreat planned for a special “I Just Finished A Book” treat. Woo hoo!
Above: a finished illustration. This is the first book I illustrated in Photoshop and Painter from start to finish. Brave new world!
The latest news: I’m still finishing up the art, which is a mixture of tongue-firmly-in-cheek graphics and original drawings. As with Doomed Queens, Bad Princess has been designed to resemble a Victorian penny dreadful. This time, the book will be printed in both black and pink inks. After all, nothing screams “princess” more than the color pink. Here’s a sample page featuring history’s favorite bad boy monarch, Henry VIII.
Onto the good news: The finished manuscript has been sent off to my editor at Scholastic. I’m pleased with how it turned out. It was no simple task to consolidate a thousand years of princess history into one sweeping narrative.
So yay—and here’s to reaching the finish line!
As you can probably tell by my radio silence, I’m deep into my creative cocoon with Bad Princess. I’ve a June deadline, and a ton of loose threads to weave together. (Research, writing, design, and drawing, oh my!)
I’m pleased with how the book is coming together, but I’m at the stage where the only way out is through. In the meantime, I leave you these beauties from the Blue House garden.
I’ve been watching them emerge from the winter soil over the past few weeks.
Just as I will once this book is off to my publisher.