Talking Story

Jolly Fish Press Titles & Authors

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What do you do when you’re a matchmaker with an iron-clad wish-fulfillment contract to make Rellie’s happily ever after happen with the heir to the throne of Somewhere, but not only is the prince unwilling, he’s gone missing and the new-found love of  your life has to fill in? What if true love had a darker side, a potion that compels love to seal the forever after deal? And what if Rellie didn’t like glass slippers and wanted something furry?

Add in Bubbles the boss from hell, fairy wings, and entrance packages with firework flourishes and you’ve got a glimpse into Kate’s less than glamorous life as a fairy godmother.

Fairy Godmothers, Inc. by Jenniffer Wardell is a rollicking romp through familiar fairy tale characters and landscapes with a bureaucratic twist. Slipping into Kate’s wacky corporate world is delightful; the writing’s sharp and reminiscent of PG versions of The Nanny Diaries and Bridget Jones’s Diary. As Kate rallies against fate, contracts, and clients readers will fall in love with her plucky bravado.

Fairy Godmothers, Inc. is the first published novel set in Jenniffer’s fairy tale/super hero/monsters-that-don’t-sparkle world. Beast Charming is scheduled for 2014 and there are several short stories on her blog that give you a taste of her hilarious work.

Fairy Godmothers, Inc., by Jenniffer Wardell and published by Jolly Fish Press, is available April 27, 2013 in hardback, paperback, and eBook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other purveyors of fine literature.

 

Jenniffer Wardell smallConnect with Jennifer Wardell

Blog: http://jennifferwardell.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jennifferswardell

Twitter: @wardellwriter

This guest post comes from Berk Washburn, one half of the Brothers Washburn, authors of the Dimensions in Death Series. (I reviewed their book Pitch Green–you can see it here.) I asked the guys what it was like to collaborate with a brother. This was Berk’s response.

DSC_0920Please don’t get me wrong.  My brother doesn’t need a keeper, though sometimes my wife says that I do, and if he did need a keeper, he has a bunch of sisters who would be happy to take the job.  We have 7 sisters who have been trying to keep us out of trouble for a long time.  We are two of 9 sons (16 children total) who grew up in the Mojave desert near Death Valley.  Our father was a dentist, who built up a practice in Trona, California, a small mining town.  While we were growing up, he was the only dentist in town.  As the good citizens of Trona mined the minerals of Searles Valley, Dad mined their teeth.

When, in turn, Andy and I went off to college, we left the desert and never looked backed.  We thought we were done with Trona forever, but couldn’t have been more wrong.  For about 35 years, I was a business lawyer working for international commercial finance companies in Ohio, Michigan and Colorado.  For about 25 years, Andy was a trial practice lawyer working in Southern California.  While we have kept our law licenses current, we are now writing fiction full time.  Though some would say that’s what we did as lawyers, this is different.

As lawyers, we were always solving other people’s problems.  After we each moved to Colorado, we talked for some time about starting a business together where we only had to solve our own problems.  We both have many years of formal writing experience, and we have always been story tellers, first to our siblings, then to our own children (I have 8 kids and Andy has 6 kids), and now to our grandkids (who are increasing exponentially in number).  Scary stories have always been a family specialty.  A few years ago, I started writing a young adult science fiction series, so when Andy also tried his hand at writing fiction, it didn’t take long for us to come together as The Brothers Washburn on a young adult horror series.  The tale is of course set in Trona, California, which is the perfect setting for a horror series.

As a child, Andy loved Dr. Seuss, then later, A Collection of Short Stories, by O. Henry was a favorite.  As a teenager, he was fascinated with The Illustrated Man, by Bradbury.  Growing up, I was on the lookout for anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and as a teenager, I was always searching for new and interesting sci-fi writers.  It is no surprise, then, that we are currently writing both a YA horror series as well as a separate YA sci-fi series.  We find that once we start telling a horror or sci-fi story, the bounds of the story are limited only by our own creativity and imagination–though everything we write has to be grandchild approved.

As brothers, we get along well, and have a healthy level of mutual self-respect, so we can freely share ideas and challenge each other without worrying about egos.  We are more creative when we are bouncing ideas off each other and discussing a general storyline, but we actually write separately, and then confer later on what we have been doing.  Though we sometimes disagree on specific wording, there is usually some friendly give and take as we consider alternatives, and then we can agree quickly on the final wording.  We both appreciate the different perspective and skills that the other brings to the joint process.

In key ways, we are different in how we approach a story.  Andy used to be a planner (a habit he got from writing like an attorney), but in fiction writing, he no longer likes to plan ahead.  He likes to develop his characters, and then let them take the story wherever it is going to go.  On the other hand, I am definitely still a planner.  I am always making lists and outlines, not only for the current story, but for future stories as well.

In addition, Andy doesn’t like having other people around him when he is writing, especially when he is creating new material.  There is no real reason for this, just sometimes people bug him.  In my case, I have to organize my surrounding work environment.  Once everything around me is in order, then I can detach from the world and write.

If Andy hits a tough spot in the story development, it is almost always because of outside distractions.  If he can get rid of the distractions around him, he can keep writing.  If I hit a tough spot, I don’t try to force it.  I stop, leave the house, pick up some fast food, and then I can come back refreshed and ready to move the story forward.  I find that fresh ideas just come naturally when I’m eating–Chipotle is always good.

Background research is important to both of us in two areas:  theoretical science and local Trona geography.  This series is an ongoing horror story based on principals of science rather than on demons, devils or magical creatures, so some understanding of the extremes of scientific theory is necessary and fun.  But, Dimensions in Death is not a science fiction series with a few scary scenes.  It is horror, suspense and fright in a fast pace narrative with a little science by way of explanation, sprinkled on for spice, as the truth is gradually discovered by our heroes in the story.  Separately, the local geography in the story plays a critical role in setting the mood of the tale.  Trona, California is a real place in this world located in a desolate region of the Mojave Desert by Death Valley, and we try to keep the series settings as real as possible.

The general outline for Pitch Green came together one evening in November of 2010.  We were attending a writer’s seminar together in Manhattan and listening to panel discussions by top literary agents.  As we rode the subway from one end-of-the-line stop across town to the opposite end-of-the-line stop, and then back again, we mapped out the basic elements we would need to expand a favorite childhood scary story into a full-length novel.  Andy wrote the first rough draft, and then I took it over to edit and expand the tale.  In the writing of the first book, the ground work was laid for both the sequels and the prequels of that series.

In Pitch Green, we meet two teenagers, Camm and Cal, who are destined by their wit, pluck and luck (not always good) to become the balancing force in this world against predators that keep showing up around an old mansion, which is apparently something more than just a mansion.  Our heroes must make a stand against the mansion’s guardians, any visitors who might want to come through the mansion in search of easy prey, and the forces of the U.S. Federal Government, who are using the mansion to access unlimited natural resources.  Camm is the brains, Cal is the muscle and together they make a formidable team when they decide to work together.  They are joined by an FBI agent, Special Agent Linda Allen, who is smart, resourceful and not easily intimidated by those protecting the government’s secrets.

Pitch_Greeen_coverIn this first book of the Dimensions in Death series, our heroes are introduced to the mansion and an other-worldly guardian while being hurled from one scene of horror to the next.  They barely have time to catch their breath or scratch the surface of what is happening, and they do not understand the nature of what they are really facing.  Though their intentions are good, by the end of the first book, they have left a doorway wide open and unguarded.  Pitch Green is the opening act of a long and complex tale in which Camm, Cal and Agent Allen will be explorers in the dimensions in death.

Thanks for stopping by! Pitch Green is available as a hardback and eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and wherever fine books are sold.

Connect with The Brothers Washburn

Blog: http://thebrotherswashburn.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheBrothersWashburn

Twitter: @BrosWashburn

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Camm and Cal have a problem that’s stinkier than a sulfur lava vent, creepier than a naked rat tail, and hungrier than a shark. It’s a problem and puzzle they’ll have to solve before it strikes again and another child disappears.

No pressure.

Pitch Green, by Berk and Andy Washburn publishing as the Brothers Washburn, is the first in their young adult Dimensions in Death series. Set in the Mohave desert, Pitch Green introduces us to Trona, a small California town whose only claim to fame is a dry lakebed where chemicals are extracted and processed in the town’s factory and a huge deserted mansion that miraculously repairs and cleans itself. Seven years ago on Halloween night, Cal’s younger brother Hughie disappeared and Camm has never forgiven herself. Now high school seniors, Camm and Cal are in a race to discover one of Trona’s darkest secrets before it can kill again.

Of course, nothing is quite what it seems in Trona. There are layers to this town that I’m sure will be revealed as the series progresses. There are delicious hints of government conspiracies, mad scientists, and cover ups. There are also guns, puzzle boxes, Hebrew script, and barf-tainted kisses. Best friends and potential romantic couple Camm and Cal are intelligent, dedicated, resourceful, and brave—not lily-livered, hide your head under the sheets characters or girl/boy stereotypes—and refreshingly, the adults aren’t buffoons either.

By turns witty, funny, scary, thrilling, and chilling, it’s a horror story mystery that reminded me of a more sophisticated and modern spin on Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys. It’s fresh, fast-paced and smart. Can’t wait for book two!

Pitch Green, Book 1 in Dimensions in Death series, written by the Brothers Washburn and published by Jolly Fish Press, is available in hardback, paperback, and eBook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other purveyors of fine literature.

 

DSC_0920Connect with The Brothers Washburn

Blog: http://thebrotherswashburn.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TheBrothersWashburn

Twitter: @BrosWashburn

Liesel_HillLiesel Hill’s debut novel, Persistence of Vision, is available! At the tail end of her blog tour, I asked her about her experience. These were her thoughts.

Thanks so much for having me here today, Lehua! As my first blog tour, spreading word of my debut novel, Persistence of Vision, draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on it a great deal. Have I learned lessons? Oh, you betcha. Some good (the questions interviewers ask can give you new insight into your own story) and bad ones (not all bloggers are as dependable as you’d hope) but overall, I’m happy to say that I’ve had a great experience and have a positive outlook for future tours.

I thought today I’d share a few pearls of wisdom I’ve gleaned along the way.

1)      Reminder emails are your friends! If you have a ridiculously long tour (more than a month long) many people will probably forget about their tour stop. As much as I wish all people were meticulous as I am about dates and record-keeping, people are human and even I let things slip through my fingers sometimes. Wake up to reminders.

2)      Brainstorm a list of things to guest post about and don’t agree to more guest posts than you can come up with. Otherwise, you’ll end up writing quite a few guest posts on the same subject. Also, don’t agree to more than a handful of author interviews unless you know the questions are unique beforehand. Otherwise, you will also end up answering a lot of the same questions. In short, you get to know yourself VERY well. 😀

3)      A little kindness and common courtesy, especially where bloggers hosting you are concerned goes a long way. ‘Nuff said.

4)      When you’re feeling bogged down by writing, reading, editing, blog tour posts and regular posts, and dozens of emails every morning, well, dark chocolate can really perk you up.

So, if you ever find yourself embarking on a long, intimidating blog tour, make sure to prepare for lots of (friendly and tasteful) reminder emails, a plethora of blogging ideas, an awesome attitude, and plenty of endorphin-inducing sweets.

A special thank you to Lehua and all those who’ve been so helpful to me on my first blog tour. You’ll never know how much I appreciate it. Here’s to debut novels and the lengths we go to to get them read. Cheers!

book_cover_per_visionPersistence of Vision, Book 1 of Interchron, written by Liesel K. Hill and published by Tate Publishing is available in paperback and eBook. Click here for the link.

Connect with Liesel

Blog: http://lkhill.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LieselKHill?ref=ts&fref=ts

Twitter: @lkhillbooks

Adrienne2

This week’s blog is an interview with debut author Adrienne Monson whose book Dissension, Book 1 in The Blood Inheritance Trilogy, was published by Jolly Fish Press on  Feb. 23, 2013. It’s available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other fine bookstores.

Okay, Adrienne, let’s start with the tough questions. If you knew you were going to be stranded on a tropical island a la Survivor, which five books would you sneak in your backpack and which five essentials would you kick out to bring them?

This is a tough one, because I’d want to take five different series with me, not just five books. So after thoughtful consideration, I guess I’d go with the following:

  1. Ender’s Shadow, by Orson Scott Card
  2. Ransom, by Julie Garwood
  3. Pale Demon, by Kim Harrison
  4. The China Bride, by Mary Jo Putney
  5. Knife of Dreams, by Robert Jordan

As for essentials I’d replace them with, that’s also tough because it depends on what you consider essentials. So here’s what I consider essentials I could live without in order to enjoy a great book:

  1. Makeup (Who cares if you’re stranded on an island anyway, right?)
  2. Floss (I’m sure I can figure out a way to make leaves into string or something.)
  3. Hair accessories (As long as I have a brush, I don’t need anything else.)
  4. Phone (I doubt I’ll get reception anyway)
  5. Extra shirts (I’ll just wash the one I’m wearing.)

Yeah, make-up would be the first thing to go for me, too. It’s a great day when I don’t have to put mascara on! Also, thanks for recommendations; there are a couple of books on your list I haven’t read yet that must be awesome. Now if I could only get stranded somewhere with books and chocolate and no cell phone…

With all the many hats you wear—Mom and wife being just two of them—how do you find the time to write?

Don’t remind me! It’s definitely something you have to MAKE time for. If you’re waiting for free time to fall into your lap, it won’t. But I utilize sleeping time. My kids have an early bed time, so I do most of my work then. I also have a fabulous husband that’s more than willing to take the kids out for an hour or two while I’m trying to meet deadlines. But mostly, I just stay up later than the rest of my family to write. Yes, I lose sleep and am looking forward to the day when my youngest will go to school, but I make it work. 🙂

I’m a night owl, too. Do you work on one writing project at a time or do you have several irons in the fire?

I try (try!) to stay focused on the one that needs to be turned into the publisher next, but if I get ideas for my next WIP, I will definitely take the time to write notes on that novel so I don’t forget.

Vampires vs. Sharks. Who’d win the smackdown? No, seriously, our series both have a dark side. How do you tap into your inner blood sucker?dissension_cover

Gotta say vampires, here, Lehua! But I am biased. 😉 This question is ironic to me because I am a fun, upbeat kind of woman. I am good at thinking positively and don’t really like watching gory movies. However, I obviously have a dark side that emerges when I’m writing. If you’ve read my short stories on my website, you would think I’m seriously twisted. And, I guess I am – my darkness just comes out in an artistic way. As far as how I tap into that, I don’t really. It just rises to the surface as I write. Sometimes, I even disturb myself to the point that I need to watch a comedy after I’ve written a particularly dark scene. (Don’t worry readers, I’m not graphic in my writing or anything, but in my head, I see all the gory details.)

Reminds me of a story I once read about a man who made gruesome art, but was kind. Villagers complained about his art, so he starting making cherubs and became really mean. Maybe we’re letting our inner demons out through our books!

Dissension, Book 1 of the Blood Inheritance Trilogy, was published Feb. 23, 2013. Books 2 and 3 are titled Defiance and Deliverance. What can we look forward to in book 2?

I really don’t want to give much away. I will tell you that both Leisha and Samantha experience a little bit of romance and that they figure out where the prophecy child is. There’s still plenty of action scenes that I hope will keep you turning the pages. That’s all I will give. The rest, you must find out yourself. 🙂

Arrgh! And for me patience is not a virtue! Sure you won’t take a bribe? No? You’re really going to make me wait for book 2? Sigh.

Thanks for stopping by, Adrienne. Now get back to writing!

Adrienne Monson, winner of the 2009 Oquirrh’s Writer’s Contest and the Utah RWA’s Great Beginnings, has immersed herself in different kinds of fiction since a young age. She lives in Utah with her husband and two kids, whom she loves with all her heart. She loves Zumba, kickboxing, and weightlifting. She also enjoys yummy foods, so she won’t look like a workout guru.

Keep up to date with Adrienne’s events and writing:

Blog: http://www.adriennemonson.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/adriennemonson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/adriennemonson

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6584385.Adrienne_Monson

To read my review of Dissension, click here.

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What do you do when your very existence is an anathema to you, the love of your life has wanted to kill you for 2,000 years, your stalker ex is back, and you’ve a teenage girl dumped into your lap that can’t go home?

When you’re Leisha, one of the original vampires, you do the most logical thing—foment dissension in the ranks of vampire-dom in the hope of getting your mundane life back.

Dissension, written by debut author Adrienne Monson, takes the reader on a thrill ride spanning kidnapping, torture, murder, blood lust, slavery, government conspiracy, psychic abilities, and hints about a mysterious child—all in Book One of The Blood Inheritance Trilogy.

Fans of vampire lit will find much to like here from an origin mythology to hints of a final destiny. Most interesting is the developing relationships between the characters as they uncover miscommunications and misconceptions about each other that have ruled their actions for 2000 years. With all the conspiracies and chess pieces swirling around, what I really want to know is can Leisha ever get back to being a wife and mother and what’s going to happen to teenage Samantha, Leisha’s thinly veiled substitute for the family she lost?

Guess I’ll have to read book 2 to find out!

Dissension, Book 1 in The Blood Inheritance Trilogy, written by Adrienne Monson and published by Jolly Fish Press is available in hardback and eBook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other purveyors of fine literature.

Adrienne MonsonAdrienne2

Blog: http://www.adriennemonson.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adriennemonson

Twitter: @adriennemonson

Aloha!

Today I’m part of a blog hop, officially known as The Next Big Thing. Many thanks to Elsie Park for inviting me to hop in after her.  You can check out her website here. Her debut book is called Shadows of Valor and will be available everywhere July 27, 2013! It is going to be great! Can’t wait.

If you’ve never heard of a blog hop, it’s a bit like a game of tag. Writers post about their works and link to other authors ahead and behind them in the chain. So, without further ado–

What is the working title of your next book? 

One Shark, No Swim, Book 2 in the Niuhi Shark Saga. It’s currently in editorial review at Jolly Fish Press and will come out late summer/fall 2013. It follows One Boy, No Water.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The genesis for the series was a scene from Legends of Hawaii that I saw when I was seven years old. In the film a young Hawaiian boy’s shirt is ripped off to reveal gaping shark’s jaws where his back should be—it’s the kind of image that tends to stick with you if you have an overactive imagination.

What genre does your book fall under?

It straddles the line between Middle Grade and Young Adult. Technically, it’s fantasy, but it’s set in modern, every day Hawai’i. Supernatural things happen, but it’s all rather matter of fact. While Zader and his friends are twelve in One Shark, No Swim, the themes developed in the series are universal. It’s PG in content and language, making it appropriate for MG readers, but it wasn’t written specifically for an MG/YA audience. It’s an adventure series that appeals to adults, too, particularly if they’ve lived in Hawai’i.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Jackie Chan. Uncle Kahana, Zader, ‘Ilima, Jay, Char Siu—it doesn’t matter which character; the answer to this question is always Jackie Chan. (Call me!)

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Adopted twelve year old suspects there’s more to his birth family than he ever dreamed and the truth changes everything.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The Niuhi Shark Saga is published by Jolly Fish Press.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About six weeks split over nine months. Bursts of writing punctuated by life and lots of dust gathering.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

In book 2, Zader discovers a way he can take a shower without blistering, he meets both his biological parents (although he doesn’t know it), learns Filipino Kali-style knife fighting from a master, and Uncle Kahana and ‘Ilima don’t see eye to eye on what to tell Zader, Jay, and Char Siu about what’s really going on. And niuhi sharks! Lots of sharks.

And that’s my Next Big Thing! Now here are the fabulous authors I’ve tagged to tell you about their Next Big Thing!  They will be posting on 1/30/2013.   Enjoy!

Christine Haggerty

Emily Younker

Jennifer Griffith

Johnny Worthen

BONUS:

Great authors who’ve already posted their Next Big Thing that you shouldn’t miss!

Jo Ann Schneider

Ann Marie Meyers

Eric Bishop

Adrienne Monson

Elsie Park

Jenniffer Wardell

The Brothers Washburn

Teri Harman

Amie Borst

 

Dear ‘Ohana,

Mele Kalikimaka! We hope your family is well and enjoying all the aloha of the season. This past year we’ve felt especially blessed for all the good things in our lives. Here’s a quick snapshot.

Lili continues dancing hula in Halau Na Pua O Lauele and had a solo in their holiday performance at Ala Moana. Her halua is practicing hard and raising money to compete in next year’s Merry Monarch Festival. She is a sophomore at Ridgemont Academy and is the secretary of the Hui Lama club.

Jay and Zader are in Ms. Robinson’s sixth grade class at Lauele Elementary. We just learned that Jay was accepted to Ridgemont for 7th grade and Zader’s on the final waitlist. With Zader’s art talent, we think he’s a shoe-in for a final spot.

Speaking of art, if you’re headed to the Honolulu Arts Museum, check out Zader’s turtle carving in the Young Artist Showcase. It’s amazing!

After winning the last two Menehune surf meets, Jay’s taking a break from surfing to play flag football in the park. It’s odd seeing him out of the water, but I don’t miss all the wet towels and sand!

Both boys are studying Lua with Uncle Kahana, which probably means drinking soda and watching old Bruce Lee movies. At least they are staying out of trouble. I hope. You never know what’ll happen when Uncle Kahana and ‘Ilima get involved.

Along with all our aloha, we wish you and yours the best and brightest of the season and good fortune in the new year! A hui hou,

The Westin Ohana

Paul, Liz, Lilinoe, Jay, and Zader

PS: You can find out more about our adventures in One Boy, No Water by Lehua Parker. The Kindle version is on sale now through January 2!

In One Boy, No Water each chapter begins with a word or phrase in Hawaiian or Pidgin followed by its definition. This structure uses ‘ōlelo no‘eau, wise or entertaining sayings that reveal a hidden truth. Hawaiian relies heavily on poetic imagery, riddles, and puns to communicate significant truths veiled under casual conversation. Words and phrases can hold hidden layers of meaning called kaona, which is why songs about mist or fish or flowers or wind can leave old folks laughing and young ones wondering what’s so funny. Examples of ‘ōlelo no‘eau can be found on the Internet or in this book of collected wisdom:

 ‘Ōlelo No‘eau: Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings

by Mary Kawena Pukui

Bishop Museum Press, 1983

Here are some of the newest ones I’ve come across:

 ·         ‘A‘a i ka hula, waiho ka hilahila i ka hale.

 When one wants to dance the hula, bashfulness should be left at home.

 ·         Hōhohua no ke kawa.

 A deep diving place indeed. Said of a topic that requires deep thinking.

I kani no ka pahu i ka ‘olohaka o loko.

It is the space inside that gives the drum it’s sound. The empty-headed person is the one who does the most talking.

        He manō holo ‘āina ke ali‘i.

 The chief is a shark that travels on land. Like a shark, the chief is not to be tampered with.

 

Corey Egbert, Illustrator for One Boy, No Water

Today’s post is an interview with Corey Egbert, illustrator for One Boy, No Water. Corey was gracious enough drop by to answer a few questions.

Did you always want to be an illustrator?

No. When I was 6 years old, I wanted to be a scientist/nature photographer. Then when I was about 9, I wanted to be a Lego master builder. Even now I secretly wish I could be a travel show host. But I knew I loved to draw since before I can remember, and I’ve always loved books. So I figured illustration would be a perfect job because it is a combination of both of those.

What’s your preferred medium? Would you rather sketch on paper or on a computer?

I wish I was patient enough to do all my work on paper. If I did though, I would have to erase far too much and it would take forever!

I always start out with a pencil drawing in my sketchbook and then I scan it into the computer. The computer lets me do so much in a short amount of time, and if I want to change something, I can do it really easily without having to start over. But even though it’s on the computer, it’s still drawing. I still have to know all the components of art like scale, value, line, perspective, etc. The computer is just a tool.

Northbridge Castle by Corey Egbert

One Boy, No Water is the first book you’ve illustrated. How is book illustration different from some of the other projects you’ve worked on?

Book illustration is different than doing other art because you have to create images based on someone else’s ideas instead of your own. The author created the characters, objects and world, and you have to draw them to be true to the story. I had to do a lot of research, ask a lot of questions, and sometimes revise my drawings multiple times to get them right. It really helped me grow as an artist because it pushed me to take my artwork farther than I would have on my own.

Which part of the process did you enjoy the most?

I really loved the challenge of taking characters that are only described in words and turning them into something that you can look at. The kids were very fun to draw because they each have different personalities. I enjoyed working on Zader because I felt like I could relate to him, especially since he is an artist too.

From One Boy, No Water, illustration by Corey Egbert

Which illustration from One Boy, No Water is your favorite?

I would have to say the one with Zader and Dream Girl and the castle. It was the hardest one for me to do. I worked on it forever and I really wasn’t pleased with what I was coming up with. I dreaded working on it and actually saved it for the night before my deadline! I ended up throwing my first version away and completely starting over. I am really pleased with how it eventually turned out. Castles have always been one of my favorite things to draw.

Now for the really important questions: Crayons or markers?

Haha. When I was a kid I thought crayons were for babies so I used markers. I like the deep, even colors and finer lines you get with markers. Crayons are too hard to control.

Favorite color?

Whenever I am asked this, I always say that I like all colors because I am an artist. I just can’t decide.

Who are some of the illustrators you admire?

Maurice Sendak who created Where the Wild Things Are is one of my very favorites and possibly the most influential children’s book illustrator ever. I also used to try to copy the style of Eyvind Earle who did the background art for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. Pauline Baynes, who illustrated the original editions of The Chronicles of Narnia was a big influence, too. I also love Glen Keane, Richard Scarry, Edward Gorey, Mary Blair, Kali Ciesemier, Chris Van Allsburg, Paul O. Zelinsky and Carson Ellis, to just name a few.

When you were eleven did you have a favorite cartoon or tv show?

I really liked the show Recess. I love how the playground was a microcosmic empire ruled by kids. It was full of wars, politics, economics… everything, just on a kid scale. I’m still waiting for that show to come out in a DVD collection.

What’s your favorite middle grade book?

There are too many to pick just one! I love Narnia, Harry Potter, the Prydain books, Tuck Everlasting, My Side of the Mountain, The Phantom Tollbooth, From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, A Wrinkle In Time, The Giver, The Little Prince… and more. I still read middle grade books, and I can’t wait until my son is old enough so I can read my favorites to him!

Any words of wisdom for burgeoning illustrators who are considering illustration as a career?

Doodle every day! Keep a sketchbook. Learn the fundamentals of art like shape, color, line, value, balance, rhythm, etc. Learn to draw the human figure. Draw your friends and family! Invent your own characters and draw them doing different things. Try to tell a story with your drawings. Observe the world around you. And keep challenging yourself!

Thanks for stopping by, Corey! One Boy, No Water is available in hardback, trade paperback, and ebook on September 29, 2012 wherever books are sold.

Follow Cory on his blog: http://stevencoreyart.blogspot.com/

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