Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Determination Tuesday

Ok, I just accepted a book project with Harcourt. They'd like for me to do something along the line of Summer Sun Risin'. Don't ask me how I plan to squeeze in 10 paintings between now and February, but they are emailing the manuscript today. I'm supposed to start sketches for R around the first of February, and Z is just kind of floating up there ready to drop anytime between now and...well, I don't know. I just bought a brand new car on a used car budget. So, it'll all have to work itself out. Geez, I hated turning away the SF project.

Oh, and did I mention the toss designs with DT and WM are a "definite go!"

4 comments:

rindambyers said...

Don, if you want to both write and illustrate, I think getting your foot in the door with Harcourt is big for you as far as potential relationships with publishers/editors there. They are a huge publisher, I mean big, big, BIG. Sometimes what looks short-sighted today can turn out to be actually wiser for the long run. You need those trade relationships. If you get stuck in the educational publisher mode, I think you stand a good chance of getting eventually typecast to publishers as an "educational book" illustrator, not as the trade picturebook artist/writer you are striving to truly be. I think, anyway! Just my opinion for what it's worth....True, bills need to be paid, but that's why you are working your day job right now...so you have the luxury of risking a bit here. I don't even have educational publishers on my submissions list. I don't wnat to be an educational picturebook writer....sorry...I think I'd get acutely ill from boredom.... Dean Koonz, bestselling adult author, has stated that, given a choice now, he would have rather started out writing what he is writing now and not starting out as he did in a writing career with writing mysteries and other more junky, paperback, forgettable books. He got typecast in the industry that way and it was harder for him to break into the big time, doing what he really wanted to do. Check out his book on writing fiction, sometime. It's a great read. It may be in a newer version now. I have the older out-of-print one.

Don Tate II said...

Hey Rinda, I see what you are saying-- that maybe by doing educational work, I might be settling? To a certain degree, maybe. But, I always have to ask myself why I do what I do. For me, I love illustrating, and I especially love the style of illustration that I can apply to children's products, be it books, wallpaper, or whatever. Now, yes, I'd prefer to stick with trade books, but when I ask myself why, the answer only serves my ego, and nothing else. I am choicy in the educational work I accept, because some pays very little while wanting to retain all the rights. But some offer deals not far from trade contracts (details are negotiable), just without the royalty and glamor factor. In this particular case, my story is being published in a basal type of book alongside tradebooks that are being republished for the school market.Thanks for the Koonz info.

Roz said...

Wow, my opinion is a total 180 to the first comment. I say go for the ed. job if you have some time on your hands and you are wanting the work. You are in a fortunate position as successful, established illustrator to pick and choose your assignments now. I would imagine if it's a fun assignment , a company that can afford you, go for it.

rindambyers said...

Sorry, Don! Didn't mean to imply anything wrong with educational books! I just can't wait to see you hit trade books big time and win the Caldecott out of the blue real soon.

I admit I get bored really quickly, and I don't do well on concentrating on some things. It's just that for me, I'm probably better off being bored with copyediting other people's work in my day job than writing educational books! Not that I didn't read some good educational texts growing up, for which I'm very grateful indeed, but it's a job for a person good at that kind of writing, and I'm simply not fitted for it. I'd wander around and goof off and daydream too much. So that's what I meant by being bored. It's just me not fitting in.

You're just good, man, really good...and you write funny things and draw funny things. Again, I can't wait to see you hit the big time in trade books....