Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Me? Write fantasy?

I'm still trying to decide which direction to take WB, a manuscript that I wrote that involves personified animals. Anastasia Suen described my story as a 'social issues' concept book. At first, that label didn't sit well with me because of the social issue the story might be mistaken for. It was suggested that I might bump up the fantasy aspect of the story, not only to appeal to a larger audience, but to add another layer that might defray the possible social message (my perceived problem, not Anastasia's).

Problem is, I'm not a fantasy fan. I don't rush out to see the latest Star Wars, or Harry Potter movies. Although I loved the illustrations in Sweet Dreams Pie, I couldn't get my mind around the zany story, though K loved it. That said, I don't know if I could write a picture book fantasy, though, I guess WB is fantasy-like. Accidently. I can do humor, if that simply means being myself. I can do fiction, if that simply means making stuff up. But, people don't fly on magic carpets, even if those people are talking frogs, so I'm having a tough time moving my story to the realm, or should I say, surreal world of fantasy. And also, I'm not condeming the genre, picture book fantasies are needed just like picture book biographies are — there's room for all.

I'm just not confident that I could write one, since my heart isn't into it. Now, I'm not saying I won't give it a try, in fact I will. But maybe someone can suggest a few picture book fantasies that I could try out.

In other news: Kim Peek, one over caffeinated mom, gave THE HIDDEN FEAST a very nice review over at YA Books Central. Thanks Kim!

Also: Kim was kind enough to syndicate Rants and Raves over at LiveJournal. Thanks again!


rindambyers said...

Don, these are heavyweights, but since I always try to study and learn from only the best--helps make life a bit less confusing with so many books out there.....I've chosen ones with humor and folks who've really mastered the form:

Maurice Sendak, William Steig, Rosemary Wells, Dr. Seuss, Beatrix Potter. Chris Van Allen. Doreen Cronin.

Not everything these folks did is perfect, but if you put time into studying and restudying the very best work of masters like these, you won't be going wrong any time soon. I can't emphasize it enough. The next best thing to actually taking a class from any one of these masters is get in that library and study their work intensely. You'll be richly rewarded, I am certain, for so doing

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

A few favorite fantasy pbs:
THE ALLEY CAT'S MEOW by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by Jon Goodell (Harcourt, 2002);
ALTOONA BABOONA by Janie Bynum (Harcourt, 1999);
BENTLY & EGG by William Joyce (HarperCollins, 1992);
CHANCE by Dian Curtis Regan, illustrated by Dee Huxley (Philomel, 2003);
CLICK, CLACK, MOO: COWS THAT TYPE by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin (Simon & Schuster, 2000);
HENRY AND THE BUCCANEER BUNNIES by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by John Manders (Candlewick, 2005);
PRINCESS SMARTYPANTS by Babette Cole (Putnam, 1986);
TESSA'S TIP-TAPPING TOES by Carolyn Crimi, illustrated by Marsha Gray Carrington (Orchard Books, 2002);
WESLANDIA by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (Candlewick, 1999).

rindamybyers said...

Don, Chris Van Allsburg, sorry for the typo. The Polar Express. Again, look for the masters who have survived the tests of time and long-term appeal and evaluate for yourself carefully why they have succeeded so well, financially and otherwise, as far as learning superb technique. Like painting students do. They study the masters.

Anastasia said...

my heart isn't into it

Maybe the label is the problem...what if I said TALL TALE instead? Look at Helen Ketteman's books.

Don Tate II said...

It's funny how labels can change things. I can write a tall tale!

Thanks, Rinda, Cyn, Anastasia.