Sunday, November 19, 2006

My FUNKY manuscript

Yesterday, I worked up some sketches for the picture book I wrote last week. I probably won't sketch out the entire story, but I'd like to create a dummy book with a few sketches. In addition, an editor I'm illustrating for agreed to take a look.

One thing worries me: What if an editor — not particularly this editor, but any editor — likes my manuscript, but for whatever reason, feels uncomfortable with the black characters I used in the dummy? I mean, it would be one thing for someone to like my story but reject my art. It would be another thing completely if they rejected the race. And, would I even know? Would they say, or simply pass on the manuscript siting other reasons?

I've got plenty of illustration work on my plate, so I'd be open to someone else illustrating my manuscript. But would I be open to having my story published with characters of a different race? Of course I would, money's green and race doesn't play a factor in this story.

My main character, FUNKY — hows that for a code name? — is black. The story doesn't deal with black issues. Any race — Caucasian, Latino, or Asian — could easily be swapped in, and the story line wouldn't be affected at all.

Gut feelings tell me to proceed how I feel most comfortable and since this story was inspired by my son's sometimes peculiar behaviors, he'll serve as reference for my sketches.

Ran the story by author, JL. She enjoyed the humor, suggested I could even bump it up a notch.



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1 comment:

rindamybyers said...

Don, have you ever seen the work of John Steptoe?
If the story is good, the nationality and skin color of the main character is not going to matter.

I have a small story in which I have always thought of the main character as African-American, as the inspiration came from an African-American little boy in one of my classes.
Of course, I would push to have it illustrated like-wise, but the story is still universal.