Yesterday, I resumed work on Ron, a picture book to publish with D. It's hard to believe, but I originally began working on this book in late 2005. Things didn't go as planned.
I signed on to illustrate the book in the fall of 2005. About that same time, I also signed on to illustrate Zoom, a pop-up picture book with HC.
Zoom was supposed to be one of those in-and-out books, completed inside a month or two. Originally, they had requested a few car and truck icons that I had already created and was licensing to product manufacturers. It was a matter of creating a few more icons. I planned to whip this book out before beginning art on Ron. Instead, editors put Zoom on hold until late summer, almost eight months after the art was originally due.
I didn't worry. I moved on to Ron. I figured, when my Zoom editors were ready, I'd work both books at once. But then Ron was put on hold, too. I spent the first eight months of 2006 waiting. I wasn't able to work on either book, so I spent my extra time creating more icons to license, writing, taking a writing course, reading manuscripts from my critique group (of one, plus myself, at the time).
By the end of the summer, I was in a panic. Both books were to be completely finished by the end of the year, 2006, and I hadn't heard anything from either publisher. Top it off, I was scheduled to begin my next book, Enkelin, by December 2006. Houston, we got a problem.
I got the call to resume work on Zoom first. Found out that they had went through several paper engineers and was still waiting on a working dummy, but they were ready for me to resume. 8 months was just enough time for the scope and direction of the book to change. Zoom was no longer a simple in-and-out project. It became a second career.
Soon after getting the call to begin work on Zoom, I received the call to resume work on Ron. I went from having 10 months to complete this book to having about a month, start to finish. That wasn't gonna happen; I'm an artist, not a magician. I need at least a month, or two, to fully sketch an entire book, and I prefer 4 to 6 months to paint it, though, typically, I've been lucky to have 3 months.
Thankfully, my Ron editor was understanding when I told him that I wouldn't be able to begin illustrations for Ron until July, 2007.
It's July, 2007!
Yesterday, I re-read the manuscript. Looked over my original thumbnail sketches. Found a kid to model as Ron, a kid from church. I'm ready to begin. Ron will publish in 2008, near the end of the year. Zoom will publish in the fall of 2008. Enkelin, which I thought was scheduled for a spring 2008 release, is scheduled for release in October 2007, three months from now.