Saturday, July 07, 2007

Beginning Ron! The story behind the story

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.

Abracadabra!

2 comments:

Liz in Ink said...

Man. Abracadabra is right. Thanks for this time warp story. Makes me think things aren't so crazy in my little life...

rindawriter said...

Thanks for sharing, Don!