It’s so much fun creating new books. Especially when you can relate with a character. I’ve had this privilege while writing and collaborating my first series The Terribly Terrific Tales of Terry Rogers. The funny thing about this series is that I got a lot of the ideas from high school.
I’ve been working with the talented Danko Herrera on the second book in this series, The Mystery. Danko has this amazing vision. He can take the words I write and create a world of excitement and creation behind it. It’s been such a fun experience working with him.
He brought up this idea and I loved it. I want to show you how we go about creating a book!
It basically starts with an idea. I might see something that interests me or something I find intriguing. Usually I write it down or make a note of it in my phone. I take a ton of notes. I never judge any idea (regardless if it is good or bad). At the end of the week, I usually go over all the ideas I’ve accumulated. Any of the ideas that I think have a lot of potential, I’ll move them to a file on my computer.
When I need an idea for a new project I go straight to that file. Those ideas are like a pool of valuable resources! I pick one that I think people can relate to. I like to create things that can help people. Maybe it’s just a silly story, but I’m really proud of the underlying message in these stories. It’s even more special because bits and pieces of these stories are personal to me. I feel other people can relate to these stories. I want to give people hope, strength, and courage to follow what they believe in (even when everyone else says it’s impossible).
I take this idea and craft a story around it. I add fun elements of surprise and humor. I like to create a few laughs and surprises. Sometimes I will collaborate with other members of my team about ideas. I usually want to go a million different directions but that would lead to chaos. Luckily I have some brilliant friends and colleagues that keep me on track with my ideas and stories.
When everything is in order then the story is written. And rewritten. And rewritten. This goes on for a few weeks until it’s just the way I like it.
After that it’s time to talk about illustrations! This is the fun part. This is where the magic happens. The words I write now have a face (or at least an idea of what the face might look like). This is by far the most fun part of the whole process for me.
Then I take my story and ideas and talk with an illustrator. Danko has been working very hard on The Terribly Terrific Tales of Terry Rogers. You will see that below!
First, we talk about the story and exchange ideas. He gives me his thoughts and opinions and does a few sketches to show me a visual of the action taking place.
After this we talk and collaborate some more. We discuss what is going on in the scene. To be honest, Danko offers suggestions and I listen. He has a better eye for detail and ways to express the words visually. Once we agree on the images and placement in the story, he begins to sketch more detailed illustrations and continues to refine the images.
Once all the illustrations are finalized and ready Danko moves on to the coloring stage. From my perspective I thought all you had to do was just color the images. This is not the case. It’s a fine step-by-step process.
Well.. That looks nice huh? I agree. We could just call it a day and let this be the final picture. I am grateful to be working with such an amazing illustrator that loves to go ABOVE AND BEYOND!
Who knew so much work went into one picture!? There’s so many small things that go into making a book, but it really helps when you work with talented people!
After all the illustrations are finished it’s off to “the lab” to piece it all together. This is usually the boring part, but I am always so excited to see the final product that I don’t mind having to go through this.
Once that is all done it is time to publish the book. Then you get to enjoy it!
I thought this whole process was really interesting and I just wanted to share it with you.
Oh yeah… Are you are wondering why Sara Smith is wearing glasses? You’ll just have to check out The Terribly Terrific Tales of Terry Rogers (Volume 2) “The Mystery” to find out! It will be available around the middle of April 2014.
If you haven’t read the first one The Terribly Terrific Tales of Terry Rogers “English Project” be sure to grab a copy on Amazon!