Concept to Creation: Boathouse Mouse Comes to Life!

Writing books and stories is fun. Fun to me anyway. In high school, when the teacher would hand out a blank paper and say to write something, I had a blast. I know plenty of people who think that kind of assignment is one step shy of being boiled in oil.

To be fair, there are certain parts of the process that are … less fun. Less, as in, sometimes I pull my hair out trying to remember that perfect rewrite of an unsatisfactory passage that came to me in the shower. But in all, it is a wonderful process.

Writing a children's book has been doubly fun. Because now I have the second pleasure of watching as the artist breathes visual life into my characters. For The Adventures of Boathouse Mouse, I had a vision in my head which I could barely sketch. And Shawna, the artist, has taken my pathetic attempt at illustration and created something amazing.

Lest you think I am being self deprecating, or exercising false modesty, I have included my concept drawing for the cover and overlaid a sample of Shawna's final drawing which is currently in process. The cover concept has morphed a bit, but her picture has taken on a life of its own.

I love it! I love all of the illustrations so far! I don't often feel like a kid, but this has taken me there. Stay tuned for more on the subject, and be sure to stop by Shawna's website to see all of her cool stuff.

Aren't you glad Shawna is doing the art work?

The Secret Life of RV Hodge

The house lights go down and the audience's indiscernible din of chatter suddenly becomes a collective cheer.

Then, as if on cue, there is intense silence.

The anticipation is explosive.

The spots suddenly illuminate the platform and the show begins!

The crowd goes wild! The noise is deafening!

Are we at a rock concert?

No! It is so much better than that! It's a collaborative duet!

The two performers yank the veil, revealing the book cover.

Shawna and RV play the audience like a reunion of ageless rock stars …

The Real Life of RV Hodge

I am excited to reveal the the delightful collaborative work of myself and the very talented Shawna Apps! Here is a sneak preview of the cover of the first book in a series of children's stories!

I hope you all love it and will share this with your friends who have children or grandchildren. Please stay tuned for more announcements.

Be sure to check out Shawna's other work as well.

Children's Series ... Book 2

Today I have officially finished Book 2 in the series of children's books I am writing.

Finished means different things to different people. To some, it may indicate ultimate finality. To me, in this case, it is more like a major milestone. Finished means the fun part of writing the story is completed and the first round of mop up edits have been accomplished. Now the real nitty-gritty of editing is ready to begin.

This is when my copy editor, who happens to be my wife, sharpens her nasty red pencil and lacerates my masterpiece. I am being metaphorical, of course, we do all of that on the computer now. This is when I discover I have read a comma as a period many times in a row. This is when I, once again, learn the misplacement of words such as that for than are invisible to the spell checker. Finding incomplete sentences. And this is when I make the frustrating discovery that a brilliant rewrite of a favorite passage has somehow vaporized. Most likely that happened when I hit a wrong button somewhere along the line.

But I digress. I really do love every part of the writing process. And I am totally loving the illustrations that Shawna is making. There will be a public display soon, I'm sure. I do hope each of you is following her blog or facebook page.                                         

P.S. If the incomplete sentence in this missive was like a fork between your teeth, congratulations.

Back to the Drawing Board

That title may sound like I have given up on something vital. No, I have not. That is actually a name.

What kind of parents, you may ask yourself, would name their child "Back to the Drawing Board?" Ahh, now we are getting somewhere. That is the name of the business owned by Shawna Apps! Shawna is the very talented artist with whom I am collaborating. She will be the illustrator of my children's books.

Yes, you read that correctly, it was plural books. There will be more than one. Book two is in the works already.

Sample patches. The process is very cool!

Sample patches. The process is very cool!

So what's with the picture? Is it test patches? It is indeed test patches, and I invite you to check out Shawna's work and keep up with our progress on the books. The picture should link you to the Facebook page. Be sure to Like the page, I'm sure you will not be disappointed.

Stay tuned! This is going to be good!