Well…how shall I start this? I’ve been sitting on this unexpected turn of events for so long, it stopped feeling real a good while ago.
Friends, I am publishing a book.
There. I wrote it. It feels a tiny bit more real.
I bet you think it’s going to be a sewing book, but nope. Even better. I am going to be writing and illustrating my very own children’s book!!!!
When I was a kid, and had to go through the usual rigmarole of answering the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Without skipping a beat, I always answered, “Fashion designer.” Then, “And a children’s book author and illustrator”. I stockpiled kids’ books even before I had K, and I would spend hours studying various illustrators’ styles. I have too many favorites to list.
In a roundabout way, all this sewing deludes me into feeling like a fashion designer and perhaps I’ll do more actual designing in the near future. But through thick and thin of all my eclectic career botches, I have always wanted to write/illustrate a kids’ book. Always. In fact, when I was going through my creative writing phase in San Francisco, I tried to pen a simple tale about a girl named Joja who traveled the world with a talking snail, flying alligator and a bald hedgehog. I’m sad to say no one was even remotely interested.
To tell you the truth, a lot of exciting projects have fallen through in the last six months, so I was nervous that this one might suffer the same fate. So I kept mum (only my family and a small number of friends were in the know), signed the book deal and waited patiently for the countersigned contract and advance check. The thing about book publishing is that everything takes a very long time. My book won’t be published until April 2015. Yes, over a year from now. Crazy.
I now have the contract and check in my hot little hands, and though I can’t go into too many details at this point (mostly because I have yet to actually create the book), I can share this: the book will be published locally and distributed through Random House. There will be ninjas and samurais and fun Japanese factoids. And it will be about a girl — a girl remarkably like K. I’m beyond honored that I get to do both the writing and illustrating. Stay tuned as I share the process with you, and yes, I will tell you how it all came to be. It happened through a series of coincidences, and it’s a pretty good story, I think.
I’m kind of reeling over here…and also, I wanted to let you know that — for the billionth time — things may get spotty on the old blog. It never seems to happen, but just to give you a heads up. These painted sketches? From my old Joja story that remained buried and unloved in my pile of rejected ideas. The fact that I never threw them out shows that I never gave up on my pipe dream. Either that, or I’m just a hoarder. More to come!