You can order an advance copy of Mae and the Moon here!
I'll admit it. I am really new at this. When Dani invited me to participate as a guest blogger for the Smart Dummies challenge, a part of me was absolutely thrilled, but another part was thinking, seriously? Me? What do I know about making picture book dummies? The reality is I have made one picture book dummy that was worth sending anywhere, that wasn't just a completely incoherent mess to anyone but me in a sketchbook ( or in bits and pieces in several sketchbooks). One picture book dummy. One. But then I thought about it and realized how exceptionally hard I worked on that one picture book dummy. How I sacrificed hours of precious sleep to work on it while raising two toddlers and working an incredibly demanding day job as a visual effect artist in the film industry. In fact, that one little picture book dummy developed into a fully fledged passion and got me wholly rethinking my goals and what I want out of life.
When you think about it, these picture book dummies can be pretty powerful little things.
Amazingly, my first picture book dummy got a publisher's interest. Mae and the Moon is set to release by Ripple Grove Press September 8th, and I am ecstatic, nervous, anxious, and very excited. Once a contract was made, I did make a lot of revisions to that one picture book dummy. My original manuscript for Mae and the Moon was in prose, and my publisher wanted to get rid of the rhyme, so it was rewritten. The dummy book developed and changed. Many of the pages were scrapped and new ones created. It was an evolving project that needed molding into shape, but finally having that book in hand made it all worth it, and it was the dummy book that got me there.
The following is a list of some things that were prevalent in my mind while creating Mae and the Moon. I hope that they give you some food for thought this month as you complete the Smart Dummies challenge.
So, yes it's true that I have only made one good dummy book that I sent out to publishers, but I do have a lot of little sketchbooks that are filled with ideas and drawings and some even have storyboarded dummy book pages. They are not ready to share yet, but they are the springboard. That's where it starts. I am joining all of you on this challenge. I have a work in progress manuscript, several character sketches, line and color tests. Now it's time to really pull it all together, and get it ready to send out into the world. If you're participating in this challenge you already have the passion and the drive to move your story to the next level, so let's take the knowledge and advice from this wonderful group of guest bloggers and get to work! Good luck everyone!
Jami Gigot is the author/illustrator or Mae and the Moon (Ripple Grove Press). She has worked as a digital artist on several films including Pan, Avatar, and currently Tim Burton's Miss. Peregrine's Home for Peculiars. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and two children.