Friday, December 4, 2009

Fear of Page Proofs

JANICE:  I always tremble before opening a package of page proofs, occasionally for good reason. This is one of those occasions. My first glance at our first book for grownups, Honeymoon Hobos, left me shocked and dismayed. It seems that my layout of the title page was ignored. I specified a double spread with Tom's lovely pen and ink illustration of Angkor Wat to bleed off the page left and right. Instead, it is cut off at the text margin. The same happened with a double spread map of "Our Journey" around the world. Can this book be saved? I'll keep you posted.

Later in the day: YES, it can. There are two more stages of page proofs to go. The illustrations will bleed!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sophie's War cover portrait

TOM:  For us, writing and illustrating children's books is an ecstatic way of making connections in time and space — and with a face, such as my search for a young girl's face for the cover of Sophie's War, a Civil War story. It led to an album photo of Janice when she was 12 turning 13. As soon as I saw it, I knew she was my Sophie. And Janice didn't mind at all because in the writing process she became Sophie. I painted the portrait in the style of 19th century German Texan artist, Richard Petri, but I was also inspired by Jan Vermeer, 17th century Dutch painter. And speaking of space, we purchased the marbled paper that surrounds the portrait in a small shop in Venice.