Tuesday, April 27, 2010

When Tom Is Not the Illustrator

JANICE:  How does it feel when someone not Tom is chosen to illustrate one of my books, namely Anna Maria's Gift? Heartbreaking at first and unsettling. After all, I cannot tell the illustrator what to do. But I can and did furnish research images of Venice as well as clothing and furnishings of Vivaldi's time. And I can and did make suggestions, some of which were taken, some not.

I wrote Robert Papp, the illustrator, a letter which had to go by way of the art editor. (For reasons of centralizing decisions, I did not have direct communication with him.) "Dear Robert, This is a new experience for me. No one outside my family has ever illustrated my books. but after looking at your artwork, I feel confident that it will be a good experience." My big disappointment was never getting an answer in his own words, even indirectly.

As in any production there were ups and downs, agreements and disputes, compromises and celebrations. An emotional roller coaster, but actually not so different than when Tom is the illustrator. It's just that I have direct contact and more influence with Tom. So it was frustrating at times. But in the end I fell in love with the vibrant girl on the cover. She looks just like the girl I imagined while writing the story. Tom and I have decided to adopt her!

TOM:  I appreciated the opportunity to comment on Robert's early interior sketches with my own sketches, and his response was heartwarming. And when I saw his cover illustration I was won over.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Love for Librarians

JANICE:  Librarians belong to the noblest, if not oldest, profession in the world. I know, because I am one even though not employed. But once a librarian, always a librarian.

TOM:  Librarians are and have always been the salvation of our culture. They deserve our support, including enhancing their libraries and building new ones." (I am an architect as well as illustrator!)

JANICE and TOM:  We have just returned from the Texas Library Association Conference in San Antonio where we signed I, Vivaldi and Anna Maria's Gift. Librarians pick up where writers and illustrators leave off. They connect the book to the reader, and for that we are grateful.