Friday, October 7, 2011

Shhhhh...... PB PROJECT X

In this crazy world where picture books are often unappreciated, floating around in a dismal market of suspicious, pessimistic buyers, an author must get a little creative in shopping new manuscripts to editors.

And so…I have been working on an underground scheme to construct a picture book that is hopefully different, innovative, and, well, fun.

I am breaking the rules with this book. At least you could say I’m breaking away from my own tendencies and testing new waters. For the purposes of this blog, I will call this undertaking….drumroll please… PB PROJECT X.

PB PROJECT X will not rhyme, as my other books do. Nothing wrong with rhyme, but I’m throwing away my comfortable and worn old slippers. The text is sparse. The illustration notes are complex. Sigh. It’s cold, standing on the tile barefoot. But it’s a little exhilarating, too.

PB PROJECT X has a strange layout. I’ve written the manuscript in table format like a flattened-out rubix cube. And this time I’ve approached an illustrator first. Yes, did you read that right? I PICKED AN ILLUSTRATOR MYSELF—which is about as rebellious as a picture book author can be, considering my last name isn’t Berenstein or Beuhner. I’m not married to my illustrator, and I’ve never been allowed much say in the choice of an illustrator before. I know, I know, I’m a rebel. I’ve told all my students never to do this. Let the publisher pick the illustrator, I’ve said. But I decided to collaborate so that I can properly demonstrate how this unusual creature-of-a-book will function. My secret and highly-skilled illustrator, no stranger to the picture book world, is already on board and PB PROJECT X is secretly underway.

Stay tuned. On Tuesday I will see the first thumbnails of the book and a dummy to show the page turns. Plus a finished spread. This is as exciting as cutting class in high school with a bunch of friends. Perhaps my rule-breaking will not result in success, but in the moment I don’t care. I’m willing to ride this and see where it goes. My hope is that PB PROJECT X will eventually find an editor who sees some potential in it.

I'll let you know what happens...the good, the bad, the exciting, or even the horribly disappointing.

Taking risks. Breaking rules. Cold toes.

More to follow.

2 comments:

Will Strong said...

I am intrigued. I can't wait to hear more about this mystery project.

gaylene said...

how exciting! good luck, I can't wait to hear what happens with it. it seems like an excellent time to take a chance, with all the changes going on in publishing!