My New Aussie friend Christopher Cheng, invited me to join a writing process blog tour. He is an award winning author, speaker and advocate for the International Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Chris is in Bologna, Italy at this moment, organizing and running the SCBWI Booth for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
You can see Christopher’s writing process post here.
And now for my writing process…
What am I working on now?
I am in the process of creating a story that will fit well with my cakelustrations. At this moment I am tightening up my portfolio, and then I will be putting together a manuscript that will go well with my portfolio. I’m not set on one story quite yet. I have several dancing around in my head and in my sketch book.
How does my work differ from the others in my genre?
I am focusing right now on picture books. This is where my art fits in well at the moment, and I am planning on creating stories that will accompany them. There is the fun aspect of my illustrations being made out of cake, but I don’t want my stories to only be about cake. I want my art to stand out in it’s own light outside of the fact that it is made of sugar. It would be fun to illustrate a manuscript that has a sweet element of cake in it, but that is not my goal.
That being said, my stories tend to be about situations that I can relate too and have experienced. I am influenced by the Japanese culture because of my heritage. This makes me look at everything from a different angle. There needs to be more culture in the picture books that we have today, and I hope that I can contribute to adding more to the picture book genre in some way.
Why do I write what I do?
I write because I love it! I write what I do because I want my readers to be engaged in my story. I want them to laugh and have a great time. I want them to find themselves in the books that I make. I have three children and I’ve seen how these stories have created a world outside of reality, a world where a child can disappear in for just a little while, away from the normal conflicts of everyday life. I hope to make a connection to my readers and make them lifelong book lovers.
How does my writing process work?
It starts with and idea or an experience that I have had. Usually when I have an idea, I just scribble it down in a notebook, napkin or anything that I can get my hands on. I want to get the idea down and on paper as soon as I think of it. Sometimes I write the story down and other times I loosly sketch a story board of my idea. It really just depends on how it comes to me in my head. Later, I will tighten up my story and put the words with the pictures or vise-versa. It’s fun to come up with new things. I will rewrite and revise over and over until I feel it is tight enough to show someone. I may even shelf the work for a while and come back to it later with a fresh eye. I have many different people look and critique my work until I feel like it is ready to be put into a book dummy form. I submit my story once it is in a final book dummy form.
Next Monday look for my friend’s blog post on their writing process:
Mark Mitchell is an illustrator, writer and teacher from Austin, Texas. He works mainly in watercolor and has a wonderful online class Make your Splashes – Make your Marks.
Caroline Flores is an Author/illustrator from San Antonio, Texas. Carolyn has illustrated three books for children.
Joanna Marple is a writer of picture books and contemporary YA. Joanna’s has a passion for many cultures because of her travels and experiences.