Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Never mind

The dream is over. My workplace was glamorous for about a week and a half- Jezebel James has been cancelled. Read all about the sad news here.

I guess I'm happy now that Parker Posey's career at HarperCollins is so different from my own...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Fiction Vs. Fact

I don't know about you, but around the office we've been prett-ty excited about a new television programme, The Return of Jezebel James. The show stars Parker Posey as... An editor at HarperCollins Children's Books! It's pretty funny to have a show set EXACTLY where you work. Now, I should mention I have yet to see the show, but looking it up online it's funny to see how Parker Posey's career at HarperCollins differs from mine.

Parker Posey's office:

My "office":

Admittedly, I am not all that high up on the HarperCollins totem pole, and many of the higher-level editors have nice offices and "windows" and whatnot. Still.

Ok- moving on- I can only assume that this is Parker Posey's fab apartment:

...on an editor's salary- Ok, ok.

Now here is an ACTUAL PHOTOGRAPH, I swear, of a sign in the lobby of my apartment building:

This is not a sign from the bus terminal, or outside of a rough-and-tumble bar- it's the building I LIVE in. Ah, this sign always gives me a great chuckle, and is a favorite stop on the "tour of the neighborhood" for visitors to our home. (the "Learn gramer!" admonishment is a new addition).

Ok, and just 2 other things I found funny on the Jezebel James/Fox website:

Uh, oh- looks like maybe a wacky author and/or illustrator comes to visit!


I gotta start charging when I let my friends up to use the bathroom or store their luggage in my "office" for the day!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I do love CBIG!

I have written before about the illlustrator group I belong to, CBIG, , of which I am co-president (self-important sniff). Actually, that phrase, "self-important sniff", is something I learned from my boss, which is fitting because he was the speaker at our meeting on Sunday!

(imagine a picture of Paul here- I can't find my little camera-transfer thingy at the moment. Picture long flowing locks and a winning smile).

Paul Zakris is the art director for Greenwillow Books. It was a very informative meeting- even for me, who works with the guy every day! He talked about some important issues, including:

* Don't oversaturate the market with your work (2-3 books per year, max) (Check! Not a problem for me)

* If you're an illustrator, consider the possibility of becoming an author-illustrator.

* Agents: could be friend, could be foe. Choose wisely.

* Work in a size proportional to the trim size of the book.

After about an hour or so of talking, we take a little snack break (I made my famous Banana Pudding for the occasion of Paul's visit). Then, we drew names out of a hat & Paul reviewed 5 member portfolios. Which could be a little stressful, since the review is done in front of the entire group, but it's generally a good learning experience all 'round.

This group in particular has been instrumental in getting my book published. About, oh, a year and a half ago my name was chosen out of the hat to show my work to an editor from Publisher A. She asked me to send her my dummy, and over the course of 6 or 7 months we communicated back & forth, and I did a round or 2 of revisions. Although Publisher A did not end up aquiring my book, I am very grateful for this editor's help, as my project was the stronger for it. Not long after, I met another editor at another meeting, . She also asked me to send her my dummy- and the rest is history. Point is: I love this group for the opportunity to meet editors & art directors face-to-face. I've found it extremely helpful.

So, any New York-based illustrators out there- Please come & join us!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

This has to something to do with kids' books, I promise!

So, I became a little obsessed with the sport of Roller Derby some time ago, when I read this YA novel:

My fiance then fed my addiction by giving me this book for Christmas (which I've read about 3 times since then):

So, I was of course very excited to attend a screening last night ("attending a screening" sounds much more impressive than "going to a movie", doesn't it?) of the documentary "Hell on Wheels", complete with Q&A with the filmmakers and the Gotham Girls Roller Derby members. Pretty awesome. Anyway, I do plan on making this dream a reality... Look, I've got the skates already:

I just need the time to start practicing (in other words, June, when Bea is finished). In the meantime, I've been entertaining myself by trying to come up with kids book-related derby names! Here are the ones I've come up with:

#1: J.K. Brawling

or alternatively: J.K. Rolling (although, I prefer the fighter aspect of the first, I think)

#2: Margaret Wiseacre Brawn (but a bit too long, and a bit of a stretch)

#3: Georgia O'Teeth (I'd also be willing to go the artist route- although this name doesn't actually make any sense. It just tickles me somehow).

Any other suggestions?!??

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Happy Days in the Studio

...and I don't mean that The Fonz is now preparing my paper! No, I'm happy for 2 reasons (at least, the 2 I will illuminate here)-

Number 1:

Today is the official release date of The Gollywhopper Games! Congratulations, Jody! Sure, it's not exactly my book, but it's fun to see my illustrations (and, ok, my name) in print.

And reason number 2: I recently bought all of my paper for Bea Rocks the Flock. Ok, it's kinda nerdalicious, but I like to hold all of this blank paper in my hand and know that in a few months' time, it will contain all of the artwork for my book. I also like to hold all of this paper & think, "This is 90 dollars worth of paper in my hand!" That amount of money could buy me a lot of Bit O'Honey.