Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sometimes things take a long time.

It has been a long while since anything has been done to Starlight. Sometimes books are like this. James has been busy with his new Katie book for Orchard, meeting his deadline and producing wonderful work.
"Ella Bella Ballerina" is almost due for publication and I can't wait to see it.

I have been busy finishing Singing to the Sun, missing the deadline for the book by two and a half years, but falling more in love with the story than ever. It was hard work, some of the paintings had to be done at least twice and then there was the painting of the three girls that almost broke me!

And in the meantime our book "Can You See a Little Bear?" has been made into a little jewel of a board book that is just right! It should be published by December, which seems so late for a book that is so very obviously a stocking filler, but the vagueries of marketing in publishing defeat my intelligence. It has also been picked for Bookstart, the second time as it was chosen before in the paperback version. This time they have taken 100 000 copies, which is wonderful.
Snow Leopard is out and prowling and already up for an award in France. I have learned a thing or two about how to get past the slush pile and have manuscripts read by publishers and am hoping to have a contract for my first novel soon. Hoping, hoping.
And Barefoot are still waiting for a sample from me to prove that I can paint the book, the first two having been rejected. I feel dejected and lacking in enthusiasm for illustration. It could be the time of the year. It could be that after 20 years in publishing it would be nice to just get a contract and do the work without having to constantly prove myself. Neither James nor myself have had a contract for the book yet.
It could just be that I feel that I am at a crossroads in my career. I am waiting. I have no ideas or images in my head, either for "Starlight" or for "Tell Me a Dragon", the other book I should be working on. Occasionally an image comes to mind, but mostly I feel empty.


Mary said...

Jackie I love that painting of the girl asleep on the bear, I've written a story about a princess called Nancy who is lonely and rescues a hare from a trap but has to give away her long beautiful hare to a witch to win the hares and her own safty. Was inspired by all your paintings, might illustrate some of it soon. You really have been an inspiration, thank you, might write Nancy and her hare a sequel in which they can befriend a bear. If i'm ever a famous or at least a published author, i'll have to get you to illustrate the stories, I have a feeling you'd do the story better justice than me.

Bad Faery said...

Your snow leopard illustrations are beautiful.
As is so much of your work! I especially like the WIP on your website of the girl with the dreaming bear - the hares are wonderful!

June said...

I am amazed that you still need to prove you can paint the illustrations for a book! Your past artwork should be all the proof anyone in Publishing needs.
Though of course, it is 'an illustrator's lot' to have doubts about their own work... it goes with the job.
Lovely images Jackie.

Irish Sallygardens said...

I love the woman asleep with the polar bear pictures. And for me, hares are magical, I love them, and your work captures them beautifully.

Not mentioned before but I'd love to be a childrens writer! One day! (probably like everyone else)

Kim said...

Hi Jackie. Just thought I'd mention that I bought 'Can you see a Little Bear' when I was shopping a couple of days ago. It's just sooo beautiful and will have a special place in my book case.

Kim x