Revision Process

After I sold my book to Viking, I was fortunate enough to work with a brilliant editor and art director. Here is an example of how the opening spread of Puzzled by Pink changed throughout the revision process .....

This was the opening spread as it appeared in the first dummy that I sent to Viking. This is the main character Izzy who is standing outside of her house talking about her sister's birthday party.

My art director suggested that it would tell more of a story to have Izzy standing in the room that she shares with her sister so that you could get a sense of the story and the sisters' differences visuallyfrom the very beginning. So I redrew it ...

Much better, yes?

Then, my art director called and said, "One of our copywriters is a musician, and we were discussing the violin under the bed in the background."

I replied, "Oh dear. I've drawn it wrong, haven't I?"

"Oh no," she said. "We were just thinking that with Izzy's quirky, offbeat personality, she wouldn't play a sweet instrument like the violin. Maybe she'd be more likely to play something like the cello or the tuba."

So I changed the instrument to a cello . . . Keep in mind that the instrument is never actually mentioned in the story. It simply serves as a clue to my main character's personality. This is the level of detailed attention that editors put into every element on every single page of picture books!

This is the first "final" spread that I turned in. And yes. "Final" is in quotes.

"Color! Give me more color!" was the response from my art director. I repainted the spread and Voila!

Here is the opening image of Puzzled by Pink.

So next time you flip through a picture book, really look at every detail, both in the words and illustrations, and know that a great deal of thought has gone into every one.

And for you writers and illustrators out there ... these editors and art directors really, really know what they're doing!! Their job is to make our books better, and they definitely did that with mine.

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