Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog Tour!

The Next Big Thing Blog Tour is a global blog tour that was started in Australia to bring awareness about authors and illustrators and their current book/project. I was tagged by Wendy Martin

I'll answer some interview questions and show you some art from some of my current projects! 

1) What is the working title of your next book?
I am working on many different things right now. I am always working on some products (3 workbooks for Preschool-1st Grade) for the Learnalot's brand, by BrightStart Learning

I am also getting ready to start a great book project with Cincinnati Children's Hospital!

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?
I work for an education, mass market publisher. There are always numerous ideas being tossed around. I really never know what might be next! It's fun! I love it!!!

3) What genre does your book fall under?
Most of what I work on today is education based. Even the Cincinnati Children's Hospital books will be about educating kids and different safety lessons! 

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
If the Learnalot's ever go to an animated series, they will have to be kid actor's as voiceovers! I have already told the publisher, that after working with the 8 characters for the past 3 years, that I hear them talk all the time! I already know what they sound like! So, I will hopefully get to help cast them! Well, a person can dream, right?!

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I cannot give away the hospital book synopsis.... And the Learnalot's are all about teaching! Here's a run down!
Sofie the Elephant teaches Social Skills, Leo the Turtle teaches Science, Kit the Leopard teaches Math, Scout the Monkey teaches Health and Fitness, Piper the Parrot teaches Music, Zak the Kangaroo teaches Art and Creativity, Flora Fox teaches all about Nature and Bo the Panda loves to encourage Reading and fun with the Alphabet!

6) Who is publishing your book?
The Learnalot's are brought to you by BrightStart Learning!

7) How long did it take you to create the illustrations?
My last printed products from the Learnalot series was 8 picture featuring the characters. We started in January with writing the manuscripts and they were illustrated and ready to go to print by July. So, I really only had 4-6 months to illustrate all 8 of the books! Here are the covers! You can purchase at Sam's and Costco stores, nationwide or on Amazon!

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I cannot really answer that! These books were designed to match the other products in the brand, but to go a step further to encourage reading and still learn something new everyday!

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
HA! I don't write! But what I illustrate is inspired by everyday life and people and places I have met and been!
There is inspiration all around us, if we choose to just open our eyes!

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
The Learnalot brand is different because you are learning with specific characters. I have really worked hard to bring each of the 8 to life with a different personality so that all children can somehow relate. It becomes a more personal experience as the child learns using the workbooks, floor pads, activity cards and reading the story books!
And it must be working because the line is now being translated and produced in many countries worldwide!!!

I would like to thank Wendy for tagging me and allowing me to participate in this blog tour! 

And next I would like to introduce to you my illustrator friend, Alex Clark!
Alex is a fellow COSCBWI member and his career is just starting and seeming to take off with his recent published book,