Here we go. First post. Lots of pressure.
I've never been a blogger. I had a section on my website for blog posts and "news" - as one does - and I never really knew what to put there. Never thought I had enough to say. Enough interesting things happening to offer any kind of updates. Because the truth is, the publishing life is slooooooooooow. At least in my experience. Things move at such a glacial pace - it's normal for me to wait three to four months before hearing from an editor or agent on an active project. Normal to wait years between paychecks. And with timelines moving right in line with the rock cycle, I didn't think I could fill the time between with enough "news worthy" posts. So I just didn't.
And then, when Covid hit and like many of us, I was stuck spending so much time indoors, I started drawing more. Out of sheer boredom about a year before, I had made an Instagram account to post my doodles. It was just an experiment, just something fun to do and to push myself to grow and improve as an illustrator. And in the lockdown days, I started posting regularly. I never imagined I'd learn so much about illustrating and meet so many amazing artists. Never imagined my account would be of interest to anyone, and lo and behold, a little following of artists began to grow. I loved the community and the discussions and the friendships and the work. I was posting regularly and excited to read the comments, and I was even being commissioned for picture books and gift pieces.
But while my drawing life was busy, my writing Instagram was crickets. Because just like my website, I had no idea what counted as a worthy post in the writing world. What was "news." And the truth that my drawing life taught me was - it's all news! Any part of the process is worth sharing, not just the finished work. Yes, books take years to create - but those years are incredibly busy with plot holes and edits and writer's block, and mood boards and brainstorming and imposter syndrome and drama drama drama. How we navigate that, how we push through the blocks, that's worth sharing. Every artist, every writer has a different, unique process. And each one is fascinating and messy and complicated. So I wanted to share the process side of my writing just as I did with my drawing on Instagram.
Because really, they are the same thing. To me, they are both ways of telling stories.
Late 2021 I decided to go for it and write the graphic novels I always wanted to make. I decided to create a newsletter to create a space where I didn't have to feel like I had to be one thing - a place to combine my writing and my drawing as an Authorstrator! A place to help me stay motivated, and to share my process in hopes of building a community of writers and artists who can support and challenge each other. And yes, maybe make a little tiny bit of money while I’m at it (you've seen the price of gas).
So that's what I'm gonna do. I'm not totally sure how it's all going to work - this newsletter, like the books, is a work in progress! But I'm excited to find out. And I hope you are too.
By being a subscriber, you can expect every other week a blog post about writing, drawing and publishing in general, peeks at the projects I am working on, and a doodle/illustration of the week. If you are feeling oh so kind and generous, you might consider becoming a paid subscriber and for $5/month you can expect all the regular subscription content plus, once a month, a Behind-the-scenes look at what’s happening on my desk (its a spectacular mess of art supplies and stationery), exclusive fiction excerpts, and art process videos!
For all you Paid subscribers, watch your inbox for all your exclusive goodies coming next week!
Mermaids ARE real. You will never convince me otherwise. (Speaking of mermaids - Reading recommendation: Mira Grant’s Into the Drowning Deep)
What I'm Working On
The last year (or two? I've lost all track of time) I've been working on writing the sequel to my middle grade fantasy, The Bear House.
At last, my publisher sent me the ARCs (advance readers copies)! Its almost a real book! The Bear House: Scales & Stardust comes out October 25, 2022 - and oh yeah, you can preorder!
Other than that I am busy working on my graphic novel! If you follow my drawing account on Instagram, you might have seen some glimpses of it. I'm finished drawing the sample pages for now, and am deep in the writing process, furiously typing out the whole script before summer's over!
What are you working on? Share your WIPs and goals with a comment!
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Woohoo!!! You did! The first post is out and I loved reading the behind the scenes on how the snowball got rolling to where you are now! I love to see the process of things from start to finish, and everything in between! So I'm here for it!! Great job my friend!!
Thank you so much for sharing your writing journey! Like you said, just learning about how other writers approach the writing process is helpful and interesting.
In 2020 or 2021, I also thought about starting an author newsletter. I completed a newsletter course online and did a short survey on Instagram as part of my research. I thought about the sections I will put in the newsletter. Seeing you launch your newsletter reminds me of that - see how inspiring you are! The writing community is powerful.
Your ARC looks beautiful! I really enjoyed reading The Bear House and want to finish it before I read the sequel. Is it a secret how many books are in the series? How did you get the idea for the book? (Fodder for a future newsletter? As well as the querying process? ;))
Congratulations on your newsletter :D