Books: Queens, Exotic Northern Lands and A Pug Named Pru
I thought my readers might like to peek inside my writing/painting studio to see what I’m up to this month. The thing about being an author/artist is that it sometimes appears to the world that we do nothing all day. It’s not until the project is finished and we suddenly have something to show for the hours locked away creating, that others get that we work. Throughout November I’ve been working on three projects. I’ve been editing my second adult/young adult novel Naked Under the Midnight Sun, until my editor sends me her first draft of editing suggestion for Queen of the Godforsaken (2015, Thistledown Press); at that time, Naked…will be put aside for a month or two. In addition, l’ve been painting a digital oil series for my first picture book A pug Named Pru. I wrote the book a long time ago (about a decade ago), knowing picture books are very hard to market. So, once the text was completed, I put A Pug Named Pru aside and concentrated on marketing my manuscripts that are considered to be more popular areas of fiction. At the moment, Young Adult (YA) fiction is the hottest market. It seems to attract both adult and teen readers and thus, many books are being marketed as YA that in the past would have been marketed as adult fiction.
Painting: 70s Vibe
I find that if I don’t paint for a month or so, I have to relearn many of the fiddly techniques on Corel Digital Painter (it’s a very detailed program to work—endless creative options and I learn several new things about it each time I paint). Thus, to solve this problem, I now paint every single day for at least an hour and then move onto writing for the remainder of the day. This way, I stay on top of digital painting while at the same time, work on my latest writing project.
I just finished the first Pru illustration. I have a standard for my pug paintings: I must desire to pluck the pug from the painting and kiss its soft head. If the pug does not move me, the painting needs more work.
I set the story in the 1970s because I love the geometric patterns, florals and colour palette from the 70s; oranges, yellows, pinks, browns and greens are featured prominently in my illustrations. The art and design from the 70s evokes happiness to me. I find it’s important to do work that makes my heart sing, otherwise I lose interest.
I had much fun creating the 70s pattern on the teacup above. Pru is a favourite character of mine. She has the indomitable pug spirit and is a force to be reckoned with! A Pug Named Pru will delight young and young-at-heart readers a like.*My name appears on the image only for copyright protection.