Tuesday, July 30, 2013

From Idea to Publication!

An interview I'm working on inquires about my children's book process.
Great idea!  I hope sharing a post about my Away We Go! book journey 
will be helpful for inspiring authors and illustrators, and fun for everyone. 

Many of my ideas stem from restless sleep.  
Instead of counting sheep, I'm thinking of new concepts.
The idea of die-cut shapes working into transportation vehicles 
transpired from my original idea, of shapes and animals.

I start off by sketching and brainstorming in my sketchbook.
I don't think my drawings and writing are comprehensible to anyone but me.
Yes, I'm a very messy thinker.

This sketch illustrates my efforts to work the die-cut layers into 
each spread, so they fit together nicely.  The die-cuts make this a novelty book,
and the most challenging process of the book format.

Once I start working on a project, I'm always thinking:
in restaurants, waiting rooms, and in the car at the school pick-up line.
When my sketchbook is not handy, I'll draw on any piece of paper.

After fleshing out the design, and feeling really good about it;
I'll create artwork and put together a dummy, complete with die-cuts, 
cut tediously by hand.  Artwork for Away We Go! was created 
on the computer, in Adobe Illustrator.

Upon completion (a big YAY! moment), I make a video of the dummy 
with page turns, and demonstrate each spread and die-cut feature.
I upload the video and submit a link along with my proposal for publishers,
and hope with fingers crossed, for the best!

Away We Go! was acquired by Scholastic, roughly 8 months
after submission, and published approximately two years later. :)
And the fun starts all over again, with my next restless night!  LOL

Friday, July 26, 2013

This Made My Day!

I am touched to receive these pictures from Life Connection Mission,
a Christian non-profit organization serving the poorest children
in the Western Hemisphere.  My book donation is such a teeny-tiny gesture 
compared to the amazing people in this organization, who pour their 
hearts, efforts, and kindness into this wonderful cause.

How adorable are these children?!  :)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Fun "Meet & Greet"

I was invited by OCA - Asian Pacific American Advocates to participate
in a writer's "meet and greet", at their National Convention in 
Washington, DC this weekend.  Yes, I'm slowly venturing out of my 
"mommy world" a bit more, and enjoyed meeting some fun personalities!

Frances Park, Ginger Park, Dr. Wah Sang Lee - Unsung Hero

Sisters and authors Frances and Ginger Park are really sweet, pun intended.
In addition to writing books, they are owners of Chocolate Chocolate,
a shop in Washington, DC that I must make a point of visiting.

Author Frances Park, Stan Lou - VP Education and Culture of OCA

Author Martin Gold - Forbidden Citizens

Honoree, Author and Talk Show Host Ginny Gong

Hung Nguyen - Candidate for VA House of Delegates

Vicky Wong - President of DAE Advertising 

It was a lovely afternoon, followed by dinner and movie with my girls.
A perfect way to end the day!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Summer Treat - Rainbow Jello!

I hope you are having a fun summer!
My girls are really getting into the summer groove, and all this laid back fun
reminds me that I need to start making some of their favorite treats.
I began making rainbow jello when my debut book was published,
Since then, this colorful, jiggly dessert has been a favorite.
We also make it for school bake sales, and it's always the first
to go.  The recipe is easy to make.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

I'm surprising my girls with baskets of strawberry dipped chocolates.
Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Operation Shower - Happy 4th of July!

I'm very excited to ship this Away We Go! diaper cake and signed books
to Operation Shower, a non-profit organization with a mission of providing joyful 
baby showers for military families to ease the stress of deployment. 

This is my second time making a diaper cake, 
but my first time making a five-tier cake.  I'm going to shrink-wrap 
this fragile baby, and let's hope it arrives in one piece.

Have a great 4th of July everyone!