Have you worked with an illustrator yet? Here are 12 Tips

Working successfully with an illustrator   I have used several artists, depending upon the project.  I have had wonderful response from my illustrators (free-lance) and as a team we get the job done!
David White has done several covers for me, most prominent and recent the newest in the World of Murder series.

The illustrator for my children’s books is brilliant in a different way.  He reads the story as I write it with clear instructions (from me) on where I want the illustrations placed in my story book.  Then he creates all these different perspectives that I would never have dreamed about.  They are truly wonderful.

So I thought I would share these tips, with you, about working with another artist.  Hopefully they are helpful as you work with your ‘image-maker’.

Tip #1:  Be patient.

Tip #2: They are artists, much like you, so they are sensitive about their art.

Tip #3:  Don’t push them; they have a time-table that might not be yours.  I do state my time-table in the beginning of a project and get some assurance that they will try to meet it.

Tip #4: Be patient.

Tip #5: Be certain that you give them at least two credits in your publication, book or script. I routinely credit them on the back (exterior) cover and on one of the first pages in the book.

Tip #6:  Pay them the most that you can budget.  Remember the old adage: ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’.

Tip #7:  Because I am on a budget; I state my rates (per size of image) right up front.  Be honest.

Tip #8: Be patient.

Tip #9:  Don’t be afraid to use students at an art school.  I have used them (or graduates) from the Savannah College of Art and Design.  They are fresh, have the newest technology, and are the most excited by the project.  Do I occasionally meet a ‘prima dona’?  Who, without any work history, without any credits of any kind, without any life experience, behaves as if they work for a big city design firm, expecting top dollar and……. are confused when you don’t see it that way. (sigh) Yes,  I have!

Tip #10: Try to be as clear as you can on what you want in the image.  Don’t be afraid to tweak the work as you and your illustrator work together.  My illustrators appreciate the second set of eyes.Journal for Creative Writers

Tip #11: Pay the illustrator promptly.  As I have my illustrator working as I write; when I receive final images I pay him as we go along.  I don’t make them wait until the project is finished to be paid.

Tip #12: Be patient.

E. Van Johnson will be our January author!

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Cheets, the Effervescent Elf

I haven’t talked about Cheets, the lovable elf for some time and less about the book I wrote just for him.

Cheets was the first character to hop into my brain one morning at 3AM.  By the time I had stumbled to my computer he had introduced me to several other of his friends in the fabled forest.   I began the series with Emma’s quest to help an enchanted unicorn, Rainey. After the ‘Exciting Exploits of….’, Stanley,  the Stalwart Dragon ran away from home and, lost, ended up in my forest.  The fourth book, ‘Bertie, the Bookworm….’ is the story of the reading group being plagued by BULLIES.

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“The Exciting Exploits of an Effervescent Elf”, with beautiful full color illustrations. Available here, www.amazon.com and your local book store.

In this stand alone sequel to Emma and the Lost Unicorn, Emma is held captive in Patsy, the Banana Spider’s web. Continue reading “Cheets, the Effervescent Elf”

A writer’s gratitude

books, authors, book stores, women writers,Last Saturday was my book signing at the iconic book store, E. Shaver’s Book Sellers. (shaversbooks.com) What a special day!  The staff at Shaver’s made me feel so welcome.  They had a nice spot all set up where the first thing the customer saw when they walked in was my table displaying my books.

The store is a collection of cozy little rooms filled to the rafters with BOOKS!  Old, original hardwood floors that creak when stepped upon.  And outside the occasional clip-clop of horses’ hooves as carriages drove by the front door. I wouldn’t have been half surprised if Charles Dickens and his good friend, Edgar Allan Poe had walked in.

Both  my illustrators stopped by to show support. Lori Smaltz, the photographer, was there with her gorgeous coffee table book of celebrated cemeteries of Savannah (Bone Garden Enchantment).  She has done most of my photo-collage covers for my books.   Jefferson O’Neal, a wonderful artist and the illustrator for all of my children’s books, stayed and signed kiddie books with me.

During the three hour event we enjoyed meeting new people; tourists dropping in, regular customers that shop at Shavers all the time, and a few of my personal friends.  I met a lady from Sri Lanka, in remission with stage four cancer.  What a beautiful spirit she had…her outlook was so loving and positive.  Then there was Celia (a realtor with Sotheby’s) who marched in, came straight to my table and ‘browsed’ my books.  She quickly picked out two; one for her granddaughter, Mimi, and my novel for herself.  The staff told me later that she supports whatever is going on at Shaver’s and is very generous.  What a nice lady!   My hair stylist came by with her son, Cameron, (a sweetie) and they bought all of my children’s books.  Thanks! Andrea!

And then there were the four-legged shoppers!  E. Shaver’s is pet friendly and in they paraded, knowing they would be welcomed. A beautiful springer spaniel with the sweetest face.  An Airedale with a harness that said, ‘service dog’.  But you could hardly take him seriously with his one cocked up ear; making him look like he was always asking you a question.  It was a hoot!  And then little ‘Evie’, a mutt with chihuahua, wire-haired terrier and probably six other ingredients; Evie is a bounding, jumping, bundle of pure joy!

The funny, human observation that I made was that some customers would NOT look at me.  As if they thought,  “Oh no. If I look at her, I’ll have to buy something!”  Very funny,  but that’s just me and my weird sense of humor.  I was just so grateful to the owner and staff at Shaver’s Booksellers.  They have taken me in, supported my work and are willing to share their limited shelf space with my books!  I am blowing them kisses!blowing kisses, grateful, women writers, book stores

Who, What Inspires your Writing? (part 2)

chilren's theatre, children's plays, fairy tales, inspiration, actors    You find inspiration in the strangest places.   I was dedicated to writing scripts for the stage.   A few years back, I attended this production of my children’s play, Emma and the Lost Unicorn, outside of Boston .

After the actors had their curtain calls, the Director told them that if they changed out of their costumes and did their assigned tasks back stage, they could ‘have some time with  Trisha’.

So I found myself holding impromptu stage craft classes with these adorable young actors (age 5–18).  I was struck how serious they were about their craft.  Their questions were very sophisticated.  And then it happened……the inspiration to dare to write something completely out of my comfort zone…..a book.

The  youngest ones begged me to write the stories from my scripts in storybook form.  They wanted to have Emma, Stare, Cheets, and Stanley in their personal libraries.  Three children’s books and one novel later I have found a new outlet for my story telling.  These children, who knew no fear, gave me enough courage to try chapter books, poetry, and a novel. Experimental at times, risky at times, scary, but so rewarding.   So step out of your comfort zone and try writing in a different format… it’s very liberating and you might surprise yourself.  I did!children's theatre, plays for kids, writing, stage plays,

New Web Site Launched for Writer!

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Announcing the LAUNCH of my new and improved web site. A new and interactive look with an easy to use on-line store!  You can buy my scripts, fiction, children’s plays and books, and my poetry.

Please leave a comment and let me know how you like my new look!


Best regards,  Trish


PS: My web designer and consultant is: Leon Adato,AdatoSystems