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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Where will your writing take you?

Billie Holiday, jazz, stage play, one act play,              I was going through some old photos to update my gallery here on my site and I came across this wonderful production shot of Latrelle Bright, as Billie Holiday.  The Renaissance Guild in San Antonio, Texas featured “Scent of Magnolia” in their OneAct Series back in…..gosh, I want to say 2003.  Originally I was the playwright, Latrelle was directing it and we had an actress who could sing.  We lost our actress so Latrelle (an accomplished actor) stepped in as Billie Holiday and I stepped up as director.  Happy Accident time!  She was fabulous!  Sang all of Billie’s songs acappella. Who knew she had such a lovely voice?  Standing “O’s” every performance with lots of tears from the audience. (A writer’s dream)

Latrelle is now a happy resident of Chicago (where it all started for me with this script; funny how that worked out) and is pursuing her teaching career in the performing arts.

What a journey Billie and I have had.  Originally I wrote this stage play for a friend Continue reading “Where will your writing take you?”

Writers need a break too….be certain to re-charge!

I had almost forgotten how to take a break. Spoil myself, sleep in late, eat ice cream, read some fiction over a cup of tea.

It’s been a very busy, productive summer. Since July first,  I’ve published twenty-one of the “Shortn’Small” series of short play scripts. Finished writing “Bertie, the Bookworm and the Bully Boys” and released my second book of poetry entitled “The World of Haiku”. Just released is my newest book, “Monologues 4 Women”, something I have wanted to write for a while now.

writers, bloggers, blog, creative spirit,      But now with the successful completion of “Monologues…” I’m  forcing (almost) myself to take
a break this week. I chose to do it at my cabin in the woods.
Fall is here and you can’t walk anywhere without the crunch of leaves under foot. There is a cheery fire in the fireplace and the feather quilt is on the bed for snuggling during night-time temperatures of 37 degrees. The Canadian geese are on the pond taking their break on the long flight to warmer climes.

The book I’ve chosen to curl up with, during my ‘pause’, is by an old friend
(or so it seems as I’ve been reading her for thirty years) Nora Roberts. It’s her latest trilogy,  Inn Boonsboro.  The thing that I love about Nora  is that she always seems to sneak in a little tidbit that only her dedicated readers would pick up on and enjoy.
In “The Last Boyfriend” the story continues as the three Montgomery brothers are putting the final touches on an old, abandoned building which they have re-purposed into the Boonsboro Inn. Each room is named for a historic, romantic couple. Nick and Nora (The Thin Man), Elizabeth and Darcy (Pride and Prejudice),  Jane and Rochester  (Jane Eyre), Westley and Buttercup (Gone with the Wind) and  Titiana and Oberon (A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

And here comes the oh-so-clever part:  The last room is named Eve and Roarke, the romantic and exciting couple from Nora’s own series,  “…….in Death” written under the pseudonym of J.D. Robb.  They’re not historic; they are iconic and they are hers!  I love clever!!

This isn’t a book review.  The point I’m making is sometimes we writers get so caught up we forget to fill our tanks, re-charge our batteries,  get centered again.  And we need to remember to do just that, give our creative spirit a little R&R.  Have you spoiled yourself lately?

“Monologues 4 Women” released!…and how they were created

monologues, contemporary and classic monologues, theatre, acting, auditioning, auditions      I am proud to announce that my new book of monologues for women has been published and is available here and on www.amazon.com.

I woke up one morning recently and thought, “I’ve got some soliloquies tucked away that would make pretty good monologues.  This book is, I think, unique because all the contemporary monologues are original.  Directors get bored and tired of the same old shoes like speeches from Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Barefoot in the Park, Streetcar Named Desire, Pygmalion, View from the Bridge and others. Make them sit up and listen when you use something they have never heard before!

And that brings me to the point that I want to share with my readers out there who are writers or want to be writers.  Previously I was talking about my digging out some old and new work and turning them into a book of monologues.  Never, never throw anything away.  Open up that dusty old box of your scribbles that you have hidden away on the top shelf of the closet.  You might be surprised what you find and how much you like it after a year, five years or ten.  “Note from a Watery Grave” which I scribbled down back in 2002?….turns out it was pretty good with some additional editing on my part.  The end result was a new book.  My motivation: as an actor, I know how hard it is to find that perfect monologue for an audition.  How difficult it is to get the director’s attention and keep it.

While compiling this book, I remembered how I would go to an audition and announce that my classical piece was going to be Anne from Richard III.  The director (or audition panel) would roll their eyes and yawn in my face.  The ‘Anne’ that they were thinking of was an old tired thing that’s been done to death, when Richard confronts Anne over the coffin.  My ‘Anne’ was a conversation that I pieced together into a soliloquy and I was certain that they had never seen.   I got the same reaction from the director every time;  they sat up and listened!  And afterwards, they laughed and told me they were expecting something else and how refreshing mine was.

A final note:  I have included not only some classics (so that your audition will show contrast in your acting ability)  but also some original monologues for the African-American actress.