Saturday, May 4, 2013

Children's Book Series

I doubt many of you know, but I work as a tutor of English reading and writing part-time, and most of my students are in the Early Reader and Middle Grade age group. Today, I decided, "Why waste such a fantastic opportunity?" and asked three of my kids what they liked the read about. I figured, that way, I can get a good idea of what my readership will like in general. The most popular answers? Animals, travel, and history. Mostly animals and travel, though, which is fantastic, because that fits VERY well in with what I want to write the MG series about. Now I just have to figure out how to do it without being too similar to amazing series such as The Magic Tree House or The Travel Club. This will be the most difficult part, I think, but it will be worth it when I get a nice MG series out that helps readers learn about Inrugia and its peoples/species.

That also poses a little bit of a problem for my Early Reader series, as none of my students really wanted a picture book. They all wanted chapter books, and were excited to see what I came up with. I need to do more research (as in reading the series I mentioned before) in order to get a stronger sense of the age groups' diction. I want them to learn from it, too; life lessons and the such. I'm fairly excited about it, but need to finish Soulbound and get it to my beta readers before too long. They've been waiting quite patiently, after all!

In other news, the animation for the first trailer is coming along great! I plan to spend most of tomorrow working on it, and hopefully I'll have the animation done before too long. I have to wait for my boyfriend to come back into town before I can release it, though, as he'll play the voice of Clei. After four months in LA on business, you'd think they'd send him home. Naw--it's okay. He loves it out there. :)

I suppose that's not much of an update, but I figured I'd write something. Once I have the illustration for Soulbound that I am doing for my contest winner on my Facebook fan page, I'll post it and a description of the scene. I can't wait to get everything together and see what comes of this gigantic project! One of my favorite sections of the Website will be where I talk about Inrugia and give readers a little more info. Yes, they will get it all in the books, but I want the site to be more than just "buy my book," and I'm willing to work for it, darn it!

In the end, everyone, don't forget to enjoy each day; and if you're struggling, trust me. I've been there, and recently. Writing does not pay well, especially when the books aren't even out yet. ;) Hang in there to those of you scraping through each day, and know that there is a brighter tomorrow around the bend. Crap can go on for months, but nothing lasts forever. Even bad luck.

Write on!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Interviews with Characters from 'Soulbound'

I'm on my way to working on animations where I interview my characters from my manuscript in order to give readers an inside look at some of the themes of the manuscript. My biggest concern isn't animating, though; it's getting the voices right. Keep in mind that I am doing this with NO animation experience and without the proper equipment. Heck, I'm using a mouse to draw the characters and animate the frames! Luckily, this exercise has shown me something I didn't expect--animating people talking is SUPER easy. Like...I was expecting some challenge to it, but you basically have 7-8 mouth forms that you reuse on the main image. Throw in some blinking and some movement to give it life, and voila! Animation.

Now, I also am using this as an excuse to practice and make my technique smoother. I want to animate a 1 min 30 sec trailer for the book, and this is helping me get timing down. On top of that, I am going through the final edits for Soulbound and am prepping a new website for launch. The new website will include extra pages, new wallpaper art, and the interview(s) I have completed so far. I also would like to have the manuscript for purchase! Right now, over at my Facebook page, I am doing contests where "likers" and fans have a chance to win original illustrations straight from Soulbound! That means I will draw something that will go inside the book, and you get the original copy. Pretty neat, huh?

For now, I'm going to go continue working on the first interview. I'll update you as things progress, and hopefully I'll have it up within a month or so (voices pending).

Write on!