Following are some of the more frequently asked questions I have answered at my various appearances. They are by no means ALL of the questions I have been asked, just the ones I remember being asked most often.
When is your next book coming out?
I do my best to have a book released once a year. However, many things are out of my control such as my publisher’s schedule and last minute changes. It may take longer than a year between books.
Do you write/paint full time?
I am a full time graphic designer and illustrator. I have been a working artist since 1980. I had my first story published in a Pagan journal in 2001. I write art related articles for area organizations. Besides my commercial artwork, I also license my art and designs for products and gifts. Children’s books, unfortunately do not pay the bills, so I create web sites and illustrations for private clients. I also make appearances at events, books stores and schools. (In my spare time I moderate a bulletin board for sober Pagans called Pagans in Recovery.)
Can I get a review copy?
Short answer. Probably not. My publisher has sent out review copies to professional reviewers that he feels will help sell the book. As he told me, he is in the business to sell as many books as he can, not hand them out for free. If you feel your publication should be made an exception, contact the publisher with your request on your publication’s letterhead for the publisher’s review.
Do you have any other books?
An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child is my first book. Aidan’s First Full Moon Circle is came out next, followed by Watchers, and Rabbit’s Song by SJ Tucker — which I illustrated. I have several other books in the works and will update you as soon as they have found a home.
Would you come to XYZ event and speak?
I would love to. But let’s be practical about it. I am in Missouri, if your group is in say, Maine, someone would have to pay for the airfare. I would need to be picked up and dropped off at the airport as well as driven to the function. I would need a place to stay and food to eat. If your group is unable to pay for transportation, lodging and meals, I probably can’t come. I do not charge a speaking fee presently but I do need to make a living.
I am writing a book, will you look at my manuscript?
To be quite honest here, no, I won’t. It’s not that I don’t care, but I am not a professional editor. I also have limited time which I need to devote to my own writing and painting. Somewhere in there I also have to pay attention to my family and my other clients. If you have a book you are working on I strongly suggest you either join a critique group or hire a professional editor. For children’s books there is an excellent group available called The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. The cost to join is minimal and the wealth of information and support is well worth it. I am a member myself.
Can you help me get in with your publisher?
Book publishing is a funny business. It is very fickle. There are no short cuts. You will have to query and submit your manuscripts to publishers just like the thousand of other hopeful book authors. Me included.
I wrote a children’s story, will you illustrate it?
I won’t be winning any popularity contests with this answer but no I won’t illustrate your children’s book. The truth of the matter is the illustrator of children’s books is picked by the publisher, not the writer. You may not even have any say in how the book looks at all. In some cases you won’t know how the book looks until you receive your galleys. If you decide to self publish, I warn you it is very involved proposition, hiring an illustrator is only part of it. Should you still want me to illustrate your book, average costs to illustrate a 32 page picture book START at $5,000. Be aware according to statistics, a self published book rarely sells more than 100 copies. If you have the money and think you can beat the odds, we can talk after your book has been professionally edited.
Is your book good for boys even though the title says ‘girl’?
An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child is written for school age children. Boy or girl. But, I did have to make a choice since I only had one main character. Since the inspiration for An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child was my daughter, I wrote this book with a girl as the star. The story is not gender specific. I have heard from parents of both little boys and little girls how much their children enjoyed the book.
When are you going to write a book for boys?
My books Adian’s First Full Moon Circle, A Magical Child Story and Watchers both feature a boy in the leading role.