Author illustrator blog touring

My dear friend and fabulous author/illustrator Dasha Tolstikova invited me to take part in this blog tour. You can find her answers to these same questions here: http://heytheredasha.tumblr.com
Dasha's first picture book out in Oct - I can't wait!

She was asked to participate by Sophie Blackall. You can find Sophie's very interesting post that does NOT answer the questions here:
Sophie's latest book is SO GOOD! Have you read it yet?!

And here are my answers:
1. What am I currently working on?

I’m busy with lots of projects right now. In the last two months I’ve gotten contracts for my first three picture books. It’s really wonderful! Abrams will be publishing Hannah and Sugar in the Spring of 2016, my story of a girl whose compassion gives her the courage to overcome her fear of dogs, and also a second picture book I’ve yet to write.  
Sketch from Hannah and Sugar

And I’ll be illustrating The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read by Curtis Manley - which will be published Fall 2016 by Simon & Schuster’s Paula Wiseman Books. 

What I’m working on this week specifically are character studies and sketches for the illustrations for The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read. I haven’t yet pinned down what the two cats look like - so I’ll be making decisions like - tabby or striped? orange or grey? long hair or short hair? bow tie or beret? I can’t believe what a fun job I have, it’s awesome. 

Studies for The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read
I’ll also be spending time writing and doodling ideas for the as-yet-untitled second book Abrams will be publishing. 

AND I always put a little time each week into running my greeting card business. I shipped out cards to two customers and three retailers this morning and I have two new cards I need to find time to add to my shop: www.kateberube.etsy.com
One of the new card designs

Busy busy busy! But it’s great.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hm... this is a tough question to answer. I can only say I try to make work that communicates things that I feel or things that I think about and that are important to me. So my work must differ in that it comes from me and my own unique sense of the world. 
3. Why do I write what I write?

I think my answer to the above question answers this one too. I like to explore ideas and things that I’ve been thinking about. When I wrote Hannah and Sugar I was thinking a lot about what it means to be brave and I was trying to be more brave in my life. 
Brave like Amelia.

4. How does my individual writing/illustrating process work?

When I first started writing I read a lot of great books about how to write. (My favorite is probably If You Want To Write by Brenda Ueland.) And I learned from all these great books that stories are usually not so good when you first write them but that with a lot of time and thoughtful editing, you can craft these first wobbly ideas into something great. 

Unpleasant, double elbowed first sketch on the left - final drawing on the right
So that’s become my process. I make horrible, awkward, ugly drawings and awful, embarrassing, cliched stories and then I fix them. I draw a drawing over and over until I get it somewhere I like. I go over and over my writing trying to make it simple and clear. And then of course, since picture books are stories half told through images and half told through words, I put the two together. I make an Indesign document and then edit out all the words that feel redundant. And I also make lots of decisions about page turns and image design once the words and images are together.

5. Who are the two author/illustrators that you are passing the interview to? 

I’m passing the baton to my friends Abigail Marble and Susan Boase. Both of whom are incredibly talented Portland author/illustrators which I've had the great luck to be in a critique group with for a number years. Can't wait to hear what they have to say. 
This charming kiddo is by Abigail Marble

And these adorable piggies are by Susan Boase
Thanks for reading!


Susan Boase said...

Hee, hee... love the wonky double-elbow! I once posted a ballerina with two left feet, so there.

Susan Boase said...

Oh, and I want Amelia's jacket.