Jim, my husband, who raised the real Hostie from a calf, says that I got the ears, eyes, and noses on the cows just right. That’s a relief. I always worry that the illustrations will look too much like cartoons because my natural inclination is to be a cartoonist. I have to try really hard to make my children’s book illustrations appear a little bit more serious!
I did this book in colored pencil, using Prismacolors. The areas of shadow you’ll see on the cover and inside the book are actually many colors layered on top of one another. There’s violet, green, red, yellow, and blue, crosshatched one layer at a time. It’s time-consuming, but I like the effect…
The text of the book has been read, reread and edited by everyone here at Warbranch Press. I’ll be surprised (and horrified!) if any spelling, punctuation, or spacing errors have escaped.
I’ve made the writing as simple and informative as I can, while keeping it flowing smoothly.
The art in the book consists almost exclusively of double-page spreads. I have tried to keep all the important art out of the gutters, and I hope I have succeeded!
I combined the scanned art with text on the pages by computer in Photoshop.
Interesting side fact: I discovered, after I had done all the illustrations and designed the book with the text already on the pages, that the book was supposed to be 8” x 10”. I had made it 8” x11”.
So I cut the pages down to 8” x 10.”
It was surprisingly easy using the computer. I had done the illustrations so that they actually fit the 8” x 10” format well, and the text was not too crowded when I lowered it. The book actually looks better now!
That was a big relief.
So my job here is done. “Hostie” is ready for the printer. It will be 48 pages plus a cover. That seems long for a picture book, but the words are short and the pictures are big!
The only problem I have now is the normal anxiety I have felt when every one of my books has gone to the printer; that somehow, I’ve missed something. In other books, I have indeed missed things. Some of them could not be corrected, so I left them in. I can always fix them in future printings.
Right now, “Hostie” looks as perfect as a writer and artist can make it. I can’t wait to see the printer’s proofs!