This is my journey in creating concepts, writing, illustrating, finding a literary agent, and becoming a published children's book author and illustrator for the picture book genre.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Oh, this journey is a tiring one.

As I finalize my story and edits, I realize that this journey isn't a lonely walk on a path of solitude. So many friends and family have helped me on my way. People ask what my next step will be. Well, as an aspiring author/ illustrator. Every step taken flows in a forward and backward motion allowing for lessons to be learned and rewards to be gained. I have experienced them in all their glory. I have been on this journey for over a year. The story manifested, written, and illustrated over 6 years ago. I have submitted the original which is a lot different than the current story, but the concept and message is the same. I have learned how not to use a narrative voice in children's books. During my struggles in querying an agent, I discovered that I could illustrate. I have never had an art class. I am not going to lie, it is talent and listening to feedback from others. My poor husband humors me when I show him a new illustration or character I have made. He will occasionally read something that I have written. He is not enamored by my work and his praises are few, but he humors me in my pursuits to become a published and agented author/ illustrator in the children's picture book genre.
Since practice makes perfect, that is exactly what I do. I write and rewrite. I have ideas to follow this book. Small vignettes are written on little pieces of paper, miscellaneous word documents, and on my dry erase board to help me remember them after this project is completed.
As I stated previously, this journey requires a lot of knowledge. The book industry isn't as straight forward as one may think. I don't wish to self publish. I want to go about this the way successful books are supposed to go. Query and agent and have an agent find a publisher for your book. Well, sometimes opportunities present themselves a bit backwards. As a member of SCBWI, I received an open submission invitation for members to a very well known publisher. It just happens to be exactly where I want my book to go. Submission for manuscript is pretty straight forward, but the illustrator part is a bit more complex. Luckily, a friend of my mother's is a published illustrator and was kind enough to answer a lot of my questions. SCBWI Missouri illustrator coordinator also responded to my questions with ton of resources. Moral of the story is not to reinvent the wheel, but learn from others. I humble enough to know that I don't know everything. Heck, I know pretty little. I can write. I can draw and paint. I am very creative and my love for the children genre is evident in my work. So, as this journey continues, I have a direction and another goal to achieve. I am going to submit my work to the publisher. Afterwards, if the news is good, I plan on finding an agent that will represent me. It is a bit backwards, but the goal is the same. I have a feeling that it would be far easier to find an agent if you have a pending book deal. :) ...
Just as I did during my grant/ award submission, I will take you along as I prepare the needed documents for submission! Thank you for joining me on this journey....
As always, still aspiring,
Aspiring children's book author and illustrator- Cassaundra Dunbridge

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