Copyright 2010 Greta Musland

Monday, November 29, 2010

Publishing Peril

I called a self-publishing company today, a local company that seems to have great credentials.  In hopes of setting up an interview to come in and discuss our ideas, the gentleman I spoke to hit me up with a bunch of questions.  I will admit, I do not speak well when put on the spot.  Thus the reason I consider myself a better writer than speaker.  Either way, after a 5 minute phone call (which felt like an hour), a meeting has been set.  Next Thursday.  The nerves have already set in.  I called Greta with the news, and caught her off guard as well.  So the preparations begin.  More to come.... -Heather

Sunday, November 28, 2010

That's right!

...yep, that's how it all started!  Funny thing is, I have always wanted to illustrate children's books but have devoted most of my studio time to oil painting and focusing on that side of my art.  When I got Heather's email I was immediately excited to explore this character and help bring Blackberri's adventures to life. -Greta

Well, here goes….

I’d like to introduce you to Blackberri.  Based on a very confident cat that lives in my neighborhood, Blackberri (his name has been changed for the book) has been a part of my family for 9 years.  Since my eldest daughter was in a stroller, we frequently stopped by Blackberri’s house for visits.  Usually he could be found curled up in a flowerpot on the porch, but he would jump down upon hearing someone approach the end of his driveway, even if a large dog accompanied the passerby.  

I’ve caught him perched on top of the cement cinder blocks across from his house just watching the boys play football.  On numerous occasions my family and I would be picking blackberries on the trail beside his house, and he would head on down for a visit.  He is truly one of a kind.  When my 2nd daughter came along, we started playing a game every time we walked or drove past Blackberri’s house.  Each of us would take a turn conjuring up what Blackberri would be doing at that moment. Most of the time the stories would coincide with whatever we were doing.  We would come up with some hysterical scenarios for Blackberri. 

In the back of my mind I had always thought I needed to write these down for my girls.  With a “what have I got to lose” attitude I decided to start the process of writing a children's book series.  One problem, I was and still am lacking in artistic talent.  Early September of this year I sent an email off to my very artistically talented friend, Greta, hoping for a  collaborator.  The email was titled “Off my rocker?”  I was waiting to receive a polite “I’ll pass” from her, but instead she responded with a definite “Yes”.  I brought some pictures to her of Blackberri with a full description and an idea for our first story.  A few days later Greta emailed me her sketches, and I literally burst into tears.  My book character had come to life. 

For the past few months we have been meeting up as much as possible.  IWhatever free time we’ve had has been spent on researching and reading up on children’s book writing, and attending a very informative workshop at Edmonds Community College.  Our first book titled Blackberri’s Bacon Cookies is almost finished.  We have plans to meet with a local self-publishing company to discuss our next step.  Our second book is still a work in progress, but we have high hopes.  So without dragging this out any longer, Greta and I invite you to follow our Blog.  Updates will be posted!   -Heather