When I began writing this blog last month I said I would occasionally talk about my own picture books, as well as describing the picture books, both recent and ancient, that impress me. I wasn’t expecting to have any exciting news about my own work for a long time to come, but I was mistaken!
Yesterday I woke up to discover that I had been selected to receive a mentorship with one of my favourite American author/illustrators, Brian Lies. This is a dream come true. I applied for the mentorship through PBChat, thinking I’d be highly unlikely to get anywhere as the competition is US based and there must be a million aspiring US author/illustrators who’d be grasping at the chance. So it was a huge surprise to find I was a winner!
The little fellow in the picture at the top of the page is the one who earned me this privilege. His name is Elton and his story was inspired by my Canadian grandson, who at the time of my second visit to his home in the Rockies, BC, was very afraid of loud noises. Together we sat down and made up a story about a mule deer who had ultra sensitive hearing – which led him into all sorts of trouble! Elton eventually discovers that his ears can be extremely useful, once he knows how to use them.
I’m hoping Brian will help me to hone the story and pictures into something that will be acceptable to publishers. At the moment it’s in the raw state of early conception, and as the weeks of the mentorship go by I’ll be documenting its progress, both story and pictures.
I love the way Brian writes, and his drawings are exquisite. His book ‘The Rough Patch’ moved me to tears. So I know I will learn a lot from him, and I feel very fortunate. To sample the way he crafts his stories, listen to the two interviews that are posted on the home page of his website.
I’m so grateful to Justin Colon, the inspiration behind PBChat. I’m now part of a whole new community of fellow mentees, and I’m determined to make the most of every moment of my mentorship.