It’s taken an Herculean effort to get this book completed. Not because the production process was onerous (though it was laborious and time-consuming, it went surprisingly smoothly this second time around), but because there were a couple of major changes in my life that occurred at the time I was on the verge of completing it. Even though Centipede Dragon likely won’t make the NY Times best seller list, I still wanted every detail to be perfect. I wanted to make sure my background images were visible enough, but would not compete with, the foreground imagery. I wanted every stroke to be its proper width; thicker to emphasize importance, but not so thick as to detract. I wanted the background colors to flow from page to page, I wanted the drawings themselves to be fresh and cheeky but still thoughtful, familiar and comforting. I wanted the page-turning images to function as such, I wanted the suspense to be palpable. I wanted to grow my three main characters subtly, while keeping the text concise. So many different directions in which I am pulled when I am the write, editor, illustrator, designer, and producer. Was the plot too thin? What does this book teach, since the first one had such a clear lesson? Was the new character believable or relate-able? Will kids still root for and appreciate Centipede Dragon?
Did I succeed? Probably not in every aspect, but I did produce something of which I am truly proud.
So, this reflection time has been critical for me, not just for analyzing my process and how I’d like to improve it, nor how to even take it in a different direction. This time allows me to ask myself if it was worth it, all the late nights fixing the corrections I missed the first 5 times around; the unfathomable text errors that kept appearing; the weekends gone in pursuit of finishing the product; the details I couldn’t remember how to do and had to look up in the many pages of notes I took from the first go-around. Had I remembered to register for copyright? Did they even ask me to upload the first book as they did the second? How do I do the “Look inside” feature on Amazon again? To which sites did I upload my video trailer?
Was it worth it?
Answer, next post. And thank you all.