Many in my family are musical or artistic in their own ways. I’ve followed my father’s skills in the field of advertising design and visual communications. Being in this field has allowed me to venture into all areas design including furniture; ski clothing; film producing, direction and editing; painting and everything else creative.
I don’t remember the first story I ever read that made an impact. I read a lot of the Wilder series, pretty much because of their life of pioneering, adventure and living under the stars.
The most profound children’s book, which I’ve recently read, “JUST ASK” written by Sonia Sotomayor and illustrated by Rafael Lopez. It is well done, with a great message and beautifully illustrated. Another book, which is not yet published, is written by Solo-Circumnavigator, Captain “Bill” Pinkney and illustrated by ‘moi’.
Growing up in a creative environment did influence my career. Art was always encouraged and supported. I never had any doubt as to what direction I was going.
However, I didn’t begin writing until recently. For many years I have illustrated for several writers, until I began to peruse the memories of my childhood and realized I had a wealth of stories to tell. The first children’s was book, “Aaron’s Dream.” Once the flood gates opened and I churned out a dozen books, then, I had to take a recess. Illustrating my stories was something that came naturally and in many cases the illustrations strongly supported the story. In the 70s, while still in school, I designed books and book covers for Susan Ashbaugh’s “Lucy Parsons”; Eugene Bromel’s “Eugene Debs”; Novelist Robyn Williams’ “Preconceive Notions”; and numerous other book covers.
The plot for “When The Brown Bird Flies” was written about a dear friend, Jack
‘John’ Lyle, a sailor and a Tuskegee Airman. Jack was philosophical and inventive…hence the plot for “When The Brown Bird Flies”. In 2019, right before Lyle past, Anna Morris and I produced his biography, “Tuskegee Airman Jack Lyle, Captain of His Fate.”
A lot of elements go into the creating of a children’s book…a plot with a good ‘arch’; knowing the age group; age-appropriate illustrations (if it is a picture book) and other technicalities.
The book “A Visit To Mz Roberts’ House” was written by Anna K. Morris who also happened to be an business associate. The latest “A Visit To Mz Roberts’ House” was the second edition. Fortunately, Anna K. Morris, Donna Beasley and Emma Young are all professional, award-winning writers who worked in various advertising agencies for many years, so the projects were easy.
The role of illustration as it relates to children’s books, picture books, is huge. Books are visual projects, which is why it is key for writers to align themselves with good illustrators, someone who can translate their vision. There are many who take short-cuts when it comes to hiring a professional, and a great story may not make the same impact.
My ideal setting to write is early morning when my brain and thoughts are fresh, and windows with plenty of light and quiet.
There are many plots for children’s books coming, however, I just finished two narratives and I am working on a third. These books are on African American Adventurists from all over the country. The first was of close friends who ALL had stories to tell and the field of other great adventurists grew. “Our Red Skies —Free-Spirited African American Adventurers Who Know No Boundaries” and “Navigating The Adventurer’s Fate—Free-Spirited African American Adventurers Who Know No Boundaries.”
AllAuthors, is a great site for promoting authors. Self-publisher and INDIE authors need great outlets to help promote their work. I certainly appreciate the features and promotion opportunities.