How did CWILL BC members get their first big breaks in the publishing world? In this series of interviews with local writers and illustrators, we ask what advice they would offer and what mistakes they would never repeat — an inside look at the publishing process, from the creators’ point of view. Please feel free to tell your own publishing tales in the comments section below.
What was your first publication?
Mine was an audio CD: The Land of Graws.
Did you have a mentor in the publishing world, or did you do it all on your own?
I did it all on my own.
Do you have a favourite publishing moment? A career highlight?
One time when touring South East Asia, I sold 50 CDs at one performance.
How did you find your publisher/agent?
I self published.
How did you handle early rejections?
I always find handling rejection difficult. I always have to bolster myself by reminding myself that I am successful and deserve to be recognized as a professional artist.
Do you think about trends/marketing when you’re developing a project?
No, all of my work springs from something inside of me, but I always strive to make each project vibrant and fresh in the ears of my audience and their parents.
What advice would you give an emerging writer/illustrator?
Believe in yourself, work from your own heart, strive for excellence and do your best to come up with the finances necessary to professionally create and sell your product.
Is there a publishing mistake you would never repeat?
When self-publishing my first book, I had two illustrators interested in my project. I loved the work of both, but one already had a successful career as an illustrator and the other was an unknown. I chose the unknown to help her career. I would only do that again if my career was solid.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned since publishing your first book?
That no matter how good your book or CD is, if you don’t have the finances to put it out there constantly in the public eye, your product will not sell.
What project are you most excited about now?
My next CD, working title: Cat in My Hoody.