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ILA Children’s Choices List!

Thrilled to announce that Positively Izzy received an incredible honor: it’s on 2019 ILA-CBC Children’s Choices list, a cooperative project of the International Literacy Association (ILA) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC). It was also one of the few titles that received the most votes.

“Each year, 12,500 school children from different regions of the United States read newly published children’s and young adults’ trade books and vote for the ones they like best. These Children’s Choices, selected from more than 900 titles, can be counted on as books children truly enjoy reading.”

For more info, click here.

Denver Pop Culture Con!

Friday, May 31 – Sunday, June 2, I’ll have quite the full plate in Denver. Click for details about my schedule. Hope to see you there!

Just Jaime Book Tour!

I’m hitting the road soon! Here is the tour schedule (so far). Most are school visits, but I highlighted public events in purple. All family friendly. Hope to see you!

North Texas Teen Book Festival and C2E2 in Chicago!

I’m so excited to be among such an amazing lineup of authors at the North Texas Teen Book Festival in Irving, TX and the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) in Chicago, IL. I’ll be in Texas March 22-23 and Chicago March 24.

Click here for details about my appearance at NTTBF.

Click here for details about my appearance at C2E2.

Hope to see you!

The making of Just Jaime

A while back, I posted the artistic process of Emmie’s and Katie’s chapters from my first book, Invisible Emmie. I thought I’d do the same for the characters from Just Jaime, Jaime and Maya. This time, I’ll also give you a little insight into both the writing and artistic process.

I used to start off by writing (okay, scribbling) chapters on a regular legal pad (below). I also quickly sketched out the illustrations, as you can see. This is from an Emmie chapter. It doesn’t look like much, and I’m probably the only one who can read my writing (um, barely), but it’s okay because no one had to see these notes but myself.

With Positively Izzy and Just Jaime, I skipped the legal pad. I just typed everything out in a Word document and indicted where art would go with notes or little rough sketches that I scanned in and inserted. As I rewrote (and rewrote, and rewrote), I did more finished-looking sketches. Here’s an example of a final typed manuscript page with the rough sketches.

Once the final manuscript was approved, I got on my trusty digital drawing tablet (Wacom Cintiq), and did all the final art. Just Jaime hasn’t been published yet, so I can’t show you what the actual printed page looks like, but I can show you the two final pieces of art. See any differences between these and above?

For the Maya (graphic novel) chapters, I sketched out the artwork in pencil on plain old computer paper.  Then I scanned each image into my computer and inserted them into the manuscript between the Jaime chapters. Here’s an example of the very first page of Maya’s first chapter:

Here’s the final art that I created on the digital tablet. The one major difference is that I changed the dreamcatcher to deflated party balloons. Can you spot another difference?

There was a lot of art for Jaime, but — as with all the books — I really enjoyed doing it.

I hope YOU enjoy reading Just Jaime in May!