The other day, I started to look around the house for my cell phone... when I looked down and discovered it was in my hand all along. IN MY HAND. Sammy, my middle boy saw me do this and he chuckled. I gave him the look that said, "You'd better take this to the grave."
Gloria Bee and I have a lot more in common than I'm willing to admit. In fact... my characters are often betraying me... giving away some parts of me that I may not love. But somehow I find it endearing with the characters.
Gloria Bee is a brilliant artist who may be more than just a little bit forgetful. Her head is so full of thoughts that the tiny details like where she put her things just get squeezed right on out.
Good thing Dog is there to always point her in the right direction.
The beginnings of "Gloria Bee's Big Picture Day"
After working on this story with Leigh Ann for the last couple of months, both she and I have fallen in love with the characters. So much so that we decided to co-author the next story. We make GREAT team and we just bounce story ideas off of each other like a game of ping pong.
Sometimes, when I start a story, I have an exact style I'm thinking of for the art. That wasn't really the case for Gloria Bee. Instead, I had an ARTIST in mind. Leigh Ann had never done a full children's book before, but I knew she was masterful at space, balance and color. She's a world-renown abstract artist who has a not-so-secret skill in illustration. In watching her progress, I'm beyond proud of how she is pushing herself to grow as an artist and illustrator. It appears that she's been doing it her whole life, but I know what it's like to enter into a new artistic endeavor and feel the angst of "becoming."
And that is one of the themes of this book. Gloria Bee is "becoming" as an artist and a person and the reader gets to be a part of that as she goes looking for something very, very important.
You didn't think I'd answer the question and just give it all away, now did you? I'll give you a hint. Look closely at the picture and you make find out what she's looking for. ;)