It was a challenge coming up with a title and a cover image for the fifth and final book in the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” (Abrams) series. I always planned to call this book Rowley’s Revenge, so I sketched what I thought might make a good cover.
Each month, we ask one distinguished author or illustrator to write an original post that reveals insights about their process and craft.
Designing the cover is my final step in creating a picture book. It’s only after spending so much time in the interior of the book—realizing the characters and their world—that I can stand back and consider what one picture would best sum up the experience of the story.
Usually, it’s the character I think of first. I never see that character’s face—even when I’ve written for months and the book is finished. Rather, it’s almost as if the character is whispering in my ear, saying, “Hey, this is what I need. This is what I want.”
The incredible thing about comics, to me, is the medium’s diversity. Some people hear the word “comics” and are reminded of newsprint pages filled with superheroes. Others see shelves of manga stacked tight, while some readers are more familiar with hardbound graphic novels and nonfiction volumes. All of these formats and types of books rightly […]
The question I’m most often asked by kids is, “Where do your ideas come from?” I always give a concrete answer, like “Someone suggested that to me” or “It happened in my childhood.” And while those answers are true for some of what I write, many of my ideas come from somewhere else. But it’s […]
Comics editor Françoise Mouly has worked for her entire career to combine visual literacy with enjoyable narratives. From her work as the Art Director of The New Yorker to collaborating with Art Spiegelman and other professional cartoonists, Mouly has gained many insights to share about using comics with students. Mouly on the Depth of Comics I […]
I always groan when people ask about my writing process, because what they are really asking is the more complicated question, “How does your mind work?” Even the word “process” confounds me. It implies a tidy, shrink-wrapped procedure. I wish it was that way–a specific set of steps to get me from that awful first […]
Author Robie Harris and illustrator Michael Emberley have worked closely together to create nearly a dozen age-appropriate books for children and teens on human development and sexuality, including It’s So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families (Candlewick, 1999)and It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health (Candlewick, 1994). […]
One of the questions I’m often asked by students—sometimes with tremulous voices—is about the dreaded “writer’s block.” It’s as if they’re asking about the flu or the boogey man. “Do I ever get it?” “Does it ever get me?”
Nikki Grimes is an author of fiction and poetry who has received five Coretta Scott King Book Award recognitions. In this column she discusses her writing process. Whether it’s her focus on character development, the story behind Bronx Masquerade (Penguin, 2001), or her personal experiences that influence her research and writing, Grimes’s insights reveal the […]