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It's been a while since we have posted to this blog, but I mean to change that with some news and some great new promotion ideas.
It is no secret that one of the best ideas to come out of web marketing and writing books is the BOOK TRAILER! That said, I am happy to announce that my 2009 Berklee School of Music graduate son, Dave Hoon Newman, has now added the creation of original book trailers to his repertoire. Honestly, it is the perfect vehicle for him: he is a gifted musician and composer, and he is also a wonderful visual artist. Blending video and sound is something he does VERY well and something he has been doing since he was nine years old. Now, with his degree behind him and serious training in not only music but sound design, he has found his perfect medium. He already has a couple of film soundtacks under his belt, as well as the creation of new audio for existing TVads. Adding book trailers was the perfect step.
I have to admit it, that Dave'sbook trailers are the most professional I have seen.I think it has to do with the fact that he creates ALL ORIGINAL music and also performs it. The music for trailers that he does does not exist until he writes it.
Have a book coming out? Think about a truly custom book trailer!
Yes, that day has finally arrived... the day the UPS box arrived on my porch with copies of Cromwell Dixon's Sky-Cycle. So it's not hard to imagine how exciting that book launch party must have been! I even took a picture to commemorate the event. When it's unlikely anything will ever happen again, at least there'll be a picture.
'Cromwell Dixon's Sky-Cycle' is the title. It's a fantastic true story about a boy who had a dream to build his own flying airship in Columbus, Ohio in 1907. This book is a real boy's book... with daring, adventure, danger and amazing inventions... all built by a boy in his own backyard. I'm hoping the same audience that liked 'The Dangerous Book for Boys' might like it.
The reviews so far have been good. I'm especially flattered that they liked the writing. That means a lot to me. I wanted this non-fiction book to read like fiction, so the best notice I could imagine was a comment from Kids Lit Blog who wrote: "The picture book has a real period feel with the author throwing in turn-of-the-century terms to evoke the time. The illustrations too offer a sense of history. I especially enjoyed that it is not until the afterword that you discover that this is a true story."
I'm always afraid that many kids might think old fashioned stuff is a bore. I hope not, since I think the subject of the age of early aviation is fascinating. I tried to cast the whole book more along the lines of Jules Verne.
This was the first book I've done entirely as a hybrid of real and digital mediums... so that was challenging. And I'm very happy with the outcome in print. made up a mini-website about at cromwelldixonsskycycle.com
After several years of work, three books have hit the stores at the same time, including; Princess K.I.M and the lie that grew (Albert Whitman & Co) which is a funny story about a tiny lie that gets out of control. I got the idea when I thought back to second gradeâ€¦I told the kids that my dad owned the Coca-Cola company. That did not turn out too well.
My Dance Recital (Robin Corey Books-Random House) is my first interactive book (flap/pop-ups etc). It's just in time for the Spring Recital season. (Do you know any little dancers?- They'll love it!)
Lastly- Easter Bunny In Training (HarperCollins). The history of this book is a LONG story. I showed Harper a totally different book. They liked the â€śWhat happens nextâ€ť concept, but nothing else. A Halloween book in this "Sneak a Peek" series will be out in the Fall.
Iâ€™m hoping , in this economy that people are still buying books! For more info, go to www.maryanncoccaleffler.com
We are in the planning stages for our second fundraiser to benefit abandoned and forgotten animals. The Foreclosure Cats Art Project last year was a great success, but there are many more animals that need our help. We have decided to continue the original project as an annual event.
This year's inspiration is a colony of cats living in and around huge, abandoned industrial buildings in Kings Mills, Ohio, just north of Cincinnati. Bud, the kind-hearted caretaker, has been feeding and caring for the cats, but this colony of over 40 animals is quickly increasing in number and Bud is on a fixed income. Getting these cats spayed and neutered is an urgent priority. Some are in need of medical attention
I was involved in this project last year. My work and others is already up on Cafepress at http://www.animalrescueartproject.com/ Take a look- more will be up soon, and there will also be an auction on ebay soonly.
Well, this blog certainly needs updating! I think we have all been too busy with illustration work, our own personal blogs, and family to think about posting here. So I decided it is time I did!
I've posted the cover to my latest book, Bones and the Math Test Mystery by David A. Adler. This was a fun book to do. I also just finished illustrating the next Jeffrey Bones book. The next will be the 7th I have done in the series, and this last one was the most enjoyable by far! I have loved doing all the books in this series, but I especially loved this one because it took place in an amusement park--and I have loved amusement parks since I was a little girl. It brings back memories of Olympic Park, the Jersey Shore, Palisades Park, Coney Island, etc. I have even taken to buying mementos from those if I can get my hands on them.
The one problem in completing the book I just wrapped up, is that this book was filled with tons of details--as amusemnet parks are! The title is: BONES AND THE ROLLERCOASTER MYSTERY
I believe this one will be out in February, if it is like all the others.
Today, I watch the snow fall outside my window, and think of my 21 year old daughter enjoying Spring Break on a yacht in the Keys. Who needs Florida sunshine? I received my Ocean pop-up book in the mail!
Currently being sold in Europe in both Italian and Spanish, here's a peek inside; care to dive in with me?
If books were like movies, then this new book I've been working on would be a historical costume drama. It's non-fiction in theory, but I've tried to make it read like a fictional story. It's set in the past... 100 years ago, so it appears that everyone is in costume.
It's more of a Jules Verne type story, with astonishing adventure to do with dirigibles, flying bicycles and that sort of thing. I actually sent away to the patent office trying to get some kind of copyright on the story, since I think it'd make a terrific movie.
I have discovered that it requires a goodly deal of attention to detail to recreate scenes from a past age. In fact it takes a LOT of drawing! It requires drawing until one's hand is ready to fall off, essentially.
Just categorically, I'm sure in the last few months I have drawn the following: (partial listing):
4 horses, complete with harness detailing
3 carriages (those spoked wheels are challenging!)
3 antique motor cars
15 vintage skyscrapers including the Flatiron building
150 costumed extras for background scenes
17 feathered hats
15 bicycles (bicycles are notoriously difficult to draw)
16 bowler hats and the gentlemen wearing them
12 straw hats and the gentlemen wearing them
14 ladies in fancy full length skirts
16 victorian houses
16 assorted odd children in vintage garb
1 Titanic like steam ship
7 odd bizarre flying machines
4 picket fences... (those take a while)
2 ironwork fences (those do too!)
5 assorted lawns and park settings
4 barn interiors with multitudes of tools and furniture
22 drawings of the main character
17 drawings of the character's mother
12 drawings of the pet dog
1 complete vintage fire fighting crew, with antique firefighting pump truck
37 tiny people in a crowd, with aerial perspective
Oh... and I have drawn the complete 1904 World's Fair including Ferris Wheel.
I mention all of this mostly to point out the difficulty of achieving such a task for someone who basically has a hard time drawing. I make up for it with erasing and stubbornness though.
I think my next book effort will be an emotionally based story with two cute little animal characters... no crowd scenes or perspective required!
p.s. No, this is not the finished art... just the pencils. And that's the drawing just for one scene!
Happy Holidays to you and your families. I wish you a rewarding and successful New Year. I'm thrilled to be part of this talented group. My New Year will start with an exciting and challenging freelance marketing consulting job. I look forward to sharing more- but for now- keep it to this list until it is "official". I look forward to your advice and suggestions as I move forward. Of course- I'm still doing my books.
So- Don't Forget to Stop and Smell the Roses~ Happy 2008- Best Wishes- Maryann
Chris, You inspired me to post a spread from a new book dummy that I too need to find a home for. Hopefully, we will all have great success in 2008. I also wanted to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season.
Which ever holiday it is you celebrate, let's all post our greetings, wishes, photo's etc.
Here's an oldy of mine that I still like.
I have also ALMOST decked all the halls (still need to put up the tree in the living room) and here are the pics to prove it. I love Christmas!!! The photo of the "Christmas Moose" makes him look very innocent but....really, he lies in wait for Don. You see, movement of any kind launches him into a frenzied jig and lively (and loud) rendition of "Jingle Bells". Every night, as Don throws his workboots to the floor, the Moose is signaled. What comes out of Don's mouth is not terribly Festive, as he threatens Moose with not living to see Christmas Day! After over 10 years, it is now a holiday tradition, daddy slams the door, Moose sings, daddy curses..... oh how I love this happy, happy season and the joyful memories made that will last forever:)
You can see how my dinning room is patiently waiting to welcome 15 people this year. Well, it will be cramped but it handled 14 last year so once the other leaf is in the table, we should be good to go.
It's been so long since I posted anything on our blog that I actually forgot my password!
Not a lot new here...
I have been shopping around my dummy with a little more heart then in the past. I really love this little book (I think most of you know how that goes, we create a lot of things but few that we actually LIKE) but am not getting anywhere with it. I know what I should be doing, a real writer would send it out, forget about it and get on with the next project.... of course, I am not a real writer. I get too attached to the character, is that because if you are also the illustrator it's a double edged sword? You fall in love with the writing/story as well as the images? The latest reply was a very sweet email rejection and the dummy returned home in it's recycled paper envolope 3 days later. Sigh, they just keep returning, dummies are very much like grown children. You send them out into the world, they experience failure and then return home, dragging their tail between their legs!!! Another copy of it is still out there somewhere, the older brother....I shall hope this kid fairs better:)
Let me set this straight: no matter what my chronological age is for real, inside, I still feel like I am about 23. Outside? Don't go there. But inside? Groovy....
When I really WAS 23 I was living in Buffalo, New York. My husband and I were puppeteers performing shows and I was also making cloth dolls/soft sculptures full time in addition to that. I sold those dolls at juried craft shows like the 100 American Craftsmen show at Kenan Center in Lockport, NY, and the ACC Craft Fair in Rhinebeck, NY. I also did some gallery shows around the country. We were young and the decade of the 70's was still pretty innocent, even after having survived the sixties.
For the record, all this "Greening" stuff was already going on back then, with organic food, and the idea of eating local produce in season, and no chemicals, and so on, and so forth. Ask me, I was there. I ate whole grains bought in food coops, and I made really disgusting vegetarian dishes like "Sweet and Sour Soyballs." My husband STILL, to this date, will complain about being subjected to that dish. And I cannot tell you how many times I insisted that I could make brownies and cookies with organic honey instead of refined sugar (answer: I couldn't). So we all were on the Green bandwagon more than thirty years ago. It just didn't have a catchy name, and it just wasn't quite so "trendy." And I say this to the stars that I heard went on Oprah and said, "use only two squares of toilet paper" : WIPE THIS.
But I digress. I meant to talk about making dolls. I made quite a number of hand made, one of a kind figures. Where are they now? In various collections, here and there. Many of them went to who-knows-where since they were purchased at craft galleries and sold to people I never met.
The estate auction seller contacted me to get more info. I suggested she hold off until my book, Tex and Sugar, was published. She did and even got a book signed. She is selling the book with the doll.
I can't begin to tell you how many "vintage" collectibles I have bought on ebay over the years. Tons! And to think--now I "IS" one!
I am trying to post art for the first time, this is my 3rd time to try this. Sorry if this one also doesnt work! The art I have put up is also for a worthy cause. www.foreclosurecats.com This is an organization which rescued 60 cats, left beheind in a foreclosed house.The owner walked away from the house and the 60 cats. Artists were asked to "adopt" a kitty, and donate an original painting of said adoptee. The origianls are to be auctioned off. They are also raising funds thru CafePress, as most of the cats have medical issues. Check out their site, it too is a labor of love.
I thought I would post my snowflake here, because for some unknown reason my flake is still not up on the Robert Snow site. I decided to create a 3 dimensional version of Maude who is one of the characters in a new book dummy that I recently finished called "In a Jam." At the moment, it is being reviewed at Sterling Publishers
The actual wooden snowflake is her skirt, and her body was molded out of Sculpey. Once the sculpey was hard enough, I painted and then varnished her a couple of times. The position that I molded her into is from one of the pages in the dummy, where she is falling from the sky. Fortunately she also sits well on a display.
It was a lot of fun working this way. In fact, my agent thought that I should consider doing more clay work. Who knows? Enjoy, Ilene
Well, I did it! I was part of the South West illustrators Exhibition, at the first Bath Festival of Children's Literature, in Bath UK.
It was lots of hard work, and we learned what not to do next time, but in general, it seems to have gone very well.
I had the honour of seeing my work hanging right next to Babette Cole's artwork! Kind of made me want to take mine down, especially as it was older work, and not what I had wanted to be exhibiting! Though I think I might have felt that way whatever I had on the wall.
Babette was a great deal of fun, and during our exhibition week she gave a talk about her work as a Children's Book Author and Illustrator where we were able to see her pencil roughs and storyboards close up, and ask about her way of working.
She also gave portfolio sessions for those who were brave enough to show their work. She was generous with her time, especially considering she was dashing between us in Bath and her own Exhibition at The Illustration Cupboard in London.
We haven't had a chance yet to calculate if all the effort of putting this exhibition together was worth it, but I know some SW illustrators are already talking about next years event...
Just thought I would share- My book "BRAVERY SOUP" is hitting the stage this summer. New London Barn Players in New London, NH www.nlbarn.org is making my book into a play...and it is a musical! Producer, John Baker and is staff are writing the script, music and lyrics. The play runs for two shows on Aug 9. I'm very excited to see the production. I do have approval of the script - But I am pretty much stepping back to let them create. John and I plan to market the play to other theatre groups in the future....Next ... Broadway! (Well, I can dream!)
OK, illustrators- you have been tagged to participate in the 8 Things Meme!
The idea is that you will post 8 facts or habits about yourself, whatever that means to you.
If you have your own blog, you can cross-post with this one.
Based on the lives of two real sisters, My Sister, Alicia May touches on the joys and challenges of growing up with a sibling who has Down syndrome. Exquisitely written with humor and compassion by Nancy Tupper Ling, this book expresses beautifully that both sisters are, indeed, very special girls. Ages 5 & up.
Opening Day! Here is a picture of the cast of my play- "Bravery Soup" performed by the New London Barn Players, NH. It was a SMASH! Hope to be able to take it on the road. There were dances...original music and great humor added. John Baker (Director, script writer and Producer) did a great job. ENJOY.- Maryann