Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Evolution of a Character

In an earlier post, I talked of how my story for Never Catch a Netherpott started as a short story written in hopes to be published in a magazine, and how it later became the story for my book.

For any book to happen, I needed to try my hand at drawing these characters.  I used to love to draw.  In elementary school, my friends and I would draw for fun at sleepovers, usually drawing our favorite superheroes or mapping out video game designs.  I really enjoyed art class in high school and I could sail through class easily enough with my so-called skill, but utilizing it in a book meant for the "masses" was quite another thing altogether.

So, one day, I went off to a coffee shop nearby and put colored pencil to paper.  Here was my first attempt at the character of Ethan:

Ha ha!  Are you kidding me?  I almost gave up right there.  (Maybe should've too, but I still had coffee to drink.)

So, I thought it best to change things quite up a bit.  I kept trying.  Here was try # 2:

Was this an improvement?  I thought so, yes.  I kind of felt I was on to something here. 

A little momentum and a slight coffee buzz can do a lot for some creative self esteem.  So I drew another.

I was really feeling the red puffy down vest at this point.  I thought for sure I had found my Ethan.  He had his fishing hat and everything.  Why wouldn't the world feel the same as I felt about this character?  Mission accomplished, right?  I grabbed up my art supplies and headed home, proud and ready to show my wife this great thing that I was going to make.  I just knew she would be as excited about this as I was.

She said he looked like an old man.

She said kids wouldn't like him.  (She was so right, of course, but at that moment...I didn't quite agree.)

So a few days later I went back to the coffee shop and tried again.  Finally...I found my character.

As always, find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Never-Catch-Netherpott-Adventure-Ethan/dp/1463721048/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313179901&sr=8-1

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Never Catch a Netherpott

First the book.  Then the blog.

Here is the first post the the blog of "The Never Adventures".  It's supplemental to the books that are part of "The Never Adventures of Ethan Bell".

Just released!  Check it out here on Amazon :

link to the book on Amazon

Never Catch a Netherpott cover
The story for "Never Catch a Netherpott" started as an assignment I had done while attending The Institute of Children's Literature.  I wrote it intending to submit it to magazines as a short story. 

It evolved.

I started messing around with drawing again, and to my pleasant surprise, I could still decently draw.  So, after some edits, some hours logged on GIMP (a program like Photoshop), and learning a desktop publisher, I put together this little book.

After some serious thought, I decided to go the "self-publishing" route.  Since I did the art as well as the story, and the cover design and interior layouts, I figured I could give it a try on my own.  I figured most traditional publishers do most of that work in-house, and I may have gone beyond the phase in which they are looking to use, in terms of writers.

So, no publishing contract, no bragging rights, etc.  Though I do know this.  I followed through with something.  I kept going, when normally I would've stopped or started something else.  I learned a ton.  I am having fun.  I am hard at work on the 2nd book.

Not bad.

And hey, please take a look.  I would be humbled.