Thursday, September 30, 2010

Welcome! I'm Helena

I've always wanted to create beautiful books for children, but writing isn't my forte. One day Kimberlee wrote to me, sharing a book idea and wondering id Id be interested in working on it with her. I've been wanting to challenge myself, move in a different directions with my work, especially in ways that would eventually benefit the upcoming generations: families, mothers, and children. Then Kimberlee called.

Kimberlee and I are both mothers. Her family is young and mine are grown, so we've got a good team here: fresh ideas, talent, and most important, a goal that when reached, will benefit many.

You might enjoy following the ups and downs of our journey, and you are invited to jump in and comment, share your own experiences, or simply click in and skim through every now and then!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We're Off and Running!

I shall start from the beginning as there is no greater place to start. About 14 years ago while working at NASA an author contacted me and said she was writing a children's book on the International Space Station. I was working as an instructor for the astronauts and flight controllers at this time. She wanted to learn too and then write a book about it for children in very simple non-technical terms. I agreed to help her. At the same time, I thought to myself I can do that!

A little while later I found a course and took it from the Children's Institute of Literature. I completed that nearly 12 years ago. I got married and had three kids all the while and just recently thought of the kind of books I would want to produce for children. I still do work at NASA, but I don't really want to write about work after work. I do however want to write something to inspire and to teach children. I feel that today some things are getting lost that we need to return to children. So that is what my series will be about. I'm not going to spill all the beans here. After all someone could hijack my very idea. This blog will more so be about our adventure and process because I am going about things a bit different than usual. Why? Just because I want to. Just because I am following my heart and I want things a certain way. I have a certain vision for these books and I want them to at least start off on the right foot aesthetically.

I have purchased these beautiful calendars for the last few years titled,  Call of the Goddess. They are illustrated by a very talented woman by the name of Helena Nelson-Reed. So I thought one day - I really want her to be the one to start on this journey with me and to bring my creation to life. I know that usually you should have something to show before contacting someone, but I was driven to contact her prior to even putting pen to paper. I had the ideas in my head and I wanted this to be a joint venture.  So I did. And I was shocked and thrilled that she was interested in working with me!

Since then I have written my first script. And last week we met (oh I should say also that she is in IL while I am in TX) via phone and computer trading things through email. I saw the first of a few sketches of my characters brought to life and it is so exhilarating!

Now I must say that what we are doing is really viewed by some as all wrong. I, as a writer, am to write and hand over the script to a publisher. Then when I get someone to believe in my vision and like my writing, they go off and choose an illustrator to bring the words to life. I really really didn't want to do things this way. Why can't author and artist agree to work together first and create a masterpiece? So there you have it after about 4 months of conversing and planning we are off the ground and running. We are pushing ourselves to chart new horizons and we thought some of you might like to run with us to see what the future holds.