Theodore and the Enchanted Bookstore series author, K. Kibbee, and illustrator, J.H. Winter, finally meet!
The Theodore series has been in the making for over a year now as a project that Kristine Kibbee wrote for Incorgnito Publishing Press’ company mascot. After the first book was written and in the editing stages, it was time to find an illustrator for the series.
Kristine and I had been Twitter friends for awhile now, both being middle grade writers and having similar interests. I’ve forgotten who found who at this point, but when Kristine thought about who might illustrate the Theodore books, she had a few people in mind and I was lucky enough to be one of them.
She’d seen my illustrative work on my blog and Twitter feeds and knew that if I had the time, this could be a really fun project we could work on together. The only thing I had to do was impress the publishers with my work.
So, I went ahead and drew up a couple of ideas I’d had for the little Corgi pup, Theodore, knowing a bit of the backstory of what the book was about. Needless to say, the rest is history. My designs were chosen from the competing illustrators, and I signed with Incorgnito Publishing Press to illustrate this wonderful series.
Being friends with the author of the series has been an amazing experience, and one that I don’t take for granted. I know traditionally speaking, authors and illustrators don’t know each other ahead of time in the publishing world.
With Kristine being only a click away, I had the opportunity to work with her on the characters one-on-one and to make sure that The Enchanted Bookstore and those inside it, were exactly what she had pictured while writing the story. She was my number one critic and number one fan all at the same time.
As a writer myself, I would want to make sure whoever was illustrating my work (if it wasn’t me) had captured my characters as I saw them while writing the story. This became my number one goal throughout the illustrative process.
Getting to finally meet Kristine was amazing and felt like a long time coming. We found that we enjoyed each other’s company in person just as much as across the web. We signed a few of the Theodore books together and talked over coffee about life and the enchanting future for Theodore.
Kristine gave me hints into some possible illustration ideas for Book Two, and as a lover of the series myself, I can’t wait to read it and begin brainstorming how I can turn her words into images for kids and adults alike to enjoy.