It’s nearly summer season! Get able to take a dip!
A dip within the debut waters, that’s! I’ve been following Kaz Windness for years now and I’ve lengthy admired her quirky paintings. So when she emailed me about her first image ebook, you realize I needed to leap proper in!
Kaz, you realize I really like to speak about image ebook concepts—the place did this one come from?
The concept for SWIM, JIM! got here from the information.
A person in Key Largo, Florida noticed a crocodile crossing a canal floating on high of a pool noodle and snapped an image.
I noticed the photograph and drew an image of my model of that crocodile. Once I confirmed the drawing to my agent, he stated there was a narrative there and inspired me to put in writing the ebook.
I failed swimming classes as a toddler and know what it’s wish to be afraid of the water. The truth is, I nonetheless want floaties within the pool, so Jim and I’ve loads in frequent. It took me a few weeks to work out the story and some extra to attract the dummy ebook, after which we had been out on submission!
OMG! I really like getting concepts from “bizarre information”!
Since I’m simply an writer, I’ve all the time been curious if when an author-illustrator comes up with concepts for tales, do you restrict your self by what you suppose you may illustrate?
I restrict myself by what I wish to illustrate, not by what I believe I can illustrate. I don’t thoughts a problem and can work out a method to attract one thing if it’s a part of my temporary. I’m positively a character-driven artist and storyteller, so in the event you give me a great character, I’m blissful to supply that character with no matter they want. Often, my environments are extra implied greater than extremely rendered, however I’ve loads of instruments in my toolbox to get round difficult illustrations.
And people instruments embody pool tubes! (Say that 10 occasions quick!)
Now Kaz, a bit croc advised me you had a traumatic swimming expertise as a toddler…?
My swimming academics threw me off the excessive dive once I was 4. My mother pulled me from swim classes that very same day. On reflection, these swimming academics had been most likely mid-teens, nevertheless it did wreck me for swimming. I just like the water, however I don’t swim.
I’ve a traumatic swim story, too! I took classes on the native YMCA and on the finish of the category, we needed to paddle throughout the size of the pool with a kick board. For some purpose, 3-year-old me thought I didn’t want no stinkin’ kick board, so I pushed it away. I can nonetheless see it skipping throughout the water. Then I don’t bear in mind something till I used to be grabbing my mom’s leg by the aspect of the pool.
OK, so are you due to this fact Jim on this ebook?
Sure! SWIM JIM is autobiographical! As are all my books in a roundabout way. Even “If UR Stabby” is all about my edgy introvert aspect that simply needs to be left alone with my canine and take heed to podcasts and write youngsters’s books. Not all unicorns are rainbows and kittens, you realize!
Subsequent yr, I’ve a brand new ebook known as BITSY BAT, SCHOOL STAR, created by the identical group and imprint that introduced you SWIM JIM! Bitsy talks about my experiences of making an attempt to slot in as an autistic child. Bitsy Bat finds herself at a college for nocturnal animals and as exhausting as she tries to do issues like everybody else, she will be able to’t be anybody besides her true self.
You could have fairly a number of books popping out within the subsequent few years! What recommendation do you’ve gotten for PB creators hoping to do the identical?
Be prepared! My image ebook break was a very long time coming (20 years!), however after you have a relationship with an editor, they’ll ask you what else you’re engaged on and even suggest you to different editors. Having some WIPs readily available is an enormous plus. I maintain a Google doc known as “Random Guide Concepts” and typically the random concepts change into books. I additionally strongly suggest having a critique group. My work is one million occasions higher as a result of I obtain common suggestions. My critique mates are additionally mates that perceive the bumpy journey that’s publishing. We raise one another up by the lows, rejoice the highs, and purchase one another tacos and artwork provides simply because.
SWIM, JIM! was on submission for a yr and obtained 50 rejections earlier than going into the public sale, so the entire “don’t surrender” recommendation is one thing I stand by. Being tenacious pays off in publishing, and in the event you can benefit from the journey within the meantime, all the higher.
We had our SWIM, JIM! launch occasion at The Wandering Jellyfish on Saturday, and seeing the best way children responded with laughter, sympathy, and curiosity—and even dressed up just like the character? It made all these years of exhausting work price it!
Kaz, so your debut image ebook IS autobiographical! It’s all about your publishing journey! You simply saved getting again in that water!
Thanks a lot for sharing SWIM, JIM! with us!
Weblog readers, Kaz is freely giving a complete package and caboodle of swim noodle swag! Just enter via this Rafflecopter!
Kazgratulations, once more Kaz! (I do know, I’m corny.)
Kaz Windness is an autistic author-illustrator specializing in inclusive tales that includes cute and quirky animals for youthful youngsters and spooky and edgy humor for older children and youths.
Kaz studied youngsters’s ebook illustration on the Rocky Mountain Faculty of Artwork and Design (RMCAD) the place she was a valedictorian graduate in 2002. Kaz volunteered because the SCBWI Rocky Mountain Chapter Illustrator Coordinator from 2009-2021 and continues to mentor and advocate for illustrators. She is enthusiastic about serving to artists succeed and believes schooling is vital. She is a professor of illustration and curriculum writer at RMCAD (2013-present).
Kaz is obsessive about squishy-faced canine, waffles, thrifting, and all issues spooky and witchy-woo-woo. She loves working in watercolor, gouache, acrylic, collage, and pencil, however largely Photoshop. There’s not a lot she gained’t flip into an artwork provide.
Kaz lives in Colorado along with her English trainer husband, two youngsters, and a bunny-obsessed Boston Terrier named Remy. Go to her at linktr.ee/kazwindness.
What do you think?