It’s been a long time coming, but the release of my first junior novel is finally drawing near. Mike the Spike is being launched in August 🙂

prelimThere have been several highlights of the journey already. The first – and most crucial – was signing the contract with New Frontier Publishing. Promises of publication are all terribly exciting, but as a lawyer I know only too well that nothing’s definite until the contract’s done and dusted. Actually … not even then … but that’ll be the subject of another blog post!

Getting to see the manuscript laid out in book pages was the next marvellous milestone. For the first time, I saw my story as an actual product. It suddenly became something that other people will buy and sell, not just something that’s been living inside my head. It felt odd, like I was reading someone else’s book.

prelim2Large blank squares appeared throughout – spaces where the pictures would go. There were no pictures yet, just a few brief sentences to guide the illustrator. I couldn’t wait to see the drawings.

My editor passed on some preliminary sketches to keep me happy. I guess they’re used to impatient authors!

All the pictures will be in full colour. My illustrator is the talented Ben Johnston, who is also an architect. It’s so amazing to see my characters brought to life visually. It’s something I could never do myself. I’ve dabbled with drawing … and playing guitar … all I can say is, thank God I can write!

17 thoughts on “A sneak peek at some gorgeous illustrations

  1. So exciting, Stella! I only have short stories illustrated, but I remember the thrill when I saw the illustrator’s interpretation of my words. So cool!
    Will it be this book that you will showcase in Meet My Character Blog Tour? I published my post early Monday in California and you have a whole week to go on if you choose to. See you.

    1. Stella says:

      I read your post, Evelyne, your book sounds marvellous! Very thrilling, I’m looking forward to reading it. Yes, I’ll be showcasing Mike in the Meet My Character Blog Tour. Thanks so much for the opportunity and for introducing me to your followers 🙂

  2. Laree says:

    Looks fantastic Stella. I can’t wait to see the full book. Do you have a cover yet?

    1. Stella says:

      Thanks, Laree, I can’t wait either! It’s a shame you’re not coming to the CYA Conference this year … I’ll have the cover soon. It’s starting to feel real now.

  3. It’s looking so good! I can just imagine the conversations the kids will be having after reading it. To listen to its afterlife experienced in young minds, published through young mouths, will be a trip over the rainbow. What a high!

    1. Stella says:

      Thanks! You should write for kids too! You have such a beautiful way of expressing things.

      1. Stella says:

        Glad you didn’t put something else starting with ‘oh sh’!

      2. Not shiver-me-timbers?

      3. Stella says:

        How did you know there are pirates in the story?

      4. The illustration above.

      5. Stella says:

        Oh, yeah. Goofy expression …

  4. Dimity Powell says:

    Hey Stella, so exciting watching your baby grow and come to life. Good for you. I have seen Ben’s illos before and they’re super. You are in good hands as it were! Can’t wait to see the final product. I also had an inkling that you are on this year’s success panel at CYA this year? If so, brilliant. I’m going again so will look forward to meeting you perhaps. Cheers Dimity

    1. Stella says:

      Great, it’ll be good to see you! Yes, I’m going to be on the success panel. Can’t wait 🙂

  5. Vasudha says:

    So exciting! Looking forward to the launch so I can get an autographed copy 🙂

    1. Stella says:

      Yay, I’m glad you’re going to be there!

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