Last Friday night, I had the pleasure of presenting to students and families at a local elementary school's Literacy Night about what authors do and how books are made. The sessions were energetic and upbeat, and, as always, there were terrific questions from students. One that stays with me came after I mentioned that it can take two years or more from the time you sign up a new project to the time a bound book arrives at your door. One girl asked, "What if the book arrives and you don't like the way it looks?"
Well, good question.
I told her that authors see many steps along the way, so it wasn't likely I'd be blindsided by the final stage. That said, bound books always look different - more official, trimmed and spiffy - than mechanicals, proofs, or dummies. I told the student that if things didn't look the way I hoped they would, I would take a deep breath and try to find some things that I did like about the book. The process of making books involves many people, many ideas, many backgrounds, and many personalities. Some books travel a smoother path to publication than others. But it's all about working together, and it's always a thrilling ride.
I am a children's book author and history lover who feels lucky to have such an amazing job!