Just released- Journey!

My new children's book, JOURNEY, is now available to buy across all Amazon websites and is available to order from all bookstores. You can read the Kirkus Review here.


This is first book I have illustrated myself. I love collaborating with an illustrator and seeing what someone else dreams up with my words as well as having someone to share the creative process with. Doing both the story and illustrations put a lot of pressure on me to get everything right, but it's also been rewarding to push myself into new territory and see if I could create a whole book alone. I'm a very visual person and always have a clear vision in my head of how each book I write should look, down to the color palette and the picture placement on each page, and I see the illustrations in my mind as I write the text. I think this comes partially from studying screenwriting, as it is a very visual form of writing. When I wrote Journey I could see the text swirling around and mimicking the weather on each page.

I have painted my whole life as well as studied traditional photography. When I go on vacation I'll sit for hours on a cold rock with my camera waiting for the sun to set or for the perfect crashing wave and when I paint from that photo I try to capture it as realistically as I can. Illustrating has been an interesting new challenge and I've enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. It's been very freeing to let my imagination run wild with paint and play with things a bit more, adding swirly skies, splatters and curly wave horizons. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to my writing and painting, and I've redone a few pictures several times despite friends and family telling me they were fine. Some pictures that I really love did not make it into this book because the color palette wasn't the same as the rest of the illustrations or the landscape was just too different from the rest. I think as I do more detailed illustrations with multiple characters I will definitely need to do more rough sketching, but this book worked with allowing myself the freedom to just play and see where each image took me, in the same way the hot air balloon carries these two friends away on their journey.

Here are some photos of all the artwork laid out in my living room and a couple of my favorite illustrations from the book:


More soon,


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