All too often, an idea pops into my head and I have to stop and ask myself, “is that totally crazy or doable?”
Sometimes, the answer is both.
Several months ago, as I was thinking about something special to share with readers for the holidays, I kept coming back to the idea of children’s book. The two adorably fuzzy little characters stuck in my mind were Ollie and Tip from my Baker City Brides sweet historical series.
Ollie is a pet raccoon and Tip is a pet fox.
The two of them together was too much potential fun to resist.
The first step was to write the story. I knew I wanted it to rhyme and I wanted it to center around Christmas in Baker City in the late 1800s.
Once I had the story together, the biggest hurdle to cross was illustrations for the book. It is wildly expensive to hire an illustrator for a project like this, so I decided to give it a try myself. And before you start thinking I have any artistic talent when it comes to drawing, paintings, etc., I have none. As in nada. Zilch. Zero. I can’t even draw stick people that right.
But I do have a graphic design program and like to play with it.
Which is exactly what I did to create the book.
I found a bunch of photos I liked of foxes and raccoons.
Like this one of a fox (Tip).
And this one of a raccoon (Ollie), combined together, altered to look like an illustration, and placed over a background turned into this:
There were several nights (or maybe you could call it mornings) when I stayed up until 2 and 3 a.m. working to get each page just right. It stretched my graphic skills and then some, but I had fun and learned so much about turning photographs into illustrations.
The next step was to fine tune the story to go with the illustrations.
The results is something I hope you’ll enjoy!
Christmas Keepsake is available on Amazon on Kindle and also (free) through Kindle Unlimited. You will also find it in hardback and paperback versions in many online outlets including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Happy reading and happy holidays!