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Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Five: I illustrated a book!

Welcome to another Friday Five with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia! Since this week is a Free Friday so I thought I'd talk about something a bit different: illustrating a children's book

The short chapter book (ages 6-11) is titled Princess Bella and the Dragon's Charm and it was written by Pete Planisek. He's written other short stories and novels – including a Frankenstein series– so a kid's books was a bit of a departure from his normal, gothic fare. I came on board after he'd tried out a few other illustrators. I used to draw all the time for work [portfolio sample], but nowadays I do more analytical documentation, so it was good to get back to artsy stuff.

Fancy author photo
Learning Experiences
Content Creation:
When we began working together I was traveling a lot for work and had freelance clients. It was tough to find time for drawing. Additionally, I truly believe in the phrase "if you don't use it, you lose it." My drawing skills had all but vanished in the years my job took a turn from art to planning. After several months of very little progress I finally hit my stride. We're going to work on a second children's book and I think it will be a smoother process (on my end) and I will produce better and more engaging art.
Chapter 4 evolution: version 1 vs. version 4 (click to enlarge)

Some promotional bookmarks
Layout + eBook:
For now, the book is an eBook. Pete is looking to publish physical copies as early as fall. Physical copies will allow library and classroom purchasing, giveaways, and lead to more in-store events. I'm looking forward to a physical book so we have more control over the layout. One thing about eBooks: you have to be very flexible with the layout to allow for different fonts, font sizes, and even page color. I did not lay out the eBook version, so I don't have any tips or tricks, but I am looking forward to seeing how the physical copy layout progresses. I have an InDesign file of how I want it to look, but we'll see what's truly possible! (I will post an update when physical copies are available.)

Release Party
On April 14 we had a book release at Barnes and Noble. Pete talked about his process and how this book differs from his others, while I gave a little insight into illustration (3:45). By the way, Pete broke his foot just before the release!

We're in the process of creating an activity bundle to go along with Princess Bella and the Dragon's Charm. In the meantime, we have a few coloring pages and mazes for download.

Download PDF
Buying the (e)Book
The eBook is available for purchase on Amazon | Barnes and Noble | eJunkie
For more information, visit Enceladus Literary.


  1. Very cool! I so admire people with artistic talent because I don't have any! :-)

    1. haha thanks. You might be surprised. I used some of my analytical skills when the going got tough. ;)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Tina! It was interesting to try something new!

  3. Wow, this is absolutely wonderful! Congrats! I see great things in your future!

    1. Thanks so much! It was fun, but I definitely learned what to do and not to do next time.


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