Friday, February 22, 2008

Paco's Book Blog Tour

It's Paco time!

New this week: Paco and the Giant Chili Plant, written by Keith Polette, published by Raven Tree Press, and illustrated by Elizabeth O. Dulemba.
To celebrate, Elizabeth's blogging author/illustrator buddies are sending her on a book blog tour. For my stop in the tour, I've asked her 6 questions. Read her answers, below, and then check out the other station stops in her tour.
And buy her book!
1. Which title do you take more pride in, author or illustrator?


I was an illustrator first, so it's the title I'm m
ost comfortable with, however, I probably take it for granted. The author tag is new and still somewhat untested. Although I've sold many articles, a short story, a poem, have won honorable mention in several writing contests and am writing my second novel, I have yet to see my name on the cover of a published book as author. So that's what I covet the most right now.

2. I admire that you took a lot of time to develop your work, a few
years ago, to get it ready to submit to publishers. That takes patience and persistence. Care to share how you did it?
Oh, I was sending work out while
I tried to develop my style, don't get me wrong! I just hadn't found my voice yet and there wasn't much interest until I did. To find it, I experimented with everything: acrylics, oils, gouache, markers, colored pencils, you name it. The supplies are scattered around my office . . . somewhere. It wasn't until I went back to the computer and the software program, Painter, that I sprouted wings. (I'd dabbled with Painter for years, but frankly, computers weren't up to the task until just a few years ago. It's a behemoth of a program.)

3. Describe your best speaking gig so far.

Hands down, the Decatur Book Festival. Now heading into its third year,
it started up right after I moved to the are
a. The owner of my favorite independent bookstore, Little Shop of Stories, is in charge of the children's stage and has been so supportive of my career. That first year, I read GLITTER GIRL AND THE CRAZY CHEESE to a crowd of hundreds under the children's tent - what a thrill!
4. What competes for your time, and how do you manage to give your
writing and illustration work th
e time it needs?

I just work my tail off, no way around it. I have tw
o muses fighting for 100% of my time and it's tough to keep them appeased.

5. What are your goals for your work?

I always want to produce the absolutely best work I can, which can be challenging when I'm not given enough time or have too much on my plate. But I got into children's books to create inspi
red work, work that attempts to be in the same league with that of my heroes (children's book illustrators). My goal is for my work to entrance and transport the viewer to magical places.

6. Now that Paco's out, what are you working on next?
Lots! I'm writing my second novel (the
first is with my agent). I'm illustrating the second two books in a parental aid picture book series - I also illustrated the first two which come out this June. I'm finishing up a few coloring book covers and writing more picture book stories. And of course, I've got lots of engagements lined up to celebrate Paco! I can't wait! (My calendar of events: ).

In keeping with my fellow bloggers' recipe offerings, here's mine:
Five Year Old Quesadillas (pronounced Kay-sah-DEE-yahs)
(so named because they're easy enough for a 5-year-old to make -- not because they're old ;)
1. Lay a flour tortilla on a glass dish.
2. Sprinkle it with about 4 tablespoons of grated cheese, more or less to taste. Grated cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack or a taco blend all work well.
3. Top with another flour tortilla.
4. Zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds or until the cheese is melted.
5. Remove from oven, let cool, and slice it into pie-wedges using a pizza cutter.
This is my 5-year-old grandson's favorite recipe, at the moment.

To read the rest of Elizabeth's interviews and find a few more recipes, check out these blogs:

Kim Norman's Stone Stoop! Kim is the author of "Jack of all Tails" and shares a great recipe for Tasty Tortilla Snowflakes!!
Barbara Johansen Newman's Cat n' Jammers Studio. Barb wrote and illustrated "Tex & Sugar."
Janee Trasler's Art & Soul. Jan
ee's latest book is "Ghost Eats It All!"
Ruth McNally Barshaw, creator of "Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel!" (Elizabeth says: If you like "Diary of a Whimpy Kid," you'll love Ellie! -- thanks, Elizabeth)
Kerry Madden, author of "Jessie's Mountain," the thrid installment in her Maggie Valley trilogy (read about it here.)
Sarah Dillard, illustrator of "Tightrope Poppy" and author/illustrator of the forthcoming "Perfectly Aru

And -- check out Elizabeth's site for more of her luminous art-- like this piece:

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