Monday, August 27, 2007

Final Sketch Completed - Whoohoo!!

All the preliminary sketches for Willow May Goes to the Midnight Carnival are done...YEA!!!!! The majority of them have been done for a couple of weeks but Pam was spending a little extra time creating the perfect send off for the Willow May ending. She sent it to me Saturday morning. Can she become any more of a genius? Well, I guess she can. Oh, I so want to tell you about it, but I can’t, it will spoil the surprise ending of the book. All I can say is it is fantastic and I never would have went there. What I had envisioned for the last page was the typical same old scene that you have seen 100 times before, but what she did was fresh and new and her dark and eerie macabre way. It is killing me not to be able to share more, but I can’ really is killing me.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Universe...Sunday Melt Down

As I have said before, my sister and I have the utmost respect and admiration for the Universe. We understand she is not going to sugar coat our world and hand us our dreams on a silver platter, instead she will test us, put up obstacles, and we will past those tests and conquer all obstacles in our way if we truly believe in our dreams. Okay, I get it, and believe Pam and I have maneuvered our way through several barriers and endured many brutal trials of faith.

This all stems from a series of emails back and forth with my sister, in which one I will quote from her “I want to curl up in a little ball and die.” The illustrations are all painted and scanned including the book cover. Now it is just setting up the book, which I thought an aggressive schedule, but my sister thought she could have completed in 3 days, I was thinking closer to 5, but again the ugly 2.5 rule has raised its ugly head. But this time by circumstances beyond our control, Pam’s external hard drive won’t accept any more of the Willow May’s files. She had 3 drives, and I may have the names wrong, but I believe they are Zeppelin, Alchemist, and Potions.

The problem child was Potions and Pam ended up losing several hours of work, which was crushing on top of the fact neither of us are the best at handle system problems and/or failures. I don’t mean technical wise, I mean emotional wise as in screaming at the computer screen “why are you doing this to me, what have I done to you, why do you hate me so much...” Luckily she had another external hard drive she was able to hook up (did not catch the name), but what an incredibly frustrating and exhausting weekend. I tried to console her as much as possible, but you know how on TV or in books there is that one character who always says the perfect thing to make everyone feel better in these types of situations...yeah, that would not be me.

I think we have once again averted the crisis, but please, how much more do we need to prove the Universe that we really, really, really, really, want to have this book published. We are not asking for her to throw us a break, just to please stop throwing us all these curve balls.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Web Domain Blues

Pam and I are going to set up an author and illustrator web page to help promote Willow May Goes the Midnight Carnival.... and future books. First thing we needed was our domain names, and from my knowledge of SEO, I chose for mine, but of course would not do for the illustrious illustrator, please, how plain and boring is that. Thus the quest began for the perfect website name. After a couple of angst full days, she asked if she could have the weekend to mill it over. On Tuesday, she begrudgingly, as she felt rushed in her decision-making, gave me the chosen name, Excellent, I could now purchase the domain names and get started on setting up the web pages. Not so fast as was already taken (shockingly, was available). Back to the drawing board, I looked up several alternative name such as, which she reluctantly said she would go with, but I could tell was not overly thrilled with it, and if it is one thing that I have learned, it is to constantly over thrill your illustrator. Then out of the blue a name came to me (actually thought it would make a good book title), but I offered it up for her site. Coming soon, author’s website and illustrator Pamela McCarville’s site,

Monday, August 20, 2007

Word Popularity

Came across this link from one of the writing list that I belong to that I thought was cool. This all sparked from a conversation of over using that word “that”. Turns out that “that” ranks 7th in 86,800 frequently used words in the English language. Needless to say that there went a few minutes of my life typing in words to see where they ranked and to see if that I could come up with that one word that fell out of the 86,800. Not sure if that is a writer thing, or if that is just a me thing. What was that word I came up with that is not one of the 86,800 most frequently used words you ask? And you probably really did not ask that, but here that word is anyway: Coulrophobia, the fear of clowns. Came up in an email exchange that I had with my sister the other day, don’t ask.

For hours of word entertainment here is that link to that site:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Promote that Book!

One great thing about my sister, well there are several great things about my sister that it boggles the mind to decide which sheer genius aspect to reflect upon at any given moment; however, at this moment I am going to reflect upon her amazing design and creative talent when it comes to promotional materials. That’s right we are all about the Willow May Goes to the Midnight Carnival bling! We will have bookmarks, buttons, magnets and posters, perhaps even t-shirts and Willow May calendars. Okay, maybe I am getting a bit a head of myself here, but I have been keeping an eye out for promotional opportunities.

I jot the ideas down in emails and send them to myself to put in my Willow May promo file or if it is from an article in the paper or magazine I cut it out and drop it into a file. I also picked up a couple of books on marketing your book, 1001 Ways to Market Your Book by John Kremer and The Frugal Book Promoter, How to Do What Your Publisher Won’t by Caroline Howard-Johnson. They both list valuable promotional tips you may not have thought of and provide a wealth resource information. Caroline Howard-Johnson also has a great newsletter, Sharing with Writers, that comes out weekly with lots of promotion ideas and inspiration too. You can sign–up through her website, Another helpful book for online marketing is Plug Your Book, Online Book Marketing for Authors by Steve Weber. In addition, I stumbled across a Yahoo Group that also provides an overwhelming wealth of information. The group is mainly for those who are starting up their own small publishing companies, but I have found they give a lot of promotional and marketing advice, book signing tips, as well as providing a ton of resources. The group is You might want to sign-up on digest mode as they are a very active list. Let’s see, oh yes, one more for those of you who are not the sister to the illustrious illustrator and designer, Pamela McCarville, the book Book Design and Production: A Guide for Authors and Publishers by Pete Masterson. This should be required reading for all involved in the book publishing process whether directly involved or not with the actual production and designing process.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Pout

There is no end to the amount of joy and love our four-legged children bring into our lives. But sometimes I believe caring for them is harder than the two-legged variety. At least they can tell you what they want. Like today with the calico. I have fed her, given her treats, played sparkle toy, brushed her, strolled through the garden, and yet I have still failed to please her.

We are now in our famous pout position after trying to climb up the curtains, rearrange and shred documents on the desk all while vocalizing her displeasure.

What is not revolving around her today...that needs to be?!?!?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Time Management

Willow May Goes to the Midnight Carnival is running a tad bit behind schedule and needless to say tension, anxiety, and stress levels have elevated slightly, okay extremely. I don’t think my sister and I look alike, but complete strangers guess we are sisters, and we have even been mistaken as twins a few times. I think it is because we act alike. We have the same mannerisms, same sense of unusual dry humor, and for the most part, the same tastes, opinions, and outlooks. It is a blessing and a curse. A blessing because our ideas feed upon one another leading to this fantastic metamorphosis of creation on a colossal scale greater than we could have ever imagined. A curse because our ideas feed upon one another leading to this fantastic metamorphosis of creation on a colossal scale greater than we could have ever imagined OR allowed time for.

This is the case with the Willow May illustrations. Like on the one-eye clown illustrations. She would send me a sketch and I would go “you know what you could add to this...” then she would go “oh, that is a great idea, and then what I could do with that...” I would continue “oh, that is genius AND you could then carry that over to page 27”. This goes on for several more minutes until we have surpassed that of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. We don’t want to tone down this process, as we want our readers to experience the full effect of The Pam & Icats. It is a heavy burden we have to bear...and learn to better time manage.

Monday, August 6, 2007

What Month Is It?

My sister sent me an email that the stores already have their Halloween candy out. Now don’t get me wrong, my sister and I LOVE Halloween (as well as Halloween candy), but please isn’t it only the first of August? The stock boy told Pam that eventually all seasonal candy will come out the first of the year. A one-time deal, then all over with.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Editing and Illying

Working through a few more painful tweaks on the text and Pam continues to sketch and paint her fingers to the bones on the illustrations for Willow May Goes to the Midnight Carnival. We have but one preliminary sketch left (whoo hoo!!!!), and I am tickled purple with what has been done so far. My sister’s artwork has always been amazing to me, but I swear, she has raised it 5 notches with Willow May. The clown illustrations took my breath away, the attention to detail and the acrobatic positions of them with the intricate work on the mind is officially blown away.