I keep pinching myself about how lucky I am to be working with my wonderful team at Aladdin; Liesa Abrams, editor extraordinaire is helping me edit the story into a trimmer tighter tale. Not only is she brilliant at story, she is that rare breed of editor who is careful to couch any "cutting" comments with positive and sensitive spin. She couldn't possibly be more respectful of my story.
I am also having a ton of fun working with Karin Paprocki, the art director on MILO. Together we have been redesigning the 4 main characters of the book and though at first it was really hard for me to have to reimagine what Milo looked like...
(old Milo designed on the adolescent "me" who lived this story)
...I am now really happy with what he looks like (see top of post!) The back and forth of sketches and the discussions that followed is not only helping define the look of all the cartoons but helped us see Milo as the kind of main character kids will relate to in a visual way. Sure it was hard to change how I saw the character - afterall, I'd been doodling him for over a year. But again, I am blown away by the careful way Karin has been directing her comments to me about what makes one drawing work better than another. And like I said, the end result is wonderful.
What strikes me is how much everyone behind the book is BEHIND the book (and respectful of my process).
With publication just a year away and deadlines for final text and artwork coming soon - I am swimming in the fun part of making a book, my book....my Milo!