While the pandemic is still raging in the United States the work of authors and illustrators continues. I'm at work on a few projects, including an exciting new #STEM book for HMHKids.
Apart from answering last-minute notes from my editor, I'm enjoying one of the most rewarding and tedious tasks -- selecting the images and their placement in the book.
This involves reviewing all of the photos taken for the book and doing research to provide additional photos that will enrich the story. It also means that I have to make sure that all the image files meet the publisher's requirements -- including transferring jpgs into tiff files for printing. I also have to write all the captions and provide the image credits.
And while I take on this task I'm transported to my senior year of college when I spent a year at Audubon Magazine doing exactly the same thing -- well, almost. There were no digital files at the time. I had a lightbox and lots of slides and artwork to consider.
Did I know then that my internship would matter so much to me as a kidlit author? Nope. Granted, I LOVED my internship. I loved everything about it, but I didn't have a crystal ball. I filed away that experience like so many others we have in our young lives.
Those experiences, though, all play a part in who we become and what skills we pack in our suitcases for the journey through our lives. They don't necessarily lead to a job right away, but they might impact a job in the future.
It's the same with an editor critique. An editor might provide you with valuable criticism that could launch your manuscript into a new direction, even if it isn't with their publishing house. It's a matter of taking these experiences and making them matter.
Well, I need to get back to work. Thanks, Marty Hill, for being an incredible mentor at Audubon and for telling me I should become a writer. I can't tell you what it has meant to me.