Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gossip from the Girl's Room: A Blogtastic Novel blog tour.

Today is my stop on Rose Cooper's blog tour for her debut novel, Gossip from the Girl's Room: A Blogtastic Novel.

This blog is for writers, and is mainly about writing, and the road to publication, but Rose's book is an interesting mix of format and illustration, so I asked her to talk a little bit about what it's like to be the author and the illustrator for the same novel.

Take it away, Rose!

I am lucky enough to be the author as well as the illustrator of the MG Blogtastic! Novel series GOSSIP FROM THE GIRLS’ ROOM and RUMORS FROM THE BOYS’ ROOM. Writing the book and making the illustrations is a double process-two different deadlines and twice the work, but totally worth it!

I work with my editor on the revisions and copy edits of the actual text. For the illustrations, I work with a designer at Random House.

As I write the book, I insert notes as to what the images will be and where they will be placed. For example I’ll write [insert illus: Sofia yelling at Nona, saying “You have anger issues!”] These notes go through the same revisions and copy edits as the actual manuscript. I actually don’t start drawing the images until after copyedits.

Even though I can chose which illustrations to make, during revisions, my editor can request an image to be cut or changed. The last step in the process is doing corrections on the images I’ve submitted. They have a real eye for detail! Some of corrections are really simple, like thickening the stroke lines or making the eyes smaller, or even adding length to a characters hair so it matches with a previous image. It may not sound like much, but it’s about 200 images per book that I end up drawing, which can be really time consuming. I also have to scan each image in, set it at certain resolution and save in a specific format.

The cover is designed at the same time and it can take several attempts to get the image just right. With one book, it can seem like almost a year of deadlines with short breaks in-between. Having both my books released in the same year is fantastic though, and it doesn’t get any less exciting!

Here are some images that were cut from the first book, GOSSIP.

This was cut because the scene was changed and the word “Love” was removed from all the text in the book and replaced with the word “crush.”

Apparently, decapitation is not encouraged. The note from my editor said, “Ha! No way!”

The entire scene for this image was cut. Sofia’s mom assumed Sofia had a bladder infection since she always caught her in the girls’ room (she was only stalking!). Sofia was forced to go to the Dr. and, as you can see, peeing in a cup is frowned upon too!

I’m seeing a theme here. Missing body parts are serious, people!

Thanks, Rose!

I find this fascinating. I mean, of course, Rose's drawings are awesome, so adorable and look like they fit very well with this fun idea for a story, but I find it really interesting to hear about the process and how much work goes into something that looks so simple. Clearly it isn't as easy as she makes it look.

What do you guys think? Can any of you draw (besides Vic)? Would you ever want to illustrate your own book?

Don't forget to visit Rose's blog, and become a follower.

And, if you really want to get into the Girl's Room, you can pre-order it online:
Amazon / Borders / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound / Powell's Books

Thanks so much for sharing all this with us, Rose!

Follow Rose Cooper on her blog tour to promote GOSSIP FROM THE GIRLS’ ROOM:

Monday, April 18th The Misadventures in Candyland
Tuesday, April 19th The Quintessentially Questionable Query Experiment
Wednesday, April 20th Rambles & Randomness
Thursday, April 21st Unedited
Friday, April 22nd Talli Roland
Saturday, April 23rd Booking Mama
Monday, 25th Random Acts of Reading
Tuesday, April 26th Amie Borst

Random House Kids’ll be tweeting about Rose’s blog tour on @RandomHouseKids!
(Follow the author: @RoseCooper)

ALSO: Contest announcement! Rose has been kind enough to offer a giveaway. How cool is that? One lucky winner will receive an original drawing, to be determined by Rose and the lucky winner!

All you have to do is either already be a follower of Rose's blog, or go follow her today, and then comment on this post. One comment per person will earn you one entry into a randomizer.org drawing for a drawing. Pun intended.


Laura Pauling said...

What a fun idea. And girls know - the girls bathroom is where all the gossip starts!

Karen Baldwin said...

Yes, how fun! Great interview!

Candyland said...

LOL! Rose is messed up haha! I would have loved an adult version with the finger, pee cup and decapitation!

Old Kitty said...

I can draw stick figures really badly!!!!

No-way can I draw AND be witty like Ms Cooper!!!!

Good luck with Gossip from the Girls' Room!!! Take care

Robyn Lucas said...

I'd love to have the talent to draw, but the art gods have not smiled on me.

That book looks adorable. Bet my daughter will eat it up! Can't wait.

Congrats Rose.

vic caswell said...

ohman! they cut all kinds of awesome from the book!!!

Emily White said...

I can draw stick figures very well. :)

Great interview!

Unknown said...

Sounds like a fun read, nice interview too.

Lindsay said...

How can decapitation not be encouraged? LOL

Great interview, Matt.

Jess said...

This is so cool! It's fascinating to hear about the background on this type of novel. Thank you, Rose and Matt :)

Michael G-G said...

Conversation overheard in doctor's waiting room: "I can understand why they would censor peeing in a cup. But decapitation? Do these people have no sense of humor?! What'll they think of banning next? Defenestration?!!"

(Disclaimer: The above conversation is imagined, has no basis in reality, and is the product of an errant author's sick brain.

Additional disclaimer: If you plan to sue for bad taste, lawyers are standing by to take my call.)

Great post, Matt. I thoroughly enjoyed Rose's explanation of all that goes into producing the illustrations for a book, and the censorship that accompanies having a sense of humor. I'm now following Rose's blog, and salivating to get my mitts on her books--for my 14-year-old, you understand. War and Peace for me, of course.

Unknown said...

This looks like a fun book. I don't know if I could ever do my own illustrations. I do try to draw sometimes but only for fun.

Kerri Cuev said...

What a fun book and what girl doesn't gossip in the bathroom lol.

Chris Phillips said...

I've always wondered about how people get to draw/write. I wonder how she pitched that?

Creepy Query Girl said...

awesome! This sounds like such a cute book and I'm so impressed she both wrote and illustrated it! Thanks for sharing these and I look forward to the rest of your blog tour! YOu're going to be in some of my favorite places!

Unknown said...

Hah! I can't wait to read this one. rose is one cool gal.

Vicki Rocho said...

I love these images! How about a "blooper book" Rose? Of all the images that didn't make it through?

Theresa Milstein said...

I loved the first book and so did my daughter. We're both looking forward to the 2nd one.

I'm always in awe with people who can write AND draw. Not to mention, make me laugh.

Anita said...

This IS fascinating...and funny...I like the stuff the editor cut.

Jared Larson said...

These look way fun. I can't wait to read it.

Jonathon Arntson said...

What a cool post!

I have a question for Rose, if she stops by:

Do you dream and think in black and white animation? (Just like I used to dream in Spanish when I was preparing for the AP exam.)

Lydia Kang said...

Nice interview, thanks Matthew!

Carolina M. Valdez Schneider said...

I remember coming across Rose's blog shortly after her sale. I was in awe of her talent. Not only does she write, but she illustrates like a champion. Unbelievable skill. Like you said, it's fascinating. I can't draw to save my life, so it's especially awesome to me.

Anonymous said...

Very cool! Great post!

LTM said...

that is so freakin cool. I love Rose's drawings, and it's neat to hear how it works for graphic novels. Thatsalotaawork... :D <3

Unknown said...

This is seriously an extra dose of awesome! I'm loving all the fabulous images and scenes! ROSE IS SO AWESOME....

So are you Matthew!!!

Amie Borst said...

OMG!! these images are hysterical!

Amie Borst said...

OMG!! these images are hysterical!

Rose Cooper said...

Thank you so much for participating in this blog tour, Matthew! Have I told you lately how awesome you are?

Chris Phillips- I did an interview where I explained how I submitted the story my agent(http://tinyurl.com/3hodo6r). Matthew has my original query here on his site too. I had no idea how to pitch such a story, so I had to wing it.

Jonathon Arntson- No, I don't. But that's really interesting, something I never thought about until you mentioned it.

Everyone-thank you for all the wonderful things you've said! You guys made my day!

Tracey Neithercott said...

That was really interesting. I loved learning behind-the-scenes stuff, like why certain illustrations were cut. I can't imagine illustrating a book and writing it. She's basically Superwoman.