5/17/2010

One for sorrow, two for joy.



Work has started on my new book project I spoke about earlier, or perhaps I should say our new book project. It is in fact going to be a family project and something very new and experimental for all of us. I had a vague idea I wanted to write about and my husband Tony (an English teacher) helped me to shape the idea into a story. Gradually he added bits, new ideas, this interchange of ideas went back and forth, back and forth until it was difficult to remember how we arrived at the final version!

We submitted the completed text (without illustration) to a couple of publishers who very politely said “no thanks”. The text then languished in a drawer for months until our son James took it out and made it into an audio book as part of his final years studies in music technology. The addition of music and sound effects really brought the story to life and we were all very pleased with the result.

Fast forward another twelve months and we are on the threshold of our new venture, the work will be published as a multi-media children’s book application for the Apple iPod, iPhone, iPad, and other audio platforms. It will have fourteen illustrations, a scrolling text, music and sound effects and narration which can be overwritten by another voice, for example a parent or child can choose to record themselves reading the story. It is going to be available in English and German. The book also has a title “The bird with the rainbow tail”

The very sad magpie drawing is work in progress; all the illustrations start as pen and ink drawings in black and white with colour added digitally so it will be a mixture of old and new technologies. I hope the world will always be full of traditional children’s books, they played an important role in my life, my children’s life and now my grandchild’s life but we see this as an addition, the sort of thing that you can take on a journey without then need to carry heavy books around. I hope to explain more later; in the meantime I will leave you with one very sad magpie in the making.

25 comments:

  1. How wonderful! A family endeavour. It is remarkable the many ways works can be published these days. I love idea of people reading, looking and listening to your story on their iPhones!

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  2. That sounds all very exciting! And so nice that you can work together with so many different skills and talents.

    Magpies are very handsome, undeniably. But the ones we have in our garden are big bullies, so they are NOT our favourite birds. Recent habit has been to trash the water in the birdbath so the little birds don't have clean water to drink. And we won't discuss the business of blackbird and sparrow nests, "nature red in tooth and 'beak'". Still we are lucky to have so many different birds in a small suburban garden.

    Good luck with the rest of the drawings!

    Cheers,
    AJ

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  3. What a great project - a real family work.

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  4. i love that your family was drawn together to create this work. you can hope for things like that as a parent but to experience them - well it must be amazing for you. steven

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  5. How very exciting! I see how this will be a hit. I was recently traveling with young children of my daughter's best friend...they were quietly reading on their iPhones and enjoying it! And yours will be so beautiful!

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  6. This is brilliant. I think it's a wonderful way to entire children to read. For those with any reading disabilities, this will give them the opportunity to fully enjoy a book. I find that make reading / learning disabilities are easier to momentarily "overcome" when there are other things, like music, brought into the experience. Once a child has a positive experience, it is easier to work forward helping to overcome those disabilites.

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  7. How exciting! This is probably the way of the future too, alongside (we hope) a continuing love of bound books. But most youngsters I know have at least a cell phone, if not a laptop too, and want to have the latest downloads.
    The combination of your beautiful art, the text and latest applications is sure to be a winner.

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  8. Sounds like an ideal combination to me. How nice that it re-emerged under a new guise after being put away for so long. That magpie does look sad but they are naughty. They chase all the other birds out of the way and nab the suet for themselves.

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  9. Your book sounds wonderful. Such a lot of talent all in one family! It's sad about the magpie...being sad and all.

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  10. I love the sound of this new project! Working with family members can be a challenge, but it sounds like yours found a way to make some very modern magic! I can't wait to hear more about it! I am the new owner of an iPhone so I have finally dipped my foot into that whole digital world, having resisted for ages ! Best wishes for good progress!

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  11. ... altogether and exciting project... some times we have to wait for good things... I am so happy for you all..

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  12. What a lovely post, and what an exciting idea. I love your magpie illustration, we have a family who regularly visit our garden. Although they are naughty they are such handsome birds, and they do make us laugh with their antics.

    I will look forward to hearing more about your new family project!

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  13. Valerie, congratulations to you and all your family for continuing to believe in this project, and keeping the energy alive that has brought this success.

    Wow! It's grand to see a family working together.

    Maybe your project will encourage others. xo

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  14. Valerie,
    it warms my heart reading that you all continued to work on this project! I hope you are going to inform us when and where it will be available. I certainly hope that there is also going to be a print edition.

    One of my children's favorite book is a "Peter and the Wolf" edition with an audio cassette. Only a few weeks ago did I buy the same book here, in German (we own the English translation), now with a CD (text by Loriot, pictures by Jörg Müller, published by Alfred A. Knopf).

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  15. Congratulations Valerie! What a great project! I love the feel of "real" books... the way the paper feels in my hands, the weight of a book in my lap, and of course, the illustrations (when featured). But having said that, electronic books ARE so very handy! The essence of portability.

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  16. Sounds like a super project especially for you all to have had input to it you must be excited about how it is all going to work out. Magpies can be very agressive although at the moment we have a blackbird who is doing his best to keep all the other birds away from our feeder! Thanks for your kind comment on my last post:)

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  17. This sounds like a great project and so nice that's its a family collaboration too! Just goes to show that some things are just waiting for their right time. So glad it didn't remain in a drawer!

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  18. Hi Valerie,

    What wonderful news to have such a great project come to fruition through the efforts of your all - congratulations! Please do keep us posted as it moves forward.

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  19. I am so excited about this, Valerie. I can't wait till the application is out! Out of curiousity, will the iPad version be formatted for the iPad screen? Obviously, we want to see your beautiful illustrations in the highest definition possible ;)

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  20. What an amazing idea. My children love to read but there is no child who doesn't like technology. Put the two together and you're on a winner here!

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  21. What a wonderful family achievement, Valerie. Your son must be thrilled to bits that his input has had such a wonderful result. The printed page will always be my favourite (I think) but this is such a great way to share your story and beautiful illustrations. A very exciting project.

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  22. Thank you so much everyone for your encouragement and support, t means a great deal.

    I know magpies are very unpopular, especially in my garden. It usually means that some poor bird's nest is being raided. They do however have a fascinating side, a majesty and a mystery.

    Margaret, yes the work will be specially formatted for the iPad.

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  23. How wonderful! Sounds like a treasure from start to finish!

    Wishing you all the best~
    Michelle

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  24. What a joy to contemplate! Everyone part of something this grand. Can't wait to see/hear/touch the results.

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  25. Hi Acornmoon! I belive in your project! All will be fine!

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