Can you tell us about yourself?
First, thanks for having me over - I love opportunities to talk PBs! A reformed graphic designer, I am a pre-published author/illustrator of picture books. Currently illustrating 3 board books for a local indie press, to be launched in Oct.'14. Originally from Long Island, New York, I transplanted from northern Germany to Colorado 15yrs ago. Let's just say, I got around.
Why and where do you write and/or illustrate picture books?
I started writing because I needed something to illustrate, but now I have to write because I can't help myself - I enjoy it that much! But I've never thought to be writing for kids, I'm just having fun! When an idea hits, any scrap of paper will do. And no office, I have to get everything done before other family members need the computer! Otherwise I sketch while sulking on the sofa.
Favorite picture book?
Too many, but Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell and Lillian Hoban, holds sweet and sticky memories for this former picky eater. For about 3 years I have, at times, been reading close to 100 PBs a week. My librarian says I am their best customer! Now I am a picky reader.
Again too many - even tougher to name one, so I'll include the link to the growing list on my blog: http://julierowanzoch.wordpress.com/illustrators-i-link/ And I totally judge book by it's cover - so glad when I am wrong!
What inspires your revisions?
Everything. I love my critique group partners, face-to-face and online, but I read and re-read craft books and articles, and otherwise let problems stew while I pursue other activities, like hanging wash on the line. I play badminton competitively (stop laughing, Meg - it is an olympic sport!), which puts me in a zen mode - I only focus on the next hit. This acts like a gray-cell duster and story revision comes easiest when the mind has had a chance to clear. At least for me!
How is your revision process different when you are illustrator and writer?
I don't really know how to answer that. I'd like to say it's tougher. It's not easy to ask for a critique when you haven't got a dummy to accompany your text and all the images are in your head. My mss would look a bit art-note heavy if I tried to put it ALL in words! On the other hand, I can revise without changing the words - ha, ha! Now there's a skill, eh? Generally, I try to get the text completed before I do a sketch for every scene, but I definitely flesh out my characters visually - that's a LOT of fun! Sometimes the character sketch cries out for a story, but at this point I more often have an idea first and the character is developed through the pencil - drawing IS thinking!
Love it and your art, thank you Julie!