In honor of my mom and Brick and Stick's mom, I thought I'd share some of how they were born.
The story of Brick and Stick:
One morning, about two years ago now, my mom came to me and said,
"Hey, guess what... I wrote a book this morning. "
"What?" I said, as I was not yet accustomed to my mom, the author
She explained she was lying in bed thinking of ways to teach her kindergarten students how to rhyme "ick" words when she ended up creating a whole story with a cast of cute characters.
"Well, I'll draw some pictures." I said, and thus began the first step of our Hooster Books journey.
So, I drew a couple pictures and there we were. We had a story on a notepad and four frames of illustration. It definitely wasn't a book, but it was a fun day and we left it at that.
6 months later...
After a move and some holiday celebrations we happened back upon the idea.
"You know, we could make this into a real book..."
So, there began our next steps. We sat down with a pile of index cards and a pencil and began to refine the story of Brick and Stick. We edited, rewrote, and rearranged until finally, a few cups of coffee later, the story and rhythm felt just right.
From there I began designing the characters. Brick was easy, I think he was done by about the 3rd try. But Stick, oh, Stick... He took a little longer. There were LOTR inspired versions, versions with teeth, all kinds of stuff that really just looked a little too creepy to go alongside the always smiley Brick. I would show my mom, knowing he wasn't right yet, and she would say,
"Hmmm, well.." and I would go back to the sketch book.
Eventually, after enough iterations we found our characters and I go to work on the rest of the illustrations.
After some experimenting, a homemade hand bound version, and some focus grouping, we were well on our way to the first real edition of Brick & Stick: Branching Out.
But how do we publish it?
Some where along the way we had the good fortune of happening upon a meeting of the California Writers Club. One of the first meetings we went to was a presentation with a self published children's author. We left the lecture saying, that doesn't look the path for us. It seemed a little hectic and unorganized.
However, after some more research and watching Youtube lectures at double speed, we reconsidered. Oddly enough now we've done it three times.
It's a team effort
Long story short; none of this would be happening if it wasn't for the inspiration and support of my mom. I'm so grateful to be be able to work together creatively with the woman who created me. Its pretty cool. I'm thankful for the positive outlook on life she has instilled in me and the happy-go-lucky ways I've learned from her.
Thanks for being awesome Mom and happy Mother's day.
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