I released a children’s book today. It’s called Tooth Finds a Friend, and it’s about a little raptor that, well, needs a friend. I’ve worked on it for the last few months, writing it, drawing it, coloring it, and putting it all together.
The story went through several iterations. I would write a draft, then give it to my wife to read. When she finished, she would tell me what worked and didn’t work. There was a lot that didn’t work in the first few drafts. It was confusing, it didn’t flow, and there wasn’t really an ending, or “punch line.”
I knew I was finally on the right track when I heard her laugh while she read. That felt good.
One of the most helpful things I did while I edited was read it out loud to my daughter. She’s not even a year old yet, but just reading it out loud like I would any other kid’s book helped me make what I hope were good changes. I got that idea from Harrison Ford. He recounted during one of his recent interviews that while he was shooting the original Star Wars trilogy, he told George Lucas, “George, you can write this [stuff], but you can’t say it. Read it out loud after you write it and see if you can even say it.” Or something like that.
I sketched the illustrations pencil to paper. When I was done, I tried scanning the illustrations into the computer, but the pencil didn’t show up. So then I traced over the pencil sketches with a pen, and when I scanned them after that, they showed up fine. I loaded the scans up in Photoshop and colored them in. I consciously left in a lot of rough etches from the original sketch. I liked them at first, but I don’t know if I like them anymore.
The book has actually been up on Amazon for a couple days now, but I didn’t like how the cover looked so I changed it. Every time you make a change on the Amazon store, it takes 12 to 24 hours for the change to go through.
I think it all turned out okay. There’s work that could still be done to it, but, as they say, “art is never finished, but abandoned,” and I’m ready to work on something else.
If you pick it up, let me know what you think in a review. It’ll be free February 27 to February 29.