going on! Can you tell us a little about your contemporary YA that’s out on
submission, and the YA steampunk fantasy you’re working on? Also, if Matthew Delman
and I start a twitter campaign, can we get you to put that steampunk WIP on the
honest, I can be just as easily swayed with M&Ms. But I am really
excited about all my projects, for sure. The YA contemporary, THE MIGHTY
MR. MARBY, is about a teenage boy, Owen Marby, diagnosed with childhood onset
schizophrenia. After years in hospitals and youth homes, he’s back in the
“normal” world and just aching to be a regular kid. But, as
with most of our honest intentions, things don’t necessarily go as
planned. Cue ominous, voice-filled music…mua ha ha.
stoked about, too! In a world of tiny teacakes and twelve inch corsets,
16 year-old, 6 foot tall Hannah P. Bartleby just doesn’t fit
in…literally. While trying to force herself into becoming a lady, she
falls in with an airship trading crew led by a handsome, young and–above
all–infuriatingly mysterious captain. War boils in the countries below!
Secrets explode from blunderbusses! Family rivalries!
Romance! Steam! Hannah! Hmm…maybe I need to work on the
one-line pitch for her a little better. Fewer exclamation points?
PROJECT. But more on that some other time.
your art, but also have some things for sale (usually print-on-demand and commissions). Just perusing your website makes
me wish I could draw more than stickmen (or women; you can’t really tell). That steampunk fairy has already captured my heart. I think I need to write a novel,
just about her. Tell me, were you a writer or illustrator first? How do you
feel one influences the other?
college, I would have given up my knees to work as an animator for Disney, but
life naturally veered elsewhere. Yet as I’ve focused more on writing than
full-time illustrating, every story I write still begins with a drawing.
It’s how I initially outline: no words, just drawings. I design settings,
costumes, people, situations and, eventually, plot and characters will develop
from that. When I get stuck in a scene, I sketch it out until the
characters start talking to me again.
and “Bob the Surly Unicorn”s are tucked away in my sketchbooks with
captions like: “Get to work!” and “I will gore you if you don’t
write my story.” But the steampunk fairy is kind of mute right now…give
her a voice, she’s all yours!
asking about working with the famous Nate B. Is he as great as he appears on
his blog? Is his favorite color really orange? Seriously, how has life
changed now that you have an agent?
amazing as he appears! Writing can be a largely lonely, beating process
and he’s by far the best person to have in the corner, holding my metaphorical
towel while I fight through a novel. He’s a cheerleader, a coach, an editor, a writer, a researcher and more. If I hadn’t have met him
already, I would have guessed he was eight people fused into one (with one hand
the iPad, reading manuscripts. And another answering emails. And
one more making me peppermint tea when I’m having crippling bouts of
still write, edit and love (sometimes) your work, but having a bona fide
professional sitting by and helping you just because he thinks that other
people will like your writing, too? It’s exciting and humbling all at
once. And it makes me work that much harder, just to prove that he wasn’t
crazy to take me on as a client.
safe to say that at least one of his eight working brains counts it as a
Appreciation week and sharing your work with us! I can’t wait to read your work when it comes out – and feel free to share any more steampunk fairies you find showing up in your sketchpad. Best of luck in all your