The Midnight Hare. 25.9.18

 

Different stages of one page. On the top left, the original draft with the text put in using Photoshop, then the large image on the left, the more or less finished illustration, then on the bottom left, the printed page set up using Adobe Acrobat, here resaved in JPEG which has made the colours for a bit odd when it comes up on my website, but which in the book was fine. In fact the printers, Martins of Spittal, did a wonderful job on the printing, they took endless pains to get it right, used thick paper, got the colours right, were wonderful to work with, and charged me a very reasonable rate.

I quite like the earlier stage, especially the grey grass, but painting on brown paper meant I would have too much of the background.

With the new book I am probably going to paint detailed illustrations in gouache, pencil and crayon, on heavy Fabriano white, NOT texture, a wonderful paper that I find I have a big block of on the decorative easel in the corner of my small octagonal studio, an easel that I do not use for painting, it would fill up half the floor space, but which has proved brilliant for storing larger sheets of thick paper etc. This easel leans up against one of the windows. It’s BIG, and has a wide shelf.  I reckon it was used in a country house for displaying paintings, rather than being used as a painter’s easel.

My plan chest, which was hauled up stairs with much difficulty (one of the drawers had stuck) after I got it out of storage, looked so ridiculous in its new space, that I then gave it away to the person who got it back out of the house, who fettled it, and found a new owner.

The new book I will send round to publishers, and if I don’t find one, will print a (very)LIMITED EDITION and sell them locally.

Meanwhile the boxes in the cupboard, full of The Midnight Hare, empty slowly. And I shall try and keep up this blog, whilst exploring Instagram, Twitter, and any other platforms I can discover.

 

Flying over the Borderlands

9781527216716During a month when I should have been putting all my energy into launching The Midnight Hare into the world, I sat down and wrote another story, and did the first very rough rough – a story at the moment called The House, the Cat and the Snow, though that won’t be the final title. But now I have returned to what should be my priority at the moment, and am going to plunge into all the information I have acquired about getting one’s work out into the world.

I’ll also write a few words here and there about other projects.  Why not?

I have had a re-order from Coldstream Crafts, and last week was told that the book had sold out in The Market Shop and Sallyport Gallery in Berwick, so I am taking a batch of copies down there this coming week; and I was also asked to send some copies to a bookshop in Orkney, so the Hare has flown up there too, which is a good thought.

Each day, when I can manage it, I shall make an entry into this blog, as it was set up in the first place as a record of my publishing myself, without sending The Midnight Hare out to any publishers. Some boxes have been emptied, so have had to be replenished from the cupboard where they are piled up (no-one is allowed to go into the cupboard, as they are tottering a bit at the moment).

The Midnight Hare, step by step

 

 

9781527216716

After a long time, and many hesitations, (including a typo that had wormed its way somehow between one moment and another on to the back cover – a typo luckily put right in an instant by the printers) The Midnight Hare is entered officially on Nielsen, is ready to print, and has a publication date of June 21st. I am ordering a little greetings card A6 size consisting of the back and front cover, which will be sent out with publicity material. I only put the book on Nielsen a month before publication date, but this does not worry me too much, as although it is late, I suspect my early sales will be local, as the book has a Borders setting; and there are quite a few people who have stocked my books and before. One of the reasons for doing this book myself was to keep this connection with the people who buy; and to know what is going on with the book. I need to sell about 650 copies at wholesale price to get my actual printing expenses back, and am not in that much of a rush. The book is a story I like, and it will find its own level. There is plenty of work to do in the marketing department, but I have found in the past that people are very pleasant to deal with, and are usually happy to look at new work, so this is hard work but not too daunting.