One of my strongest talents is pulling together a team who is more talented than myself. “Hire well and get the hell out of the way” is my working motto. The talent in the ad hoc book publishing house that I have managed to create from family and friends, quite honestly, blows me away. They are each professionals in their own right. And I just happen to know them and they just happen to believe in this project enough to more-or-less donate their time. I've been touched by their generosity and so impressed by their skills.
It is my pleasure to introduce:
Lara Coleman has taken on the role of editor and has come out pen-a-blazing. She has a MA in History and has worked as an analyst for the library of parliament. I passed each book by 4-5 careful readers who each helped with feedback and the occasional correction. And then along came Lara. As I hand her what I thought were final, ready-to-go, maybe missing a coma here or there, stories, she comes back with 60-70 comments on everything from grammar and syntax, to considerations as to how particular words would be received, to questions around theology. Her work has really polished each book and brought the quality to a new level. I love someone who I can argue over comma placement with!
Simon Harchun is a professional graphic designer/illustrator who has been pulling the final product together - doing a fabulous job of meshing text with illustrations and helping getting things ready for print. What would take me hours to begin to understand in terms of the printers requirements, Simon sifts through effortlessly in a few emails. I have learned to step out of the way and have Simon talk to them directly to get it all sorted. I have gained enough confidence in his work that I have come to skip the proof copy because he's just that good. Everything is where it should be, and the finish project looks amazing once he formats it all for printing. I am also very excited that Simon has agreed to illustrate my toddler rhythming book, "Daddy-Daddy", which should be ready for sale in the next month or so.
Ivanka Galadza, who did her Bachelor Fine Arts and specialized in print media, illustrated The Book of Tobit, Retold; but in reality I feel more like she's a co-author. I gave her free reign when it comes to style, mood, and specifics of the book and she really got it. As I was seeing her illustrations come in, it felt as though I was actually just starting to understand the story I wrote. It was a bizarre feeling. Her illustrations are so spot on with the humour geared to the 7-10 year-old boy range, while blending the heart felt-story about a boy and his father and his friend who is an angel in disguise. I couldn't have asked for better.
Hana Oikawa illustrated Princess Azaelia Camellia Lynn - with heart and talent that went beyond her years and above my expectations. I didn’t have much in the way of suggestions but she also got the story in a big way. Her bright, beautiful drawings are perfect for the story of Princess Azaelia who is full of spirit. They are playful and really draw the reader in.
Getting things done well is easy when you have the right people doing it. I'm honored by the seriousness with which they've taken their respective roles. I owe each of them a debt of gratitude for their help in bringing this passion project to life.