My wonderful illustrator friend and fellow
SCBWI mentee Christina Forshay asked me to participate in a global book tour called „The Next Big Thing“. The
idea originated in Australia, I get to answer questions about a recent or
upcoming book and then pass on to another author or illustrator friend. Here
are my answers:
1) What is the title of your next/most recent book?
2) Who is publishing it?
does it hit the book store shelves?
It’s in stores now.
4) What genre does your book fall under?
middle grade novel for
ages 10 and up
5) Please give a one-sentence synopsis of your book...
„The Broken Lands“ is a suspenseful historical
fantasy about two kids fighting to protect a struggling city of New York from
falling into the hands of the devil.
|Sam and Jin sailing underneath the almost finished Brooklyn Bridge|
6) Which part of the illustration process stood out
for this book?
For this book a lot of time went into research
before I even started sketching to understand what New York, Brooklyn and Coney
Island looked like in 1877, what people wore, how the Brooklyn Bridge was built
and what it looked like in different stages. The author Kate Milford sent me a
fantastic children’s book about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, „The Brooklyn Bridge“ by Elisabeth Mann and Alan Witschonke , which was very helpful,
thank you, Kate!
|The gangs of Five Points wore absolutely flamboyant clothes|
I love doing research like this, and for this
book we decided to include a map, because the characters move around the city a
lot, so I really needed to understand were everything was.
Once I had put all this information together, I could start sketching.
|The map I drew of New York and Coney Island in 1877|
long did it take you to complete the finished artwork?
Several months once I had the research squared
away and got to sketching, revising, finishing....
8) What actors would you choose to play the part of your
characters in a movie rendition?
Hm...great question, but tough! I don’t think
I have any specific actors in mind to play Jin and Sam, although I think a young
Joseph Gordon-Levitt might have been perfect for Sam. And I am a big fan of
Gary Oldman, I think he’d be great for Walker, one of Jack Hellcoal’s henchmen.
9) What other books would you compare this story to within
Hmm... another tough one. No book comes to
mind immediately, but if I had to draw comparisons I would choose a big one.
Kate Milford creates her own world that is touching reality, drawing from
historical facts, but weaving fantasy and folklore into it. The characters and
places and stories she writes about are very distinct and even though she
writes series as well as stand-alone books they all connect together, very much
like Tolkien’s books do.
10) What else about the book might pique the reader's
I already mentioned that this book is not
stand-alone but a prequel, and there will be more. Also, Kate Milford
self-published a novella „The Kairos Mechanism“, at the same time „The Broken
Lands“ came out, to tie together the two books and lead on to the next. I was
honored that she asked me to illustrate the cover for this novella too, this book is another fantastic read, please
check it out!
Thank you so much for asking me to
participate, Christina! Please go take a look at Christina’s beautiful bedtime
story „Goodnight Baseball“, in stores now!
Next I am tagging my superbly talented artist
friend Catia Chien, who’s book „The longest Night“, written by Laurel Snyder,
just hit the shelves: