My story Lailah’s Lunchbox is coming out this June! My illustrator is Lea Lyon and she has done a phenomenal job making Lailah come to life. I did not know making a book includes a team of people and the editors and publishers at Tilbury House have been working hard and doing a great job! After working through this process, I understand why word count matters so much with picture books and how less is more. Lea’s illustrations of Lailah are spot-on and the emotions she paints synchronize with my words. I love picture books, sometimes more so than books for people my age. There is something about the glossy pages, big words, and the pictures of a good children’s book that mesmerize me.
I have seen Lea’s illustrations for my story and have had the chance to sit and look at the almost-finished-product. It is a rewarding feeling to see a Microsoft Word document come to life. When you are at the very beginning stages of a story, the blinking cursor sometimes taunts you. Your phone rings. A child needs to use the bathroom. Writing is hard work. Writing is also beautiful work. When you see your writing become something, it feels surreal.
As I sat down to read Lailah’s Lunchbox to Z, I told her that I was the author, to which she laughingly responded, “You! How???” I feel the same, how? Upon seeing the character Lailah in the story, Z said, “That’s me!” I love how the book hit close to home, and how Lea’s illustrations of Lailah was someone she could relate to.
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of Lailah! Looking forward to sharing more about her with you soon!