Monday, June 15, 2015

Craig Snodgrass, Author/Illustrator of The Clever Girl

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Today we are interviewing Craig Snodgrass, author of the children's picture book "The Clever Girl."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a painter and illustrator of robots and other science fiction imagery. This is my first book, based on a story I made up for my daughter.

Describe the plot of your new book in a few sentences.
"The Clever Girl" is about a smart little girl that likes to build robots. They enjoy playing together in the woods.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Children, parents and grand-parents.

What inspired you to write a book about a girl who builds robots all day long?
I also wanted to plant the seed that would show my daughter that the world of robots and engineering wasn’t off-limits to her because she’s a girl. So I used elements she is interested in like robots and playing outside to help her visualize the story.

Do you think your background as an artist influenced how you tell stories?
Totally. As I told this story I was constantly picturing what it would look like, and using words that would help my daughter be able to imagine it.

Tell us a bit about your creative process, from initial idea to finished manuscript.

Basically I made this story up on the fly one evening at bedtime. Over time and multiple re-tellings, the story began to take shape and develop its own cadence that my daughter would follow along with. A few weeks before my daughter's third birthday I decided I wanted to put it together for her as an actual book. So I broke the story up into pages and drew some rough sketches to go along. Then I assembled the pages into a working prototype. After showing it around I was encouraged to refine the art, etc and publish. So I got to work making better drawings for each page and cleaning up the text. After redrawing and inking the pages I then and colored the images digitally. I put the pages together in a layout program, created the cover and uploaded to Createspace.com.

What medium did you use for the illustrations in this book?
The line work was done traditionally using pencil and paper, then inking the lines with pens. The line art was then scanned in and colored digitally using Photoshop.

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style?
Hard to say. Having a daughter I’ve read so many children’s books it would be difficult to narrow it down.

How do you feel about the increasing popularity of ebooks?
I think it’s great. Just another medium to tell stories with.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
To write a lot more children’s book - perhaps to create a whole series of “Clever Girl” books.

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
Not sure - I haven’t done it enough to not like it.

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?
Again - being a new “author” I haven’t had a to deal with writer's block.

What do you have in mind for your next project?

We’ll see what kind of story my daughter gets me to make up next.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Check out my artwork on http://www.craigsnodgrassart.com.

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