Home is now Los Angeles and I love being in a large city again. Or rather, that collection of communities and neighborhoods which forms any large city. Both now retired, my husband and I live near our sons. The struggling grass around our house has been replaced with the rocks, gravel, shrubs, and flowers of desert landscaping. We have a small patio in back next to a very large orange tree which gives generously for 6 months of the year. Our recent pet is a Chihuahua-terrier mix dog, Ringo — entertaining and high energy.
Most of my life I’ve identified my creative work as artist and painter. For about 20 years I exhibited in numerous art shows and galleries in Washington state and Palm Springs, California.
My interest in writing was spurred when I joined a “Life Stories” group in LA. Prior to this, I had read the graphic novel, PERSEPOLIS, by Marjane Satrapi. This conjunction of art and writing fascinated me. I found more graphic books and studied them. I checked around and found what I needed for my next step.
At Santa Monica College, I enrolled in a 4-course series of workshop classes for Comics and Graphic novels. Instructor, Neal Yamamoto, is a professional artist/illustrator in the comics and graphics field. The classes covered the dynamics of sequential art and visual techniques. Since then, drawing and writing graphic books has become my preferred art form.
I submitted a short graphic children’s book to a competition of the Society of Children’s Books, Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I received the 2012 Sue Alexander Scholarship Award for SQUAWK! as best unpublished manuscript for a picture book. An agent and an editor showed immediate interest. This was a heady experience and a book deal danced before my eyes. Four months later, after revisions and formatting changes, their interest in SQUAWK! disappeared and the project was dropped.
For the next half year I contacted other agents and editors with no results. I had to rethink what I wanted to do.
And what do I want? I have a lot of ideas I want to work on — and am working on. I want to get my graphic books “out there” and available. Online research about the rapid growth of ereaders led to independent writing for publication. My children’s books are on Amazon in digital form. I love doing the Cecily and Berle stories.