Friday, July 20, 2012

pictures and pictures

The reason I haven't been posting much is not because I don't have stuff I want to blog about.

In fact, I have a list of stuff I want to blog about sitting at 11 o'clock on my desk, about 14 inches in front of my keyboard.

I've just been really busy.

Okay. So, here's one thing that happened yesterday.

Let me start off by saying I hate it when people do this, but I have no control over the situation.

The situation is this: I received the final interior art for my 2013 Simon & Schuster novel, Winger.

But I can't show it to you.

Winger is different (like all Smith books tend to be) because the narrator draws stuff right in the middle of the story: diagrams and charts of his fears and preoccupations, as well as entire comic book panels of things (mostly imagined) that happen to him.

[Side note: Attention Comic-Con people -- I fully expect you will want me and my illustrator to attend your convention next year. This is a book with actual comics in it. That is all.]

Let me say this about the art: It is beyond perfect. It is funny, evokes the narrative voice of the protagonist (a fourteen-year-old boy named Ryan Dean West who plays rugby), and definitely conveys the emotional direction of the novel.

It is stunning.

In fact, from the cover art, through the interior illustrations, to the back cover drawing, this book is truly going to be a one-of-a-kind thing when you see it.

ARCs should be available sometime this fall.

I've had the opportunity to visit a number of schools and other gatherings where I've talked about Winger, done some readings, and even shown the original artwork that I did on my own for the book. Usually, people say this about my art:

Oh! You are a really good artist! They should have used YOUR drawings!

No. No they should not have.

Let me tell you a little about the process behind the production of this book:

I wrote Winger a REALLY long time ago. For all kinds of reasons, we were never able to "put it out there" on submission to publishers, though. When we finally did get it out on submission, it received numerous offers from multiple houses immediately.

Lots of people wanted it.

Some of them even talked about ME doing the art.


Luckily for me, the people at Simon & Schuster, whom I decided to go with, were sane and reasonable. And they have an incredible art department, they believed in this book, and were determined to make it look incredible -- like nothing else out there.

I can confidently say they did exactly that.

The thing that's most satisfying to me is that the illustrator for the novel used my exact panel and object designs but did a remarkable thing:

He did not draw them like a seven-year-old on hallucinogens!

Go figure. He made them into ART.

I can not wait for people to see and laugh and fall in love with (and get really really sad, too) this book.

I will tell more about the art, the cover, and the real human being who modeled for Ryan Dean West when I can actually show some of the images here.

In the mean time, you may want to check out the website of the incredible talent who translated my crack-addict scrawling into some amazing interior artwork.

His name is Sam Bosma.