Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tips for Aspiring Authors from Maile Meloy

An informative and helpful interview with Maile Meloy about The Apprentices. Skipping to the good part:
The illustrations by Ian Schoenherr are amazing. How did you find him and how did he capture the plot so perfectly? 
When we first began, the wonderful art director Cecilia Yung asked me what kind of illustrations I wanted. Janie tells the story as something that really happened to her when she was 14, so I wanted the illustrations to be realistic, not stylized or cartoon-like. But I also wanted them to be atmospheric and to work with the magical elements of the book. Cecilia suggested Ian Schoenherr. As soon as I saw an illustration he did based on a 19th-century family photograph, in which he made everyone into pigs, I knew he was the one. And he’s done such an amazing job with the books. He’s always very careful about detail and writes to me asking, “Is it this kind of boat? Is it this kind of RAF knife?” In The Apothecary, I had a character with a wooden peg leg, but Ian painted a perfect, historically accurate, articulated artificial leg, with nails holding up the socks, so I went back and changed the book. His leg was better than mine.

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