I am taking a quick (do you hear me universe, I said QUICK! I am not going to finish this and get on FB or surf sites! Promise!) break to eat lunch and let you know about something that had me grinning from ear to ear last night. I have been working on pet portraits and illustrations for my two books which have a fast approaching deadline if you consider the holidays this time of year. EEP! And I totally did NOT take that last minute pet portrait yesterday even though I PROMISED my hubbie I would not. Ok, maybe I did, but lordee the dogs were cute!! And um, the painting will pretty much cover costs for the presents for the kids. Hello people, I am a mom – and while we all of course want to just go flitting about painting and being happy, the money does come in to play. Just sayin’.
Ok, so back to my point. Right. Last night I saw the Ruckus Media Group has a new app by author and illustrator Mike Austin for sale. (I can’t find Mike’s site or I would link to it, but here is his wife’s completely gorgeous site!) Ruckus makes digital versions of picture books. And after 10 years of trying to break into this business and finally getting a book deal, I would be lying if I said that this whole digital thing doesn’t have me a little, um, SCARED. I LOVE picture books. Adore them. I have a beloved collection of them. I add to it all the time. There is no greater joy for me than when I go to a book store and find that one that sings to my heart, or I order one off the internet and it arrives in the mail. I love to hold it. I love the dust jacket. I love the swoosh of the page as I turn them and feel the pages slip between my fingers. I just got goosebumps as I wrote that. Yes, I adore picture books and how they feed my soul.
So this digital realm scares me. I mean, HELLO! I JUST now FINALLY got someone to make two of my books and we are moving to digital? Slow down world! I am not ready for this! What does it mean for my books? For the touch between my fingers? To feel the weight of the book on my lap? Well, last night I had a revelation. I bought the new app. It is for an ipad which I happen to have. I purchased A Present for Milo and waited as it loaded. Then. I clicked. OH. My. Goodness. SMILES!
I was delighted! I was grinning! I found myself excited to find every little secret the screen held on each page. I swooshed the pages back and forth – repeating pages, watching again. I watched the adorable animations over and over. Just so clever! Just so entertaining! I got it. I understood. The digital books are not so much competition to my beloved paper books, but a new baby sister or brother. And my heart doubled. I have just as much love for these new digital books as my paper ones. I can love them both equally. And I would be lying if my brain didn’t suddenly burst with ideas on how one of my books ideas would be PERFECT as an app!
I think Mike Austin’s illustrations are deliciously charming and completely engaging. The mouse in the spaceship just about killed me with cuteness. I kept on clicking it over and over until my hubbie politely told me to put in earphones so he could watch Ghost Hunters. Heh. Congrats to Ruckus Mediaand to Mike for having the insight and imagination to bring us into this new time for childrens books. I thank you for opening my eyes to the delights of digital!
So while I am painting away these next few weeks on my book illustrations, I am already orchestrating ideas in my head to pitch an idea I have. I even emailed my agent about it already – excited much, Michelle?? Maybe one of these days soon I can have an app out there to delight and make people grin! 🙂
Now, back to my painting! I promise! Except to post this link on twitter and facebook. But I promise, no extra reading. Really. 😉