Hello, I'm Pete Zanbier. Welcome to my very first blog post.
I hadn't planned to start blogging yet, but decided it might provide a much needed mental break from all the last minute decisions and techno-chores involved with the impending release of my children's picture book, The Hungry Black Bird, on Kindle.
Of course, current publishing wisdom insists that you start blogging about your book long before it's finished. If you're really on the ball, you start blogging before you even start writing the book. Too late for that, I'm afraid. You'll have to settle for a flashback--cue the soft-focus lens and dreamy music...
About a year ago, Artie Zahn and I were waist-deep in a different project. He was well along with the line work for the illustrations, but considering a style change for the artwork. I was flogging the umpteenth rewrite of the text.
Tired of editing, I started flipping through an old notebook, pondering half-baked ideas and incomplete stories, adding notes here and there as I went.
One idea I'd been poking at for a few months was for a concept picture book using a series of illustrated vignettes to teach kids colors--lots of nouns and "colorful" adjectives.
Meanwhile, a family of crows was nesting in the woods behind my home. The youngster was constantly cawing to its parents for food and attention. As time went on, the parents began cawing back, trying to coax their offspring to leave the nest and start learning to fend for itself.
I'd been hearing this back-and-forth for a few days before I happened to look back through those old notes. The phrase "the hungry black bird'' popped into my head. The bird started as a character in one of the color vignettes, but quickly took over my imagination.
The first draft of the text for The Hungry Black Bird book was done a day or two later. Finishing the whole project would take up nearly every bit of our spare time for the next year (and counting).