When Louisa Rempala and I started working on The Whens together, it was the first time I had ever worked with an illustrator. Because I had complete freedom creating the story, it was important to us both that she had as much creative freedom as well — but man it’s tough to give up control!
It was peculiar to watch my words come to live. I had vividly clear images about the book in my mind and her pictures were completely different (yet they matched the story just as well). For example, I grew up with dry, golden fields of wheat blowing in the dusty wind — but she came from a lush country of greens and blues… so it was quite a shock to see a cool color palette in the book instead of reds and yellows. But that was what I also liked about working with someone: she had so many ideas I would have never come up with on my own… and that made the book better than I could have ever done alone.
Here are some pictures of the first page as it transitioned from a raw idea to the finished product. Hope you enjoy!