Our story about a resourceful, confident artist is set to make a big splash on her 10th birthday!
Ten years ago, Mario and I decided to self-publish a picture book based on an animated short idea. I called it a creative calling card. It was supposed to show off his personal drawing style and my attempt at turning something that happened to me as a kid into a funny, teachable moment.
We called it The Girl Who Couldn't Draw. It featured Mario's black and white pencil drawings and my conversational prose. Unlike me as a kid, I made Myra into a super confident girl. But like me, the poor kid was oblivious to the fact that grownups don't always see things the way kids do, especially when it comes to art. If that's not material for humor, what is?
We sold a few copies at a time, with the occasional appearance at local book fairs. Thanks to a couple of connections made online through literary professional groups, we scored a nice, Reading Rainbow-style video and even a pro translator, which allowed us to create a solid version of the book in Spanish. We got lots of good feedback on the book, but then life got in the way, and we went our separate creative ways. Eight years passed.
During the pandemic, we started working on a new idea, a web comic that would be easy to do in between day jobs and lockdown life. We were having fun with that when we got a call from Dave Swerdlick, the creative guy (and podcast expert) who made the cool video of our picture book for his video storytelling app. He recommended our book to an indie publisher, who asked if we'd be interested in having Myra's story be part of their upcoming slate of new books.
At Imagine and Wonder, we began the process of retooling the book. It went from a black and white book to one with a touch of color. Myra's story expanded a bit and got more detailed. The English and Spanish version make their glowed-up debut in October, the very month Myra turns ten.
The editor and the publisher felt Myra's sunny, confident attitude made her a star in her own right, so much so that the editor bragged about her to his friend, a musical theater director. He, too, agreed, and as of next year, Myra will have her very own epic musical!
It's been a surreal ride that has life imitating art. So far, this journey has been nothing short of amazing. We've learned (and are still learning) so much. Not giving away spoilers, but it mirrors so much of what happened to Myra in the story. We can't wait for you all to see everything Myra's been up to!
Myra and the Drawing Drama is available for preorder now, and hits bookstores in October.