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Gnome On Pig Productions has decided to have a WordPress.com blog! It is so followers can willingly sign up for updates to go straight to their email accounts to read. It's free to sign up and there is lots here to follow.
We decided to add this as it will be a more personal blog from our CEO Alexis Allinson so the General Public can follow what is going on with Gnome On Pig Productions.
You can find our blog at: www.gnomeonpigproductions.wordpress.com (may get redirected by Google).
Go take a look!
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Gnome On Pig Productions is now of Flikr!
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Gnome On Pig Productions had interviews with the author and illustrator of A Christmas Star Wish. The book officially releases on October 28th, 2016. Here are their thoughts on their work, themselves and their future endevours!
Author Interview with V.L. Marsell ---
What were you like at school?
I was kind of quiet. I read A LOT. I remember one summer break I was grounded for 6 weeks (for something who knows, because I don’t remember) and all I was allowed to do was read. And let me tell you, I READ A LOT!!!
Were you good at English?
I think so. I am pretty good with spelling but not so good with punctuation. Like what to use, where what goes, and so forth. So that’s probably my biggest downfall when it comes to writing. My punctuation.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Hopefully more books. I’m hoping to get my books out there and have someone read one of the stories and it tugs on their heart or can relate to the story in some way.
Which writers inspire you?
Stephen King, Nora Roberts, Janet Evanovich. Which is kind of funny considering most of my books are Children’s Short Stories.
So, what have you written?
Besides my story “A Christmas Star Wish”, I have written two other children’s stories. I am working on, editing and adding my completed novel. I also have a couple of other novels in the works. It depends on the mood I’m in which one gets worked one. I have had my Christmas story and another one of my short children’s stories featured on a web blog for women called the UpWrite Ladies.
Where can we buy or see them?
I don’t have anything for sale (YET), but you can check out my two stories on the UpWrite Ladies web blog. For February and For May.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Well, there are two main characters in my story. Franklin, who is a ferret that is handicapped and Justin, who is an 8 years-old little boy that is also handicapped. But it’s not them who does something special, it is Santa.
What are you working on at the minute?
My first novel. It’s a mystery/suspense/romance book set in Ireland. It’s semi-complete, just going back through it and adding things and such. Also have another novel in the works. Also have a couple of teen books and a few more children’s short stories. As you can see, I write a variety of things. I just never know what I’m in the mood to work on that day.
What’s it about?
Maybe I will say more when I’m completely done with it. But I’ll give you a hint: STALKER/IRELAND.
What genre are your books?
Children shorts, Mystery/Suspense, Teen
What draws you to this genre?
Children stories—it’s my nieces and nephews.
Mystery/Suspense> Everything. Who doesn’t love a good mystery to solve?
Teen> Just trying to work on some of the stories I started in my 20’s.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
To play Justin: maybe Jacob Tremblay. I just don’t know many of the young kid actors now a days. But my novel is a different story. To play Madix: either Emma Stone or Bella Thorne and to play Ian: probably Colin O’Donoghue.
How much research do you do?
As much as I can about a subject or area. I’m still learning where to find the info I need. I need more contacts out there in the world..lol!!
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
Nope—Just me, myself, and I.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I started writing in my 20’s and then stopped. But I kept all the stories that I had written. Then decided to start writing again in 2014. I got bored at work on my lunch breaks, so started writing again. That’s when I started my novel actually. I wrote it in probably 8 months. Then had my mom read it and she told me the things that I needed to improve on or add to my book. Like more chapters on the stalker.
Why do you write?
For Me it’s an escape from the real world for bit. That’s why I also read so much. Plus writing gives me a chance to get all the jumbled up thoughts out of my head.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I had an idea in my head for a story, which in turn—turned into a novel. At first it was going to be a romance/love story (which it still is somewhat), but as time went on and started typing the story line out, it became more and more of a mystery/suspense. But with my Christmas book, I woke up one December morning and thought…hmm... Franklin the Ferret. Then it just came to me—Christmas—Santa—Handicapped ferret and a Handicapped little boy. And there you go. A Christmas Star Wish was born in two days.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Part-Time. Basically on my lunch breaks, in the evenings at home and some on the weekends.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Nope. Just basically when I have time or a thought in my head. And like I said my lunch breaks, evenings and weekends at home are pretty much the only times I get a chance to work. I have a full-time job as a Medical Biller.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
Whenever I can or have some free time. Sometimes I write and watch TV at the same time.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Not really. I just write until I can’t think anymore or I get stuck. So I have to step away and stop. And let my brain spiral back to normal and think of what the scenario is that I’m trying to describe or construct.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
My Laptop and My Regular Work Computer.
Where do your ideas come from?
A little of it is from personal experience. My Children stories come from my nieces and nephews or family. And some of my friends have offered different ideas of animals and what they could be going thru. And then of course there’s the little tiny recesses in my mind that comes up with some of my novel plots.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I think a little of both. But mostly I just see where an idea or story takes me. I have scrapped a few because nothing fit. But I do write down my characters names and who they are in the book.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I think over time and the first word I put down on paper in my 20’s, I have gotten better creatively. The stories, ideas, and plots that come to my mind and things like that, weren’t in my head 20 years ago.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
I think it is getting the words, which are floating around in your mind, down on paper.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Not enough information or chapters on the villain/stalker. So it is getting a major overhaul.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Same as above actually. I think it is getting the words, which are floating around in your mind, down on paper.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Depends. I have wrote a story in two days (my Christmas story) to still working on one (my novel). I guess it just depends on what my mind is saying and how quick it gets down on paper.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I usually step away from writing for a bit and then come back to it after thinking and thinking and thinking how I am trying to say something or how I want something to sound. Once I have done that, the writer’s block goes away for a while. But it does creep back in every now and again.
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?
No. However, I am trying to figure out if I should try and put my other short Children’s stories as a series or all in one book together.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
I would love to, if I could think of some good characters and a really good plot to keep the series going.
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
I read A LOT!! Always have, since I was little. My mom says that’s when I start writing too, but I don’t remember…lol! I have too many authors to name that I love. But I would have to say Stephen King (which I heard speak recently about his new book) and Nora Roberts.
For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?
Both. I have a Kindle and the Kindle app on my phone and they both have two different books going on them. (I have probably over 300 books on my Kindle) and I have a hardback book in the living room.
What book/s are you reading at present?
I am re-reading the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum series in Hardback. I am reading a Mary Higgins Clark on my Kindle and reading a book with 13 different Cozy Holiday stories in it.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I do and I have a friend of mine, Vanessa Gonzales, proof reads them and gives me ideas on how I should maybe put something.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
Absolutely. I am doing that right now with my two teen books.
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.
I actually let my illustrator take her idea and run with it. She thought something very simple on the front showing the Christmas star burning bright in the sky would perfect and I agree. It does!
Who designed your book cover/s?
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Sometimes. It should catch your eye somewhat. But you can’t base a book just off the cover. I have read some books with great covers and an okay story. And I have read books with an okay cover and a great story.
How are you publishing this book and why?
Why I am publishing with you and Gnome on Pig Productions. You looked at the story and decided to give me a chance. And I thank you for that. Especially when I heard you were closed for submissions when I sent it, but it still caught your eye.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
Since I have neither self-published or have been published until now, so I really not sure what the advantages and disadvantages would be. I had thought about self-publishing if I had gotten one more rejection after the previous 12 I had gotten. But I didn’t have to. You guys came along and accepted me into the GOPP family.
How do you market your books?
Besides social media, I really don’t know. But I sure am going to learn how.
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
I don’t. but I would think about it for the future if I needed to.
What do you do to get book reviews?
I haven’t had any…yet. That’s the key word “YET”.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I think Good Reviews get more people wanting to read your books. And Bad Reviews make you stronger and help with what you may need to change or what to do differently in another book.
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
It definitely helps. I have met some amazing, wonderful, and talented authors and people on Twitter. Stephen Kozan, Micheal Bush, Paul Piunti, Nadia Greasley, and Kez Wickham.
Which social network worked best for you?
I would say, probably, Twitter. I do have a Facebook for my writings but not many people know about it.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
Just put yourself out there. But don’t be a nuisance about it.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
I did some promoting of my book, but I’m new to this. So I am still learning on how to work and do everything.
Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
Not yet, but who knows. Maybe.
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
I called some small bookstores to tell them about my book and to see if any would be interested in putting it in their stores when the book came out.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
I probably did. And what ever it is or was, I will learn from it and not do it again.
Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?
I think all books sell in some way or another at some point. Whether it’s hardback, paperback, or E-Book. I have read some authors that I have never heard of on E-Book.
What do you think of “trailers” for books?
I think they could be good.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
If I can find a good trailer for introducing my book than maybe.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
Yes. Because it gets you out there and people will look forward to another book by you.
Did you format your own book?
Nope. I left that to you----the professionals.
In what formats is your book available?
Paperback and E-Book
How do you relax?
Reading, watching tv and movies, music and of course, writing.
What is your favourite motivational phrase?
Don’t Be Afraid to Start Over. It’s a Brand New Opportunity to Rebuild What You Truly Want.
What is your favourite positive saying?
When One Door Closes, Another One Opens.
What is your favourite book and why?
The Stand. I don’t know why really, but I love it.
What is your favourite quote?
If You Don’t Like Something, Change It. If You Can’t Change It, Change Your Attitude. --Maya Angelou
What is your favourite film and why?
An Affair to Remember. I’m a huge fan of Cary Grant.
Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?
Hopefully, still writing. But doing it Full-time and not Part-Time. Oh and quite a few more books published.
What is your favourite movie and why?
Patch Adams. TWO WORDS—Robin Williams – no need to say more.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t give up on your writing and Don’t think you can’t do something, because you can.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I have two.
Abraham Lincoln>He was an amazing president and was taken from us much to soon. Who knows what other goods things he could have done.
Stephen King>Because he’s Stephen King.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I don’t really think there is one. All authors write what means something to them, and I would never want to change that.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Once you start, don’t stop. And don’t let anyone tell you your stories will never go anywhere. Because they will and they do.
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Do you mean Publishing in general? Or the Publishing of my books? Well I think it’s just going to expand more and authors will have more chances to introduce their work to the world. And my books—Hopefully more of them being out there on shelves for people to read.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Not really. I think I covered it all.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Facebook: Writings By V.L. Marsell
Twitter: V.L. Marsell
I think the other areas like Websites and Amazon Author Page will come in time as I move forward.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview for your readers.
Illustrator Interview with Lucie Greasley ---
Please tell us a bit about yourself:
My name is Lucie Greasley and I am currently in college to become a children’s book author and illustrator. I have always loved stories and drawing so it just made sense for
Can you describe the processes you go through when working on an illustration/animation commission from start to finish?
For illustrating books specifically, I need to read the story over several times so I can get to know the characters. I also make a lot of rough sketches to figure out proportion, facial expressions, and figure placement within the composition.
Which commissions do you enjoys the most, and which are most beneficial to you (if these aren't the same)?
Character interaction is both what I enjoy and what benefits me the most. Body language is a type of communication that is more challenging to translate through drawing, but it is also the most rewarding to draw.
Would you say that a technical or manual process has a more important role in your work (I mean computers opposed to pen and paper)? Why?
I am much more of a traditional artist, so pencils and watercolors are my medium of choice. I find the outcome much more satisfying, visually and process wise rather than if I used just the computer. I have a great respect for artists who use computers to create their art, but it’s just not for me.
Which programs do you find most helpful when illustrating/animating?
The AOI helps new illustrators publish their work etc. How helpful were they in terms of where you are now career-wise compared to when you were just starting out/fresh out of your degree?
Whose work do you admire within illustration and animation; who or what inspires you from outside your own medium of work (if anyone/thing)? -What first inspired you to follow the route you have taken?
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelman was one of my first children’s books and has inspired me ever since. Outside of illustration the woods surrounding my childhood home continue to be a main theme is my work.
What is your favorite style of illustration/animation?
Line art is my absolute favorite and I try to incorporate that style into my own drawings.
How do you keep your work fresh? Do you need to consciously adapt your style or does it progress naturally? (I don’t mean to suggest that consciously adapting a style is any less talented than it occurring naturally…
Being in college helps because with different instructors come different techniques and different ideas that you can draw your inspiration from. In that way it comes naturally, I notice how my style shifts as I learn more and more.
Where did you study for your degree?
I am currently attending college as a sophomore for Drawing/Painting and Developmental Psychology.
What advice would you give an aspiring illustrator/animator? -In hindsight, would you have done anything differently?
Seize any opportunity, you will be thankful to get experience. It is important to get your work out there and learn how to interact with the writers and publishers early on.
Where would you like your work to lead you? Have you any aspirations or plans for the future?
My plans for the more distant future are to write and illustrate my own books for children and adults, as well as creating watercolor artist books.
Do you also write?
Yes, I practice creative and technical writing in college.
Thank you, Lucie. We look forward to your future work!
|Posted on 11 October, 2016 at 10:45||comments (0)|
Interview with Elizabeth Eichelberger
Illustrator and Artist
As the books are being made ready for their release, illustrator and artist, Elizabeth Eichelberger took time out from her busy schedule to do an interview with Gnome On Pig Productions about her art process. We hope you can get to know Elizabeth a little better and appreciate her artwork even more!
1. Can you describe the processes you go through when working on an illustration/animation commission from start to finish?
If the commission has a reference image, I first use it to base my primary/preliminary sketch(s) on. If no references are provided, I begin sketching from my mind’s eye. I normally will seek approval on the initial concept sketch before adding color to ensure I am on the same wave length as the person I am creating for. Once approval has been given I then select a color pallet. I again ensure the colors are suitable, upon this approval I then begin to add detail and shading to help the piece come to life. Although most dive head in and then submit their completed work, I prefer to avoid revisions and wasting much time by sharing the process with those I am creating for. It helps ensure the end result is exactly what they wanted, or better than they had hoped.
2. Which commissions do you enjoys the most, and which are most beneficial to you (if these aren't the same)?
It is always so flattering and an honor when someone entrusts me to create for them. I have never looked at it as beneficial.....I must say, I do love illustrating children’s books, however. Not so much of a personal benefit really as it is the love of watching a child’s eyes delight as they look at the pages and enjoy reading or learning to read. Being able to do something that I love and doing it as my profession is extremely rewarding enough in itself.
3. Would you say that a technical or manual process has a more important role in your work (I mean computers opposed to pen and paper)? Why?
I have several disabilities which make manual/organic art extremely difficult. Within as much, digital art helps me create faster and with less difficulty as well as less pain. I still love organic art and always will try to create manually....at least as long as I am able to.
4. Which programs do you find most helpful when illustrating/animating?
I have been asked this quite often. It changes on a whim depending on what I am creating. I use so many programs for different aspects. Perhaps there are some that do it all, but I do like to use several. Serif Draw Plus is absolutely wonderful and I recommend it to anyone just starting out. It is not as daunting as some others available. Once you master it, you can then move on to the more advanced programs.
5. The AOI helps new illustrators publish their work etc. How helpful were they in terms of where you are now career-wise compared to when you were just starting out/fresh out of your degree?
This is not a United States company and until this query, I’d never heard of it.
6. How would you compare your work to that of other modern illustrators and animators in the same league as yourself?
I have always believed that art is interpretive. Within as much, I do not compare or rate any artist against myself...nor vice versa. I admire all art and respect my peers and their works immensely. Although I know of some who believe their works to be of a higher caliber, I believe all art comes from the heart....unless it is recreating someone else’s work or blatantly tracing. I cannot compare myself to anyone as I believe we are all unique and as artists/creators we have our own talent to share and provide.
7. Whose work do you admire within illustration and animation; who or what inspires you from outside your own medium of work (if anyone/thing)? -What first inspired you to follow the route you have taken?
I have always admired Walt Disney. His heart made his creations come to life.....his visions continue to bring happiness to children everywhere. Though animation and illustration have certainly evolved greatly since the first meeting of Steamboat Willie in 1928, I believe this created the foundation for all of animation today. Disney’s determination and hard work to achieve his dream is incredibly inspiring and I have always admired him. I remember as a very young child drawing Mickey Mouse and wanting to never stop drawing.
8. Is there anyone's work that you don't like? - do you have and rivalries or competition?
Absolutely not. I am only in competition with myself. I love all art/illustration and animation. I respect all who create.
9. What is your favorite style of illustration/animation?
I absolutely love the old fashioned animation and illustration. It by far is my favorite. I do enjoy all the new CGI and the wonders from Pixar and DreamWorks. They are lifelike and magical. Yet, I think the old fashioned style takes me back to my youth and I feel happiest when I see it.
10. How do you keep your work fresh? Do you need to consciously adapt your style or does it progress naturally? (I don’t mean to suggest that consciously adapting a style is any less talented than it occurring naturally…)
For me personally, each project I work on brings an evolution of sorts. Although I do not think I have a style, I have been told I do by others. I believe most artists evolve and their work grows as they create more. I have watched this even in my own daughter as I teach her art. As you draw and create more, your perspective becomes clearer and you are able to focus on detail more.
I do not think art has a need to adapt to be fresh however......The Mona Lisa is timeless.....Just as the original Winnie The Pooh books will always remain classics.
11. Where did you study for your degree?
I studied with The Art Instructional School. However, I have no degrees in art.
12. Where and what did you study before your degree? Do you feel that you gained anything from your previous education i.e. A levels?
I took the basic studies. Oddly enough, I am presently amidst considering enrollment to further my studies on multiple levels in art and illustration as well as graphic design.
13. What advice would you give an aspiring illustrator/animator? -In hindsight, would you have done anything differently?
Always have a backup plan. This industry is hardly lucrative. If you are in it for fame do not even bother. I have watched so many who were fail. This is an occupation of love only. You can work for a year on a project and not receive a dime....it does not matter your talent or skill level either. Make sure you read all fine print and sign nothing without first letting someone read over what you may sign or agree to do. Be prepared for failure...no matter how good you think you are, there will always be someone who is either better or brings more to the table than you. Stay humble, accept criticism it only will help you to grow.
In hindsight, the only thing I would have done differently was my education. I was presented the offer of scholarships for commercial art marketing. At the time, I was fully capable of manual art and scoffed at the idea of using a machine to create art. I considered it cheating at the time. I, of course, have since learned that it requires just as much talent and skill to do digital art......Perhaps that is the one choice I might have changed...but honestly I would probably not. I have been so very blessed to work with amazing authors and meet so many people through commissions. I would not want to jeopardize these meetings as the path I chose led me to them.
14. Where would you like your work to lead you? Have you any aspirations or plans for the future?
I have no grandeur hopes of fame. My aspirations are really simple. I would like to inspire young budding artists to nourish their talents, to never stop dreaming and to never stop creating.
15. Do you also write?
Absolutely do. I always took creative writing courses along with my art studies. I believe the two tend to go hand in hand.
Thank you, Elizabeth for taking the time to answer our questions.
Elizabeth Eichelberger has illustrated many children's books and completed books cover art and music cover art for albums. We suggest you look up more of her work at her website! You can find a link to this under our SHOPPING tab!