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What’s the matter with your book?

I’m talking front and back matter. We’ve all heard about it, but what is it really?

The front matter includes things like the title page, copyright page and the dedication page. Other things you might find in the front matter of a book are:

  • half title page
  • copyright acknowledgements
  • colophon
  • table of contents
  • foreword
  • preface
  • epigraph
  • prologue
  • other acknowledgements (may also appear in the back matter)
  • introduction

The back matter comes after the body of the story/book and is often optional. Things you might find in back matter of the book are:

  • epilogue
  • afterword
  • appendix
  • glossary
  • bibliography
  • index

Granted, the majority of the items on these lists never show up in children’s picture books, early readers or even lower level chapter books. In fact, in some recent picture books, the front matter has all been shoved onto a single page and placed on the end paper in the back of the book.

With the dawning of a whole new interest in the story-telling style of non-fiction books for young readers, back matter like a glossary, bibliography and indexes are more likely now than they were in the past.

Pick up some recently published children’s books and check for the front and back matter. What is included? What is excluded? Is it placed in the book where you expect it or is it someplace else?

What’s the matter with your book?

I got late start with my Inktober drawings. Family stuff and the last of 3 weekend conventions in a row. Brain went into overload and in my down time, I slept.

Back in the studio now. The last push for my pencil sketches for the book under contract are top priority. Their deadline is just around the corner. Luckily, I passed the halfway mark before the conventions and life stuff interrupted my carefully plotted schedule.

A week late to the Inktober challenge, but it still counts. It’s October and they are in ink. I’m using a Sharpie extra fine point. The bleed is pretty strong though, so getting a very fine line in the sketchbook isn’t happening. I may switch to a Copic marker later on, but speed was the determining factor this week.

Here’s my Inktober for the 7th and 8th. I’ve decided to work all the sketches with the same character face in mind. Not being very particular on the consistency but focusing more on just having some fun and warming up for my paying client work.

Inktober 10-7-14 Inktober 10-8-14

I’ll  be taking on new mentoring students as of October 20th. I have 2 openings left. Shoot me an email if you want to grab your spot before they are all filled.

It’s time, again for the book illustration promotional postcards quarterly mailing. Since it’s the end of summer, early fall season, my thought was a fair. The area county fair was last week. I’m not much for going out into crowds, so I’ve never been to the country fair even though it’s only about a 20 minute drive. I live vicariously through the photos in the weekly paper.

I do love the joy and excitement I remember from the annual summer visits to my grandparents’ homes. It was a treat to go to the boardwalk and the beach once a week. And the rides. Oh, my, what rides. I took my daughter back there when she was young, but the arcade and miles of boardwalk had diminished to one small block or so, and sadly, she was not impressed. The Six Flags park in a neighboring town was probably just too much competition.

I’m recreating my memories of the late summer fun in this quarter’s book illustration promotional postcards. Here is a sneak peek at what’s on the drafting table this morning.

Book illustration promotional postcards

WIP children’s book illustration postcard art

Book illustration promotional postcards

WIP children’s book illustration postcard art

28. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Uncategorized

Missouri Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI)
Fall Conference to be held
September 6 & 7
Lindenwood University, St. Charles

ST. CHARLES, MISSOURI – The Missouri Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators’ annual fall conference will be held Saturday, Sept. 6, and Sunday, September 7, at Lindenwood University’s Spellmann Center, 209 S. Kingshighway, St. Charles, 63301.  The theme is “Seeds of Success.”
Scheduled speakers and panelists include local Young Adult author Heather Brewer, art director Giuseppe Castellano, editor Deborah Halverson, agents Nancy Gallt and Jodell Sadler, and authors Nancy Pollette and Steve Sheinkin.  Sheinkin recently received a Boston Globe-Horn Book award for nonfiction at BookExpoAmerica.  Curriculum specialist Debbie Gonzales also will discuss Common Core Standards and incorporating them into school visits.
The cost of Saturday’s full-day conference is $150 for SCBWI members and $175 for non-members.  Three-hour intensive workshops with speakers on Sunday are only $45.  For more info see http://missouri.scbwi.org/2014-conference-info-bios-breakouts-schedule/  the last day to register is August 20, 2014.

08. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Art 4 Sale, Illustration, Tour/Appearance

As many of you are aware, I sell prints of my art. Archival quality, open edition, full-sized images can be purchased in my on-line gallery (here). If you read my previous posts about Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, you heard about the original art in mini frames I made. They are all one-of-a-kind. At $5 a pop, they were a big hit during the show. I have a few left and want to share the opportunity for you to grab them while they last. I’ve added a couple of bucks to cover shipping costs. Here are the original art in mini frames left over from SFAL.


Ace of Swords Art Mini Frame 



Lady on a Tightrope Art Mini Frame 



Band Practice Art Mini Frame 



Basketball Court Portal Art Mini Frame 



Little Tree Climbers Art Mini Frame 



Forest Ax Murder Art Mini Frame 



Mirror Iris Garden Art Mini Frame



Green Eyed Sue Art Mini Frame 


Remember, these are all one-of-a-kind. If you see one you want, grab it now as it might not be here later. Any of the images in my gallery are available as prints, if they aren’t set up with a buy button, all you have to do is email me and let me know you which image has caught your fancy. If you’d rather pay by check than use PayPal, I’ll be happy to accommodate you.