Of course the first step of the creative process is in the concept. Then the writing. I did both of these things some time ago, submitting it to the National Library, who go through an acquisitions process similar to many large publishers.
Once the concept was approved and the text written, the next task was to appoint an illustrator--in this case, award-winning talent Christina Booth, who was almost as excited as me to be working on the book!
From there, Christina and I nutted out thoughts and ideas for the structure of the book, how narrative and image would flow, and how things should 'look'. We were equal partners in this process, and this made it a real joy--to be able to bounce ideas off each other and come up with new directions, whilst still retaining authenticity, was a lot of fun.
We did the entire process by email and the odd phone call. Christina would send in roughs according to how each double page spread would unfold.
Below are some of her initial roughs, with the final below them.
You can see from these roughs that slight changes occur along the way--this is due to flow and comprehension but it's often due to the need for accuracy, too.
While these images were being produced by Christina in Tassie, I spent time with my publisher, Susan Hall, and my editor, Stephanie Owen Reeder, on sharpening the text and making each word count. It's so lovely to work with professionals who bring so much more to a book than the basics required.
Once text was final and images were posted to Canberra, the scanning process began. A designer (thank you, Amy Cullen!) then set about designing and typesetting the pages with text. The font changed several times until we came up with the just the right one.
I viewed the proofs for This is Captain Cook late last August (that's me looking at them, below) and, after some intense proofing sessions, it was an exciting moment indeed when the files went off to print.
Below you'll see one of Christina's original cover ideas, too. I loved this so much, and I love the final cover, too!
Coming up - your chance to win a signed copy of the book,
and an original artwork from the book!