October 10, 2017 has come and passed, and I'm sitting at a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon writing this post and sipping a very good almond milk latte. Last week my book, "Everyday Watercolor," hit mailboxes and finally was released into the world. People have been tagging me and sending me messages of them thumbing through the book and I just can't believe it!! I've been teaching #monvoirworkshops since last weekend in honor of my book coming out, signing books, selling books and hanging out with some rad people (check out tour stops and signing dates HERE).
The process for writing this book began two years ago when my literary agent, Kimberly Brower reached out and asked if I would ever want to write a book. When asked, I told here I'd never thought about it, but SURE! We originally began the process with putting together proposals for a coloring book, which was sent and shopped around to a few different publishers by Kimberly. Penguin Random House being one of them. PRH responded to us, which was thrilling and said they didn't want to do another coloring book, but would she be interested in writing a watercolor book...
SO I SAID YES! 'Cause that's my style. I began working right away on 30 different watercolor ideas, brainstorming topics to cover, subjects and themes and sent them a list of 30-35 different topics and titles. From here, they picked a few of their favorite ideas and asked to see proof of concepts for some, which is basically a pdf deck of a few excerpts of text and artwork from the book. I began working on these and compiling what I thought would make a great book for books that I hadn't written yet. And they wanted to see it like, yesterday because everything in publishing is rather fast. From here, we waited for their response...which was agonizing. Then they responded with an offer on the book idea: 30 Paintings in 30 Days!
*COMMENCE FREAK OUT*
I literally NEVER thought this would be a part of my path and the fact that a publisher wanted me to write a book was just so insane to me. It was mid-June when I got the offer to work with Ten Speed Press (an imprint of Penguin Random House) on a how-to watercolor book. They asked for a 30,000 word manuscript and 280 step-by-step paintings done by September 1st for a fall 2017 release date.
These next 2.5(ish) months were the most grueling but at the same time, the most exciting months of my life (work-wise). It was intense. A lot of working 20 hour days (lots). But I poured my soul into what I was painting and writing. It was thrilling to me and I loved it.
Once my first round manuscript and art was handed in, it was time to start the editing and design process. Edits upon edits and 9-10 months later, the book was sent to print. I never thought the day would come when I'd be able to hold and smell (I love the smell of books) my own book. It has been SUCH a surreal experience, you guys and all the love on the Amazon reviews and #everydaywatercolor on Instagram has been so sweet to read. If you haven't already, pick up your own copy on Amazon and if you're loving the book, WRITE A REVIEW! It makes all the difference.
My time in Portland is almost up, so I'm going to leave you with THAT. Today, I'm making my way up to Seattle for #monvoirworkshops in Seattle this sunday, then Vancouver. If you're in either of those areas, come to a book signing, and there's still some spots in the Vancouver workshops! Sign up HERE!