Things are moving along so quickly with my series that I’m going to be doing my revisions for book two (and probably book three as well) right onto the page proofs or galleys or whatever they are. (I wonder if my editor did that intentionally? Am I less likely to make changes to a manuscript that has already been set in type? Maybe a little…I’ll definitely do it quicker…)

I waited around this morning for these pages to show up before I met my write-in group. It was kind of fun to open the package and see the art for the first time with my friends. It’s interesting to see how differently people perceive things. I noticed that this weekend, too. I went to a writers retreat this past weekend and shared my printed galley with everyone there. I mentioned that the cover was going to change…there are footprints on the cover that about drove me crazy because they’re clearly NOT dog prints. They’re HUMAN prints that are missing a toe. Fortunately, that IS going to change. But something else that’s going to change is the picture on the cover. Apparently the publisher has received comments about the boy standing on the dog. One of my fellow retreaters was really bothered by that, too. But I looked at that and thought, he’s not really ON the dog…I mean, it looks like he is, but it’s just a boy and a dog…there’s no context for the scene. It’s kind of cartoony. So I don’t take it to mean the boy is literally standing on the dog’s back. But that is how other people see it. So that’s going to change. I’m okay with that (I just want those prints to change!!!! As long as I get a real dog paw print, I’ll be a happy girl!)…if it had been up to me all along, I would’ve preferred NO human on the cover. Just the dog. It’s interesting that I’m most bothered by the prints and other people are more bothered by the kid “standing on” the dog.

But that was book one. There were things in book two that hit all of us differently, too. For instance, there’s a dog that’s supposed to be a pug. Two people knew it was a pug, one didn’t have an opinion either way, and two of us think the pug needs a little attention (It’s very cute, but if it’s a pug, I think its nose needs to be pushed in a little more, the cheeks should be less puffy and the whole face should be wider). And then there’s a scene that none of us could agree as to whether the scene is taking place outdoors or indoors. To me it’s very obviously indoors, but then again, I wrote the book. I know the scene and I definitely set it indoors so I see indoors. But two of my friends look at the art and are just as convinced that it’s outdoors. We disagreed about the human in that picture, too. A couple of us thought it was the mom…the others thought it was the boy. I wonder who the illustrator thinks it is? I noticed my editor (or someone else?) had circled it, so I suspect this figure will be changing.

But one thing we did all agree on is these skteches are WONDERFUL!!! I love the scenes that were chosen for illustration…I love the way this illustrator draws dogs…and there’s a scene at obedience class (the first one in the book) that made us all laugh out loud. I wish I could draw!


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