So, I actually get to comment on the art in my series. To my editor, not just to my friends. Writers don’t normally get any say in the art. And there’s a good reason for this. A writer has the freedom to create her story without an illustrator hanging over her shoulder telling her what to do. An illustrator deserves that same freedom. So it’s taken me a while to realize that when my editor asks me what I think, she really wants to know what I think. And I have permission to say more than “it’s nice.” (And it IS nice…it’s just, well…if someone’s asking, there are a few tiny, little things I’d change…and my editor actually agreed with me on each one.)

I was also sent a page of paw prints yesterday and told to pick one. (I can’t tell you how happy I am that we’re losing the original paw print!) Picking a paw print is much harder than you’d think! And because the nine or ten examples on the page weren’t quite enough for me to choose from, I also pulled out the paw print a friend of mine drew for me last week…and I googled dog paw print clip art (which probably can’t be used in a published book anyway) and compared them all. Then I picked up my own dog’s paw and studied the pattern of his pads. Paw prints come in lots of different shapes!

Then I had to think about claws or no claws. One way you can tell a dog print from a cat print is the dog print has claws (because cats retract their claws). I know that…but I’m not sure I like the claws. Have you ever seen a dog paw print with claws in a children’s book? But it’s accurate…so even if I don’t like the claws, that’s probably what I should go with.

In the end I gave the designer a couple of different options (because I probably should be working on my review pages rather than spending the whole day looking for the perfect paw print!) and it sounds like he’ll kind of blend them all into one. So the question is: will it have claws or not?


4 thoughts on “Art

  • October 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    FYI, I get to comment on my art, though not on cover design. But I send in comments on every illustration. Wonder if it’s different for chapter books vs novels?

    That’s interesting about the paw prints.

    • October 19, 2009 at 2:03 am

      The final paw print looks great! The ones on the cover will have claws, the ones inside won’t (because they’ll be too small for the claws to show up).

  • October 14, 2009 at 8:48 pm


    My house has saltillo tile, and there is a trail of dog paw prints from the front door to the kitchen that makes me smile. And yes, there are claws, but they don’t look scary, just, you know, doggy.


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