Once Melissa and I started the shift from Chapter Book to Graphic novel, we started gaining our momentum once again. Waiting six years to pick up the writing project again was exciting but I felt a bit rusty and a bit removed from the idea. However, the anxious feelings disappeared as soon as we had a signed contract. All of my dreams, passion,
and excitement were back. I have to be honest though, the thought of the change to a graphic novel was something that I knew should happen but writing graphic novels at that point wasn’t really in my comfort zone. Initially, I was a bit apprehensive and didn’t feel quite as confident. As I gave it some thought, I realized that something in me has changed in the last six years, I was excited about getting shoved out of my comfort zone. I was excited about the challenge of something new for me, something different. At the end of the day, what did I have to lose? The answer I kept coming up with was that I would lose out on the opportunity to try! Well, that wasn't going to happen. I wanted to try to make this a success. This opportunity was granted to us and we are going to make the best of it.
I have to give a huge shout out to Noella Bickel, our amazing and extremely talented illustrator. As Melissa mentioned, our process has been a bit different than the usual process for connecting with an illustrator. Usually, the illustrator is aligned with the author/s at the completion of the book. In our case, we have been aligned since the beginning of the graphic novel idea. This has proven to be an inspiring connection for me as an author. Noella has brought our characters to life, given them both expressions and personalities. She has depicted the setting even better than I envisioned. That has inspired me and has motivated me to keep thinking, keep pushing and keep being creative with the written words.