A Fresh Start - Announcing an All-New Illustrator!!!!

As some of you might be aware, my publisher, Jolly Fish Press, closed last October. Their closing was just 13 days after the release of SNOW FRIGHT. As you can imagine, it was a bit of a devastating blow. But our devastation quickly turned to joyous disbelief as Bethanie and I immediately received two offers of publication from other publishers! Just as we were ready to sign on the line, we had second thoughts and decided to decline both offers. It was a courageous decision but, in the end, we felt as though it was the right one.

So while we've been quiet for almost 8 months (eight months!) we have been very,very busy. We decided to tackle this publishing venture on our own. A crazy, crazy idea but one we were crazy in love with! We were so excited about the idea of creative control and felt like the possibilities were endless.

We decided if we were gonna do this thing that we needed to find a new illustrator - and pronto! So we did just that. We posted an open call to illustrators and within 6 days we received roughly 200 applications from illustrators all over the world; Jamaica, Poland, Ireland, Australia, Columbia, India, the UK, and throughout the US! We had applications from artists who've worked for Disney, Pixar, DC & Marvel Comics, and Nickelodeon!! We received so many applications from so many diverse and talented artists it felt almost impossible to decide. But the most exciting part?? The most exciting part was feeling so freaking empowered. We had illustrators who wanted to work for us!! We had artists interested in our project who had so much enthusiasm it provided the confirmation we needed to go forward with this decision. We just knew this was the right choice.

I'm the kind of person who needs to know all her options (I think it's the curse of being a Type A, ENFP personality type) so I asked about three dozen artists to provide me with a sample sketch. Some artists were even asked to do a revision to their sketch. One artist's sketch immediately grabbed my attention and I couldn't stop thinking about it. But I needed to date other artists before deciding to marry this one. So I let the images stew a bit while I enlisted the help of two very special elementary schools, C.Hunter Ritchie and Robert R. Graves (thank you for being the "helpers" in our story!!). When I saw how much the kids loved the very image that I had connected with, I just knew I'd found a winner!!

I am thrilled to present to you the winning sketch for the Scarily Ever Laughter series!!

Roch Hercka is our new illustrator!! He's an incredible artist from Poland whose portfolio is just stunning. You can find some of his work here. One of the requests I had was watercolor (pretty tough medium to work with in my opinion) and I described the style as if a Tim Burton character were to have a love child with a Disney princess. I was floored with how varied the interpretations were but this image spoke to me. The soft, sweet face, the beautiful hair, the dark, deep set eyes. It was exactly what I was looking for in my illustrations!

We are so excited to have a fresh start to the Scarily Ever Laughter series!! We tentatively have Cinderskella scheduled for rerelease in January 2018 followed by Little Dead Riding Hood in March and Snow Fright in May! We're excited to add in deleted scenes, correct massive amounts of copy-edit errors, and give our readers an entirely new experience!!

Empowerment. That's Girl Power. And we've got it!


Kit Grindstaff said…
Amie, this is fantastic (and inspiring!) news! I LOVE these illustrations. Perfect choice - though of course I haven't seen the others, why would you look farther than this? Roch totally gets it.

Huge kudos and congrats to you and Bethanie, and please give each other a hug from me! xox
Amie Borst said…
Thank you so much, Kit! It's a scary step but one we're excited about. We just adore Roch's work but I'll be honest, it was a hard decision. There were other stunning sketches as well. So much talent out there!

Thanks for your support, friend! XOXO

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