I was trying to wait 'til every single last piece of final art was scanned and everything was finished up neatly and tidily, but 1.) the final art is thisclose to done and 2.) I can't wait any longer! For the last year, this has been my primary project behind-the-scenes, and it's finally time to reveal.
My next book, to be released in January 2012, is an illustrated novel chronicling the goings-ons at an imaginary orphanage...Oddfellow Bluebeard's orphanage, to be exact!
Oddfellow's Orphanage will be published by Random House Books for Young Readers, and is now available for pre-order!
Some of you might remember a series of imaginary portraits I did in 2009 involving orphans, a headmaster, a nurse, a cryptozoology professor, and a family of dancing bears (this postcard set is a reminder!)
With the portraits and their corresponding histories, I already had a cast of characters, and with some changes and additions, many adventures later, (with the help and support of my marvelous editor) I expanded the story of Oddfellow's into this series of tales.
Excerpted from the book description:
What do an onion-headed boy, a child-sized hedgehog, and a tattooed girl have in common? They are all orphans at Oddfellow's Orphanage! This unusual early chapter book began life as a series of full-color portraits with character descriptions. Author/illustrator Emily Martin has fleshed out the world of Oddfellow's with an episodic story that follows a new orphan, Delia, as she discovers the delights of her new home. From classes in Cryptozoology and Fairy Tale Studies to trips to the circus, from Annual Hair Cutting Day to a sea monster-sighting field trip, things at Oddfellows are anything but ordinary . . . except when it comes to friendships. And in that, Oddfellows is like any other school where children discover what they mean to each other while learning how big the world really is.
Making this book has been all fun and wonder, at every stage and every turn.
I hope reading the stories and poring over the artwork will just as happy an experience!