I have shared images of the front cover of my book a million times but I have hardly shared any peeks inside the book so it’s about time I showed you just how pretty it is on the inside.
How I Found My Illustrator
I’ve written previously about why I decided to have the pages illustrated rather than using photography but it’s time I told the story of how I found my illustrator, Maddison Rogers. Maddison and I met back in 2014 by chance one day when I was running a workshop in her sister’s store Gifts At Teacup in Roma, she had come to help out at the workshop. Between workshop classes Maddison and I got chatting about business and decorating. I mentioned to her that I was starting work on a book for a publisher and needed to find an illustrator to bring the vision to life. She casually mentioned that she could paint and I’m sure she’s regretting ever saying that because I put her to work almost immediately!! Maddison lives in Brisbane and I am in Sydney so we had many phone calls back and forth about the project and I flew up to Brisbane a couple of times to work on the illustrations with her. Together we put together a huge list of illustrations (almost 100) that needed to be painted to suit the content I was busy writing. Every few weeks Maddison would send me photos of the progress she was making and I would squeal and drop my phone with excitement each time she’d message me. Maddison runs her own pet product online store Forester Rogers, is working on a medical device with a couple of friends, works full-time at Coco Republic and still managed to find the time to paint for me. Oh and she’s still in her early twenties. Amazing right?!
Writing The Content
I had a 3 month time period to get the content and illustrations ready to submit to the publisher. I love procrastinating (I could write a book about how to spend your time procrastinating but I’d probably be too busy procrastinating to ever write it) so giving me a deadline is a very good thing. I think I wasted the first month thinking “yeh, yeh I’ll get to it soon”. Luckily I had worked out the table of contents for the book very early on prior to meeting with the publisher so I had the basic framework ready to go (I’d actually taken a lot of it from the workshops I run so it was rather simple to put together). The 3 month writing period fell over a Christmas break so I took the chance to write over Christmas/New Year and got about 80% of the book content finished before I had to dive straight back into client work again. I found the whole writing process relatively easy which was surprising, I always thought writing a book would be tedious and drawn out. Having a deadline significantly helped that’s for sure and knowing the topic you are writing about back to front definitely worked in my favour! The biggest challenge was motivating myself to sit down and write. I wasn’t writing all day every day, it was more like batching. I’d sit down and write for hours and hours then not touch it for a week or so.
I roped my mum and a handful of friends into reading the first draft. Mum read the manuscript three times, marking up changes in red pen as she went. I’m very grateful for her editing skills because every time I sat down to read the manuscript I’d get too caught up in judging my own work I’d forget to check spelling and grammar mistakes!
Maddison finished her illustrations a few hours before the deadline to send in the finished product. Just like Uni assignment days! Off it went to the publisher and the next stage of the journey began. I’ll write about that journey soon. I think I’ve probably bored you enough by now 😉
There are 11 chapters in the book and each one has a number of beautiful illustrators scattered throughout. One chapter that I spent a lot of time working on was the Home Office chapter. More and more my clients are converting spare rooms into a home office or study so I knew it was an important room to cover. Here’s a look at the opening pages of the Home Office chapter.
If you watch the book trailer here you’ll see a few more pages inside the book and if you follow me on Instagram I’ll be sharing more over the coming days.
I’d be delighted if you ordered a copy of the book here.