ADOTT Cover Reveal Coming November 1st!!!

I’m so excited to let you know that the cover reveal for A Daughter of the Trolls will be coming your way on November 1st, so keep your peepers peeled! SO CLOSE! Woooohoooo! In the meantime I wanted to share a little word with you all from the author, McKenzie Catron:

Growing up, I always wanted to be an author. I tried time and time again to concoct an idea, but they never seemed to stick. I never felt that I had a story important enough to tell, that was until I became disabled. I spent my whole life being healthy and able bodied until I became completely blindsided in 2018 by an untreatable chronic illness that put me in a wheelchair. After that, reading fantasy books was difficult. I couldn’t connect with characters as easily and I couldn’t put myself in these fantastical scenarios full of adventure and incredible feats. I can’t even roll over carpet, how could I picture myself traveling through a forest alongside these characters? This is how A Daughter of the Trolls was born. I wanted to give people like me with disabilities and chronic illnesses a story to relate to. I never imagined what my book would become and I am so unbelievably excited for it to be out in the world and in your hands soon!

From Adversity to Creativity

Isn’t it amazing how adversity can redirect our path? Most of you know that my drawing arm was severely injured six months ago, and for nearly five of those months I could not create art. It was an immense blow, not only financially, but emotionally. In addition to other chronic health struggles, this injury pushed me to my limits, and for the first couple of months I struggled through a profound depression. Eventually I sought professional counselling services, and for the sake of my mental health, I worked hard towards finding another creative outlet.  

It was writing that I steered towards. It was something I could do despite my physical state, I could dictate verbally when the pain was too great, and I could use my good arm to type on the better days. It became a way to get the pictures out of my head without being able to draw them, and it gave me a sense of purpose amidst the suffering.

Years ago, when my children were small, I started a novel called, ‘The Maiden Ship’. However, as work and the demands of life accumulated I set writing aside. After nearly a twenty year relapse I returned to this book, and I returned to it because of adversity. Surprisingly, I managed to finish the novel just as my arm slowly began healing at the five month mark. The book is completed and now in the editing phases. The thing is, if these struggles had not happened to me, I very likely would have never written the book. I would have been too busy making art. (Which is still obviously my favourite thing to do in the world. 😉 )

I know this is the first book I’ve ever attempted on my own, so it’s definitely not going to be a New York Times bestseller, but that was never the point. If, in the end, only three people read it, I’m good with that because, honestly, this novel has already proven it’s worth, it saved me. That’s what makes it special. 

All that to say, this is my first drawing related to my new novel, and I promise to share more details about these characters, the synopsis, and the release date soon, but for now, if you’re interested, take a peek at my Maiden Ship story highlight on Instagram to read some quotes and see some character aesthetics. 😘

If you read all the way down to here, then you are my hero, and the truest WHIMSY at heart. You are loved! ❤️

Charting Stars Release Party

Our Charting Stars release party was a beautiful success. Sunshine, friends and food! We truly just had so much fun, great thanks to all those who made it out to the party – it was an honour to have you here! Also we really want to thank all of you for the incredible support you have shown to the book since the release date, we are overwhelmed with gratitude! <3

 

Charting Stars in Inktober

On Instagram there is an event called Inktober in which you follow a list of prompts for the month of October and do one ink drawing with each prompt per day. Well of course our Charting Stars character have made it into my Inktober series and I though it would be fun to share some of those here with you. Please keep in mind that you can follow along with our progress on a more regular basis via Facebook and Instagram!

Sneak Peeks and More concept Art

Summer is a crazy time of year to try writing blog posts, staying inside to work and not going to the beach instead!  😉  Ha ha!  We continue to push on though and our first graphic novel in the Charting Stars series is developing nicely.  Attached here are a few sneak peeks at the some frames from the first chapter of our novel and I’ve also attached more concept art as well.

I hope you are all having the loveliest summer. Can’t wait for you to read our first book this fall!

Read the Prologue to Our First Graphic Novel!

We are so excited (and maybe a little nervous) to share this prologue with you from the first book in our new graphic novel series, Charting Stars. This series will be a set of illustrated graphic style novels with an educational twist. One page will be in a full graphic novel format where readers can see the illustrated panels and read the word bubbles however, the corresponding pages will be printed in a regular novel format. The reader will understand the gist of the plot from the graphic section but if they want to learn more about the story, the setting or the characters they will need to read the corresponding text to delve more deeply. We are hopeful that this style of book will encourage intermediate readers to take the plunge and read more. 🙂

Scroll on down to catch your first glimpse!

0001

Hushed, but not completely silent. The heavy rush of air beating against wings broke the stillness of the early morning, the stars above being the only source of light before the dawn. The ocean below made hardly a sound save for that of the water’s soft rhythmic splash against the wall of rock lining the coast for miles in both directions.

A single figure made itself known to the swaddling darkness. A woman, taller than most men and equally strong, alighted to the edge of the cliff as she folded her prominent wings. The angelic creature glowed of her own accord, her ivory skin radiant beneath the silvery white of her cropped hair, the color shining like starlight to match the snow-white wings at her back. The light from her presence shone gentle and pure, undisturbed by any shadow as she waited for something to come to her from the dark.

0002

For a long while, nothing stirred, not even the woman as she stood like a beacon shining from the rock’s treacherous edge. Hours passed, but there, someone had come to meet her.

She did not need the use of her eyes to recognize the newcomer, her lips softly moving to smile as she let her voice go forth like the mellow ring of a cathedral bell, rich and soothing. “Welcome, Maren. You are earlier than anticipated. I expected you with the dawn. Allow me to assume this is a sign of success?”

“Indeed it is, Jora.”

Another figure joined the angelic creature on the cliff, the young woman being a good two heads shorter than the one called Jora, but matching her in a warrior’s physique. Maren pulled the edge of her crimson hood away from her face to reveal the dark and exotic features beneath, her fiery red hair secured behind her.

0003

The woman’s voice was low like Jora’s, but she spoke in tones more hushed, the mark of a warrior accustomed to keeping her presence a secret. She habitually crossed her arms as she gave her observations, a foreign accent hinting at the edge of each word. “Something is stirring. A new star has formed not but two days ago, yet no one can account for its origin. None of your kind have passed on?”

Jora’s hair swished gently around her face as she shook her head, giving answer without a word as she thought for a few moments in silence before making her careful reply. “No, it is unlike anything we have previously observed. Both earth and sky are restless, but in anticipation of what, we cannot be certain. It is a mystery, one we must unravel, but not yet. There is a reason for all things. We will have our answer in due time.”

Turning to face her companion, Maren’s voice faltered with uncertainty, hinting at her differing opinion. “Are you suggesting that we simply wait?”

0004

Jora’s gaze did not waver, her sights set on a distant star, its glow a foreign presence in the heavens. “I ask that we remain patient for the time being. To do so will ensure that we recognize the proper moment to act. We know too little at present. For now, I must inform the Council of your discoveries. They will find this of great interest.”

Jora raised her wings to their fullest height, the icy blue of her eyes turning their attention to her companion as she dipped her head in a respectful gesture, giving closure to their meeting. “Until tomorrow, Maren. May your path remain clear in dark times.”

Taking a few steps back to allow her winged companion more space, Maren replaced her hood letting the darkness of the early morning obscure her face once more. “Fly safely, Jora.”0005

All copyright remains with © Whimsical Publishing 2017.

Educational Premise for Charting Stars

Once a homeschool Mom – always a homeschool Mom! My kids have been schooled at home all the way through, my daughter just graduated last year and my son is due to graduate next year. Education has been a daily focus in our home for nearly two decades! Our mission as a small family owned company is to produce engaging, thoughtful, quality books to enhance the lives of children. Part of enhancing their lives includes offering educational opportunities and in this series we’d like to focus on encouraging intermediate kids to read more.

How will we do this?

By using art and illustration to encourage the process. Kids love visuals – even older kids.

Charting Stars will be a graphic novel series but we are actually splitting it down the middle. That is, one page will be a full graphic novel format where kids can see the comic style panels, read the word bubbles and get the gist of the story. However, the corresponding page will be printed in regular novel format. The kids will get the gist of the story from the graphic section but if they want to learn more about the story, setting and characters they will need to read the corresponding text to do so. We are hopeful that this style of book will encourage those intermediate readers to take the plunge and delve more deeply.

we are so incredibly excited about this project and we can’t wait until you have the story in your hands – fall 2017 can’t quite come fast enough!

Charting Stars Book Cover Idea and Concept Art

Guess what!? First book is written and headed to the editor! YES!!! Then after that it’s draw, draw, and draw some more! Thought you all might enjoy seeing the edited version of our 1st book cover idea (not set in stone thought – this cover may certainly change), also attached are a few more concept illustrations. In the near future we are also going to share the prologue of our first book, some related short stories set within Charting Star’s Nine Realms and even some free Charting Stars colouring pages! So stick with us!!!

Charting Stars Grows

Charting Stars, our new graphic novel series, is developing well and we are looking forward with joy to our release date this year! Ideas are generating, new supporting characters are being created, our world is taking form and so much more fun! Attached are more concept illustrations and explorations for you to take a peek at. If you’d like to see more daily updates make sure you join Whimsical on Instagram!