Thursday, July 20, 2017

Authors: If you are looking for some talented professional artists this will help -

I have been fortunate to work with some amazing artists over these last few months.

When I first started my publishing company and began the journey to write and publish, and I'm writing an publishing a lot (several books being illustrated now) it occurrs to me that I was desperate for artists early on.

So today, I'm providing you with information for some very talented freelance artists I work with.
This is here for a resource of you, when you need a talented, reliable professional.
I will work with any of these people on any future project they have time for.

These are people I've found to be reliable, talented, and versatile.  These are professional artists, capable of a variety of styles, and I think they deserve some credit and attention. I'll post a piece of art from them along with a link to the biography pages I've set up for them.  Many of them work on fantasy art for my role-playing game writing, but several have experience illustrating children's books as well.

Without further ado, I give you the artists, you can click on their names to access their biographies:

Artist Samantha Vogelsang:  Samantha is a remarkable talent whose art has graced this blog since its launch.  Gifted with an amazing talent she is currently  responsible for illustrating  four children's books for me, the first of which I should have final art for in 10 days (no pressure Samantha).
A sketch she did for the first book

Artist Zachary Viola:  Zachary was referred to me by other artists working with me.  They assured me of his talent and professionalism and they were right to do so.  Zachary immediately proved himself to be an indispensable talent.  His subjects are usually inanimate objects such as vehicles, so if you have a children's books featuring robots or cars or other things such as that, Zachary is your man.
An example piece he did for his first book with me:

Artist Alexia Veldhuisen:  Alexia is a remarkable artist by any measure.  She is nearly complete with with her work for our first project together, and she and I are presently working on the logistics of a comic book project (more on that in my other blog pages).  Whether you want super heroes or animals or animal-super heroes you really can't go wrong with Alexia.
An example piece from her first project with me:

Artist Anthony Ojeda:  Another artist that was referred to me and one who never ceases to surprise me with the raw talent and polished skill he possesses.  Anthony is capable of gritty gothic work as well as soft lines and images you normally see with children's books.  He also teaches art to children, bringing joy to their lives.
A very recent example of art from Anthony (a fantasy piece):

Artist Phoenix O'Faery:  Phoenix is multi-disciplined and extraordinarily capable.  She has created and cover art for my first two book releases as well as interior art.  Gifted as a photographer and masterful manipulator for composite sketch/digital images, and a brilliant landscape painter,  Phoenix puts her heart into her work.  You really can't go wrong with Phoenix.
Example of her work, the cover image for my first book:

Artist Jacob Ochoa:  Jacob, wow, where to start?  Jacob gets the job done, and can take your illustration where you want it to go.  For the project he worked on with me (one so far) I wanted a dark and dangerous feeling to the images and he certainly delivered.  He knows what he can do, communicates well with you, and delivers on time.
Example of his work from a coming book:

Artist Christian Martinez:  Christian possesses talent and skill that is rarely seen. His images are gripping and he creates them after asking pointed questions about where you want the image to take people and how it should look and feel.  I have said before, and I stick by this, I will ask Christian to work on any project I have.  He is simply that good!
An example of Christian's work from my next book:

Artist James Lee:  James is the first artist I asked to work with me.  He possesses numerous talents, can work in several genres and mediums, has over a decade of professional experience, and is one of the most thoughtful and professional people I know.  He acts as my art director (freelance at that) and does an amazing job.  His own art is always remarkable, and yes he really does make holograms as well.  I couldn't decide on an image of his to use, so check out the links in his biography and have fun!

Artist Brian Lee:   Brian's work made Tale of the Wizard's Eye beautiful.  You don't often get to say that about role-playing game adventure modules, but it is certainly true.  Brian meets his deadlines, asks good questions about what you want to do with the image, and is a complete professional.  Brian is presently working on two other projects with me and I expect many more opportunities to work with him in the future:
Example art from Tale of the Wizard's Eye:

Artist Jennifer Fraggle Dee:   Fraggle is a remarkable artist.  Whether she is turning artists into monsters, creating crime scenes for scenes, or creating logos for companies (as she did for mine) she is truly a gifted artist.  Presently she is working illustrating a book written for adults in a children's book style, and is working on a bestiary for my first role-playing game.
Example art from Fraggle, pencil sketches:

Artist Rebecca Elisbet Coulthart:  Rebecca was referred to me about a year ago, and I have to say I'm glad she was.  Her eye for color and talent for clean lines create some captivating images.  I enjoy Rebecca's art and look forward to seeing new pieces each time.  Presently I'm expecting some work for the title card for The Draw of Glenfallow from her, which I should have by the end of the month and I am incredibly excited to see.
Example art from Rebecca:

Artist Kelsy Cowan:  Kelsy has the unique ability to take a description of your concept and then create the scene as you imagined.  She asks the right questions, can digest your answers, and asks the right follow up questions so that she understands what you want, then she delivers.  That is one of her great points folks.  Kelsy delivers with her art.
Example of art from Kelsy:

As I work with more artists I'll build more lists like this, to bring more artists to your attention.

So if you have projects that need art, this is a good resource.

Your comments are welcome.

Thank you for joining me again today and I hope you will join me next time.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Telling Stories

Lately I have found myself busied with the efforts of publishing.

Producing books (multiple books) utilizing the talents of several artists each is taxing on my time. 

Please don't get me wrong, it is incredibly rewarding.  I have just found my time occupied by the day to day business of the business end of things.  This has taken time away that I would like to spend writing.

So this weekend I was speaking to my daughter, age 9, and we were discussing a project we have been batting around writing a book together. 

In the last four months, she has changed what she wants to write about at least a dozen times.😄

This is not to be critical of her, but it reflects the need to focus on the story at hand.  Something I think we have all come face to face with at least one time in our lives.

So we are starting things off by telling stories.  So far, this hasn't yielded anything particularly useful, but it has been remarkably fun.

Will these stories turn into books for other children to read?  I hope so.

But even if they do not see print, at least they reflect some quality bonding time between and my oldest daughter.  Bonding time which was sorely needed, and very appreciated.

So let that be the point of the post today:

Tell the stories, and even if they are unlikely to see print, at least the time spent is with those whom you treasure and create memories they will carry with them for a lifetime.


Create and bring joy through your words.


I write under the pen name W.S. Quinton.

I hope you will join me next time, for more on my work in children's books and on observations about the genre and things I learn along the way.

Comments and questions are always welcome.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Back to work! More writing to do, and more finding even more artists to work with!

It is a very exciting time for me.

Samantha Vogelsang is finishing up the art for my first children's book.  We'll be scanning images in, and then working on formatting for the book. 

It is quite exciting to see the fruition of our labors on this.  It reminds of the feeling you get when you have finished setting this up for your child's birthday celebration (when they are very young) and you see the look on your child's face (before it is smeared in cake).

I'm getting the same feeling here. 

A feeling that my mind wraps words around, such as "Wow!  We did that." or "It's really done." and then the every persistent "This is really happening!"

That excitement is pervasive.  It is coloring my personality of late, and it feels good.

So far, since I began my stretch into writing children's books, I have written one book dedicated to "Elliot" and one dedicated to "Ryder".  These are two are children of co-workers of mine (day job).  I'm going to be giving copies to my co-workers once the proofs are in.  It is my way of personally congratulating these two new fathers, and my gift to their sons.

I have also co-authored a book for my daughter.  My friend Phoenix O'Faery, a wonderful artist and author in her own right, was kind enough to assist me with some problems I was having in the story. 

I now have two more children's books I'm working on for other co-workers.  One for "Daisy" who was just born last month (May 2017) and a second for a child expected in November (not publicly named yet).  I'll be working on those book over the next 4 weeks (as well as several others I'm working on for my other genres), and will hope to see them all illustrated and out in the next nine months.

What next?

Glad you asked...  😇

For the later part of this year, I intend to begin writing a series of books to bring natural sciences to young children.  Illustrated with an eye toward the age of the reader, these books will be bringing science to the reader in a fun and readily digestible manner (wish me luck!).

I've also made the acquaintance of several more artists who are willing to work on children's book projects.

That alone is a great thing to be joyous about!  I find it rather refreshing to know that there are artists who are willing to work with me.  I also find it somewhat odd, in that I haven't published yet.  I attribute this, in large part, to this blog.

It seems that folks are willing to give the new guy a shot.  Honestly, I'm grateful.  Thanks for the opportunity and faith.

A word of advice from the new guy though.  Treat your artists well.  Be professional and kind.  Word seems to get around, and it is far better to have several artists interested in working with you, than to be looking around trying to find folks to take the job (from my, admittedly limited, experience).


Create and bring joy through your words.


I write under the pen name W.S. Quinton.

I hope you will join me next time, for more on my work in children's books and on observations about the genre and things I learn along the way.

Comments and questions are always welcome.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Meandering thoughts and some story ideas

I like to tell stories.

I enjoy improvising tales to my children, and seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter.

I hope you do as well.

With your own children it is an easy thing to accomplish.  You know your children, and you are familiar with their likes and wants. 

What do you do then, when you are wanting to write something to appeal to a wide range of children?

You stop.

I have a hypothesis on this topic I would like to share.  You will not write something that appeals to all readers of any particular age.  It won't happen.  There will be children who don't care for your story, just as certainly as their are children who don't care for mine.  Its okay. Its normal.  Don't let it stress or distract you.  Just as all adults have different tastes in material they read, so too do children.

Write your story, and do your best to get it in front of those children who may want to read it.

Tell your story, and let it resonate with those children who enjoy it and let it fall by the wayside of those for whom it does not.   In the telling, the writing, and the creation of your work, you will have fulfilled your function as author.  From there on, it is the function of the reader to digest your work or not.

Now for some story ideas (feel free to explore this if you like):

A narrative telling of the progression of the lifecycle of a flower.   This story serving to be educational as well as visually pleasing.

Similiar theme, a narrative telling of the lifecycle of a tree.

Squirrels vs. Chipmunks... the baseball game of the century


Just some ideas I came up with.  As per prior entries, I recommend making notes of such ideas as they fall on you.  More than just the one or two sentences described above for your own notes, but sharing broad ideas may help someone write their own story if they are having a block.

I want to thank my friends at Wood Works, for linking folks to this blog.

Please do continue to share this blog with others.
Thank you for joining me here again today.


Create and bring joy through your words.


I write under the pen name W.S. Quinton.
I hope you will join me next time, for more on my work in children's books and on observations about the genre and things I learn along the way.

Comments and questions are always welcome.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Children's books, writing with my daughter this summer, and a little more

Art by Samantha Vogelsang
You can learn more about Samantha and her art :HERE

My oldest daughter is 9 years old.  Since I've been working harder at writing, she has expressed an interest in writing a book with me and then writing one on her own.  I am very excited about this idea.

This little lady has asked to write a story with me, then she wants to write her own book. She has contrived a fanciful story concept that she wants to explore.  So I'm encouraging her to think about the story, its conflicts, plot, and all the little nuances that go into writing a book.  I think she may be writing her first book this summer!  It makes me proud that she wants to try her hand at becoming an author.

As for me?

Art is well underway on the children's books.  My other literary projects are kicking off pretty well ( I just launched my first kickstarter two days ago for one of my role-playing titles. You can find it):  Here

I received an email from an artist who wants to work with me on some projects.  So for the first time I have more artists than I do books that need illustrations.  Nice thing about that is I can spend more time with my notes on titles I want to develop, which is a wonderful leisure to have.

I've got some ideas to explore that are very exciting.  Please do wish em well.

Thank you all for following my blog.  Your comments and questions are welcome.


Create and bring joy through your words.


I write under the pen name W.S. Quinton.
I hope you will join me next time, for more on my work in children's books and on observations about the genre and things I learn along the way.

Comments and questions are always welcome.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day

Art by Samantha Vogelsang
You can learn more about Samantha Here

Happy Mother's Day!

We all owe our everything to the mothers who bore us.
I hope you have a wonderful day, surrounded by your children (and their children if such is the case).

Mothers are always mothers.  There really isn't a day off from that. So have a wonderful day!

Here in Kentucky, the sun is shining, my children are playing, and my wife and the mother of my children is enjoying a much deserved nap.

I had prepared a post I was going to put up on Monday, but I'll just tack it on below here.

In the meantime, prop your feet up a bit ladies.  Enjoy the sound of your children's laughter and the sight of their smiles.

For all the husbands/fathers out there, remember all they went through for the children.  Don't take the ladies for granted.

If you will excuse me then, I have some things to do before my wife wakes from her nap.


Today's entry, is different from the usual.

Today, I want to ask you the questions:  What story are you looking for?  What story do you want to read to your child?  (Please comment, this should be informative for all of us).

For me:
I like to write simple association stories for infants and toddlers.... so "the ball is red"; "this is my nose", that kind of thing.

For toddlers through pre-k, I like to write simple stories of friendship and good citizenship... telling stories that exalt virtues like truth, patience, etc.

Then for children at higher reading levels up to pre-teen:  I like to write stories that build confidence in the child, through story telling... good overcomes evil, bad guys always lose, kids really make a difference, etc.

What type of books do I want for my children? Pretty much the same as I like to write.    Mysteries, fantastic tales, and basic science for my older, pre-teens.  Books that describe things or actions while being within the child's reading comprehension for my kindergarten child.   Picture books for my toddler.

I also want stories on subjects my children enjoy.

For my 9 year old daughter books on horses, fantastic stories about  faeries or other mythical creatures, bible stories, mysteries, and fiction revolving around the kind of school drama that she sees day to day.  These are the books she looks for when we are out, and the kind I look for when I'm shopping for her.

Please do comment below:  What kind of stories do you children like?

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Reading to children and writing to the reader

Art by Samantha Vogelsang
You can learn more about Samantha: HERE
Reading to your infant, can sometimes be a challenging event.

Whether you read from an e-reader, book, or from your monitor; you will usually be holding your child and pointing out images.  Regardless of the medium you are reading from, good illustrations are fun for the child. (I know, so far this is all very obvious, give me a moment I'm going somewhere here)

So illustrations in your book for the very young child need to have something that helps capture the child's attention.  Something that makes the child want to hold the book and explore it.  Soft colors that are distinguishable from one another, incorporated in an image to help draw the child's interest.

Reading with your child, is a wonderful bonding experience.  Seeing an infant point to pictures, hearing a toddler say "Ball" or "tree" and pointing them out, and then hearing your young child read on their own are all wonderful moments.

So when you are writing for children, keep in mind that for books written for very young children such as toddlers, the parent will be reading.  Tie your images to those words and make things easy for that parent.

Example: "The Dog played with the ball"
Make the Dog distinguishable from the background/setting images and make the ball a bright color that is easily picked out from the background.  You want the child to be able to associate words to images somewhat, but you also don't want to force a parent to search an image for the dog or ball.

A few points to consider:

People reading to children want a pleasant experience too.  They want the child they are reading to, to have an enjoyable memory with them.

Write for bringing joy to the children.

When writing for very small children, don't include scary figures.  Let the bad guys be mean but not frightful.  They can be bad guys by being rude, they don't need to mangle puppies!

An underlying moral to the story is fine.  It reassures the person who may be reading to the a small child that your book is a good influence for the child.  Honesty, for example, is a big lesson for small children, and one that can have a really positive influence on their lives.  Writing a story where a small young character, someone the child can relate to, is confronted with a question of whether to lie or tell the truth affords a chance to teach the virtue of honest.  It can also be fun to write!

Please remember:  Create and bring Joy through your words.

I write under the pen name W.S. Quinton
I hope you will join me again, for more of my exploration of writing books for children.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.

Thank you for reading.