Two weeks until the launch of the Messenger Misadventures, and I’m still editing the final version. Mailing list subscribers should get an advance offer as soon as I’ve uploaded it.
Dylan, Deirdre, and Dougall
This is the collection of stories for younger readers (8 to 12 years) that started off as a Christmas serial on the Princelings website. It stars Dylan, the messenger of the title, a job that enables him to wander all over the island that is their home. Of course, that gives him plenty of opportunity to get into scrapes!
His brother Dougall is the quiet, shy type, but is steadfast in his loyalty to his brother. He gets on with his astronomy and science projects, and gets his own story when he finds a reindeer in the woods. The reindeer has lost his compass, which seems like an odd thing to say, but all becomes clear.
Deirdre is the newcomer to the group, although you met her recently, when I spotted the #writephoto challenge that absolutely suited her first story. She’s the daughter of the castle’s smith, and he appears to be a widower, so she’s plenty of opportunity to roam the island if she gets time between jobs for her father.
Four stories, all written at different times, and I wonder if it shows. The chapter illustrations certainly show the timelag. Dylan’s first ones were done for the website, in 2012. The Ulva ones, for the last tale, were done in late 2017 – I can’t believe it’s already three years ago! Dougall’s story (written for the BookElves Anthology Vol 2) never had them — I think I was mindboggled by drawing reindeer. And of course, Deirdre’s are new. So I had nine new illustrations to do. Some are in colour, some aren’t. I’m still trying to decide whether to colorise the black and white ones.
What do you think? Here’s a sample of eight of the illustrations, four old and four new.
Two are drawn as colour, one is colorised, one uses shading as opposed to hatching to indicate texture. The trouble is, I like them as they are.
Is it too unprofessional to send them out with different styles? (and you can see what I mean about drawing reindeer).
What I find interesting, is that they all look better the smaller they are — hides the poor detailed artwork, I suppose!