"Zoës Welt - Das war ich nicht, das war schon so" - working with words!

Artwork by Cathy Ionescu
A couple of days ago a new book hit the book shelves. And this one is a first and very very special to me, as it is the first chapter book I've written and published and NOT illustrated! Yes, no colours involved, just words!
The book is titled "Zoës Welt - Das war ich nicht, das war schon so" and is a fun story about a girl who wants to have a pet and has some funny and also sad moments on the way to her perfect pet. I am not going to give away too much here :-).

I wrote the first draft of this book ages ago. And I literally mean ages. I sent it to two publishers back then, who rejected it. As one of the rejections was rather harsh I believed that maybe I must have had a crazy moment to assume I was capable of telling stories with Words! But it was in a folder on my desktop and I never quite brought myself to abandoned it fully. So when I had finished illustrating a project with my later to be editor, I was very brave and sent her my manuscript. I told myself not to expect too much, but was sure even her "no" would sound nice. Which was the reason for being brave in the first place. No one likes to have your heart ripped out twice. But how surprised and over the moon I was, when receiving a "Yes"! Of course it needed some work, but I was more than happy to give it a go and edit my story. Not knowing this side of the book project was excitingly new and refreshing and with an enthusiastic and encouraging editor working with me, it was simply wonderful!

Of course initially I also wanted to illustrate my story and was a bit sad when learning this was not the plan my publisher cbj RandomHouse had in mind. A look at my already full schedule actually made it easy to pass. It was even easier after I learned, who was to illustrate my book - Catherine Gabrielle Ionescu, a very talented artist, who has the gift to create the lively illustrations I had envisioned for the book. I told my editor that I did not want to see any illustrations before they were done. I trusted the two of them to do just the right thing and not wanted to have any say in the creative process of the illustrations. Being an illustrator myself I know how freeing it can be if one is given the trust to simply do ones magic. And it totally payed off! Cathy created her vision that adds wonderfully to my words, just as it is supposed to be. The book is in German, of course, as this is my native tongue and such a long text was easier and naturally coming to me in my first language. So maybe this blog post should have been in German also.

Ich hoffe, dass "
Zoës Welt - Das war ich nicht, das war schon so", vielen kleinen Lesern gefällt und, dass ich das ein oder andere Lachen aus euch heraus kitzele :-)!

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