For Suzanne Brown, the author of The Night Before Christmas In Ski Country, writing the story was easy. It was waiting for its publication that was tough. Watch Part 1 of her interview here.
E: Tell us about how you actually got the book finished.
S: I got the idea from when my daughter was born and we were in Colorado. And then I actually sat down and wrote. I go out hiking or snowshoeing. It gives me ideas and makes my brain quiet so I can think through things and I don't have the scatter of work around me. I would occasionally pull it out and edit it.
When we signed a contract with the publisher, I actually had to find my own illustrator, which is rare in the book world. So I was lucky to get to do that and to work with the illustrator directly.
The publisher took over from there, and I still had my fingers in it, which, being a control freak it was hard not to have all my fingers in it!
"Sometimes you have to let go. You hold on tight to some things that are important, but you let go of others."
E: What was something uncomfortable to let go, and how did you deal with it so that it didn't freak out the control freak in you... and how did that turn out to be a great decision?
S: I drank a lot of eggnog, ha ha. Working with the illustrator was so great, but at the same time I had ideas in my head about how it would look like, and as she's illustrating, some of those things I had to give up. It was a give and take between her and I. She brought so many great ideas that I'd never thought of, that I can't even remember how it was in my mind.
E: Awesome. So what was an obstacle you had to overcome, even though it sounds like it went smoothly?
S: One was signing a contract with the publisher. I had no clue what to look for, what I was signing. You want to trust everyone in the world, but you shouldn't. So I had to research.
The other obstacle was to make sure that the illustrator met her deadlines. Because I had already written the story when we signed the contract, but she was making pictures and we wanted to be out for the next Christmas. She watercolored every single page and then had to scan them. I had absolutely zero control over that. I would send her positive messages that hopefully would encourage her and hopefully remind her that we were all waiting for her.
E: And so if you were going to do it again, or advise someone who's think of this and they're worried about the process, what advice would you have for them?
S: Let it go. They know what they're doing. What helped for me was sending emails to the publisher to stay connected all the way through.
E: Well you all pulled together to create a great special project!
S: Thank you!
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If you loved hearing about Suzanne's story, I hope you'll join us for more interviews with people whose work-life accomplishments mean everything to them and create great things in the world! Read more of my work and advice at www.trulyaccomplished.com.