Wednesday, June 24, 2015

D. Jude Miller, Author of picture book Earclaw and Eddie

earclaw and eddie, d jude miller, monster picture book, monster children's book, funny picture book

Today we're happy to share an interview author/illustrator D.Jude Miller about his book "Earclaw and Eddie" as part of its blog tour.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
D.Jude Miller actually encompasses my first name (Dan) and my middle name (Jude) and I am from Queens NY. I have been drawing for longer than I have been doing anything that I can remember and I am lucky to have one of the greatest jobs in the world. I draw cartoons! I get to spend my days creating funny characters and crazy stories which is everything I could have ever wished for since I was a kid.

Describe the plot of your new book in a few sentences.
Eddie is just a regular guy who is right on the cusp of something big. Unfortunately, it's not the big thing he's hoping for. He wakes up one morning to find a giant purple monsters sitting right on the top of his head! This obviously is not a situation that anyone wants to be in so Eddie sets out on a lengthy journey to find a way to rid himself of the burden named Earclaw.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?

I really hope that this book appeals to both children and adults. The story is simple but still clever while the art is colorful and fun for kids but still stark and striking enough to be interesting for their parents. I wanted to create an atypical children's book that looked very different than all the other books on the shelf.

What inspired you to write a book about a regular guy who must deal with an unwelcome visitor living on his head?
"Earclaw and Eddie" is a very personal story for me, almost a picture book autobiography. After spending many years with an undiagnosed illness it was finally revealed to me to be allergies. Thankfully I'm fine now. This book was a way for that unpleasant time in my life to come full circle into something great, as well as a chance to hopefully help children realize that life is many times littered with obstacles that can be overcome, resolved or at least accepted.
D. Jude Miller, d jude miller, author illustrator, new author
D.Jude Miller

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Eddie.
Eddie is just an average guy who is trying to quietly get by in his life. He couldn't have expected and definitely does not appreciate the unwelcome visitor Earclaw. All he truly wants to do is get back to being average and free of his "problem."

When did you decide to combine your love of drawing and writing to create books?

Originally I planned on being an editorial animator, but that was really boring. Then in college I trained to be an editorial illustrator. It wasn't until after college that I even started writing. I had an odd style of drawing so I realized that if I wanted to make worlds for my characters to exist in, then i was going to have to create those worlds myself.

Can you tell us a bit about your creative process, from the initial idea to the finished book?

I usually write my stories backwards. That solves the tricky situation of not knowing how to end a story since I write the ending first. Once I have an idea, I have to design the characters. Sometimes I can find them on the first sketch, other times it can take quite a while. Once I have characters, then I can create thumbnail story boards, then refined story boards, finally clean drawings and then all the color gets done digitally. Overall a 30 page book takes probably 200 separate drawings.

Does the art or the story come first?
Almost always the story comes first. I have always felt like both the stories and the characters for everything that I will ever do already live in my head and come out when they're ready to be on the page. So, usually when it's ready to exist, it flows pretty easily.

Are there any authors or illustrators who have influenced your style?
I've never been an artist that was inspired by other illustrators since I try to make every project completely different than the last. But, I have always been greatly influenced by movies, news, conversations, anything that's odd and interesting and has a unique perspective.

What do you have in mind for your next project?

I am currently working on a very large, exciting project that actually launched my writing career. It's called "Monsters in Manhattan" and is the first in a series of three children's books. I will be releasing book one by Halloween followed by two and three in 2016. This story was my first ever attempt at writing and has taken so long to finish because of its' complexity and detail but it will definitely be worth it. Stay tuned!

Is there anything else you like potential readers to know about your book?

"Earclaw and Eddie" is definitely different than most of the children's books out there, but I really think that it has an important message of endurance and acceptance that is important for readers of all ages.

Relevant Links

No comments:

Post a Comment