Children’s book writer and illustrator Sharon Holm and I met when she posted a link to her latest iPad application, Counting Kitties 1-10 on LinkedIn. I purchased the application and thought it was adorable and educational. Here Sharon talks about her children’s books and the difference between drawing for a book versus an application.
Where do you live? Where’s your favorite place to hang out?
I live in New Fairfield, CT. My favorite place to be is in my art studio or the backyard with the dogs. Both are places of inspiration.
What is your favorite children’s book?
Walt Disney’s Pinocchio, I loved the artwork for bad boy island!
You’ve written and illustrated several of your own books. Which is your favorite?
My favorite children’s book is Zoe’s Hats. It was published by Boyds Mills Press to starred Kirkus reviews. I start my stories with an illustration first. I have idea for an illustration which then turns itself into a story idea.
What are your two favorite colors together?
My 2 favorite colors are yellow and red. Together they create a warm feeling. They also make orange which ties it all together.
You run an after school literacy program where my students write and illustrate their own books. Tell us about it.
[The kids] create what I would actually create for a children’s book submission. The words and the pictures, telling a story. They are all phenomenal and amazing. The amount of work and passion they put into their books always amazes me. They write [from] their hearts. I have read everything from puppies, to cheerleading to monsters. One that sticks in my mind was about a pink and purple crayon.
Do you prefer illustrating your own books?
I have illustrated over 65 books by other authors [but] I would prefer to be illustrating more of my own books. I can tell a story visually with pictures as well as with words. The words and the art come from my heart, my soul. They are a reflection of me and who I am.
“Kids Counting Kitties” was first proposed as a board book…I joined together with a programmer and we produced Kids Counting Kitties 10 to 1, and Kids Counting Kitties 1-10. We have a series of ideas in the works to keep the continuity going of Counting Kitties, as well as other concept ideas for the series- colors, shapes, finding hidden pictures. My style is perfect for [pre-school and kindergarten].
What is the process for drawing art for an application? How is it different from illustrating a book?
The process is the same yet different. You still need a unique concept idea. You have to draw each art piece separate. The background is separate from the art. In order to create movement you have to draw each thing that moves as a separate [illustration]. It is very much like animation.
Has it been easier to sell your application than your books?
I don’t think it is easier to sell an Ipad app. There are no tangible products to “sell” like at a book signing. Social media appears to be the most effective way to publicize and market my apps.
You did another iTunes project, Potato Pouch. What was it like working on that project?
Pouch Potato was written by author Julia Dweck. She contacted me through LinkedIn after she discovered my web page. She has had great success with other books she has written, e-books included . I would love to do another app or e-book with her, her story was adorable. She was great to work with, very open to ideas and concepts. Julia’s contact in is www.juleloves2write.com.
Tell us 3 strange and wonderful things about you.
3 strange and wonderful things- I have over 100 snow globes that I collect, I would love to work with animals more than anything in the whole world and I refuse to grow up.
Sharon Lane Holm is a professional children’s book author and illustrator. She has been fortunate to have worked with many trade, mass market, educational, magazine and board book publishers. Sharon also launched three Itunes Interactive Apps in Spring 2013, “Kids Counting Kitties 10 to 1”, “Kids Counting Kitties 1to10” and “Pouch Potato”. You can see Sharon’s portfolio here. Visit her blog here.