Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Artwork by Dena Ackerman, illustrator for Harry Trumfio's upcoming children's book.
Quote of the Month
"You set a high level for yourself, that's why you're down.
That's great. Now go reach that level."
- Monty Williams, Head Coach of the Phoenix Suns
Putting in the Work Behind the Scenes
During an author's journey, there are plenty of moments to feel discouraged. Moments like:
I've got this idea and everything seems so clear in my head... until I sit down at the computer and stare at a blank page.
I described what my book's about and the person across from me scrunched their eyebrows together and said, "Oh, um, sounds... interesting?"
Finished the rough draft, thought it was good, but my friend said it needs a ton of work
Sent my manuscript in for editing, got it back covered in red ink
Just like the Monty Williams' clip above, we think authors get down on themselves because they set a high level for their work. If they didn't, they'd just publish their rough draft and call it a day. They wouldn't go through all the extra work to make it the best version of their story.
This month, we're showcasing four of our authors who are putting in hard work behind the scenes. These authors spent a lot of time on their first drafts, they're humbly accepting notes and feedback in the revision process, and they've set a high bar for their artwork and final book design.
The result? Four professional, meaningful books that we can't wait to publish later this year/early 2022.
Harry Trumfio's Children's Book: Dad, Our Own Candy Man
We loved working with Vicki Sheaffer and Kristie Kaiser Frudden on their children's book, Oh Mother How Funny. When you pair a great writer with a great artist, and the two are in-sync with a shared vision for the book, great things happen.
What we wondered afterward, though, is how could we recreate this type of process for an author who wasn't close friends with a professional illustrator. An author who says, "I've got the book written" or, "I've got an idea for a children's book, I just don't know any children's book artists."
Enter the story of, "Dad, Our Own Candy Man." The author, Harry Trumfio, is part of the Barrington Writer's Workshop (Barrington is a suburb of Chicago). He reached out with his rough draft, looking for an illustrator. We went on LinkedIn, saw these amazing illustrations shared by Dena Ackerman. Reached out to see if she was interested/available for a children's book project.
Couple emails, phone calls, and Zoom calls later, we've got Long Overdue in Chicago working with an author in the Chicago suburbs and an illustrator way over in Israel -- all complete strangers as of a year ago -- bringing a children's book to life.
The easier route would've been to find some stock images to pair with the text. But Harry is aiming higher for his book and, with a little luck from our LinkedIn newsfeed, we found the perfect artist for the job. Harry's continuing to work on revisions while Dena finishes up her custom illustrations.
Safe Landing: A Family's Journey
Following the Crash of American Airlines Flight 191
We shared more about this incredible story back in our May Newsletter, but here's a quick recap + update on where the project is at.
Kim Jockl, Melody Smith, and Jim Borchers lost their mom and dad on American Airlines Flight 191 back in 1979. Over the last 40+ years, the three have been on a journey recovering from this tragedy, rebuilding their lives, and leading the charge to create a Memorial site for those lost in the crash. For the last several years, they've met every Thursday to assemble their inspirational story into a first draft of a book.
The vision is to do two versions of their book: one for family and one for the public. The family version has more photos, more in-depth details, and will be printed hardcover. The public version has a little different flow to the chapters and printed as a paperback.
Talk about putting in the work! Kim, Melody, and Jim signed up for our "Feedback Circle" class where they picked three of their friends + two of our readers (Michele Popadich and Lauren Silverman). The Feedback Circle reads through the book, answers questions from the authors, and shares ideas and notes to help improve the work.
From there, we moved the manuscript onto "Final Draft." Our Creative Director, Annie Leue, got to work building the family version of the book. Long Overdue Books wouldn't be possible without Annie's artistic eye and expertise creating books.
Kim, Jim, and Melody are simultaneously reviewing the family book and working on additions/revisions to their public book. They're planning a big family celebration in early September, for the grand reveal of their book.
(Plus one more surprise in September that we're not quite ready to share yet... Stay tuned...)
They've put so much work into both versions of their book. It's been an honor to be part of their story and we look forward to bringing these books across the finish line.
Martin Blackbriar Series: Book 1
Looking back, we're not 100% sure how this connection happened. But we're glad it did!
We think it all tied back to a post we made on the Hope College English Department blog. Logan Tomaszewski (Hope grad) reached out shortly after this and shared the rough draft for his book: Martin Blackbriar & The Necronomicon.
Logan also signed up for Feedback Circle to take his book from rough draft to completed manuscript.
There was this really cool moment during Feedback Circle when we had Logan (Hope Grad), his friends Lauren Postma and B. Jung (Hope Grad, Hope Grad), Chris O'Brien (Hope Grad), and Annie Cerovich (Hope Grad) all working together (we also had Katie Palazzolo from our team, who we'll say is an honorary Hope grad). It was like a Hope College Creative Writing class broke out in the middle of this project.
From there, Logan made revisions and is using our "Final Draft" class/service. This is to go from the manuscript to a final edited manuscript ready for print. Rebecca Iungerich is doing artwork for the book (shoutout to Rebecca for the artwork above) and then Annie Leue will turn it all into a final book. Our goal is to have this book available for sale later this fall/early November.
And then it's back to work with Book 2 in the Martin Blackbriar series.
The Black & Caspian Cookbook
Photo from this feature story in the Chicago Tribune
Leyla Khanahmad and Ahmet Ergun are two of the most hard-working, creative people you'll ever meet. As we write this, Leyla and Ahmet are currently:
Running their restaurant, Black & Caspian, in Lakeview East, Chicago
Getting ready to open a second restaurant a block away focused on appetizers and cocktails
Launching a startup called "iChefNow," a really cool idea where you can order food from local restaurants in Chicago and then follow their recipes to make the meals from home.
Oh, and they're working on a book with us. It's still in the early stages, but this will be less of a traditional recipe book and more about Ahmet's origin story, stories about where these dishes came from, family history, and the journey of launching their restaurant (+ their other projects going on).
If you've had a chance to visit Black & Caspian, you'll agree their food is definitely worth an entire book. And for those who haven't, we hope you'll enjoy their upcoming book and then "book" (corny pun intended) a dinner reservation next time you're in Chicago.
This photo also from the Chicago Tribune article
All of this to say, there is no point in the creative process that is either too early or too late to receive help from our team at Long Overdue. From idea to rough draft, rough draft to manuscript, help with illustrations, editing, book design, we're here to remove the obstacles and bring your book to life.
And who knows, maybe we'll be telling your author story in a future newsletter =:^)
To reach out, feel free to email either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We'd love to hear from you and help in any way that we can.
"How about a class where the author throws a tennis ball around with me outside? Takes their mind off the book, let's them recharge. Just a thought!"
- Crash, Team Dog
Keeping up with Long Overdue
The best place to keep up with all things Long Overdue is via our monthly newsletter. And our Instagram page.
Also, our website - Long Overdue Books. The two-sentence summary: Long Overdue Books is a community for creating books. It's a place for authors, readers, editors, artists, and designers to come together and move their stories from rough draft to published book.
Next newsletter - hard to say, but I think it'll be middle of August. In the meantime, if you have any questions, ideas, stories to tell, you can reach Cal the Librarian at - firstname.lastname@example.org