Introducing Clyde’s Newest Friend

hippo01 rough draft sketchhippo01 rough draft sketch hippo02 rough draft sketch

(There are two of the exact same sketch 1 because for some reason when only 1 image of sketch 1 was attached, it disappeared, showing only sketch 2.)

Meet Hippita Hippo. She dreams of flying, but her attempts to fly always end in disaster. Then she meets a green giraffe named Clyde and his friend Marty McDinkle as they slurp Burzleberry Tea while laying in the shade of a  Tickletoe Tree.

Hippita Hippo started as an idea that I had for a character in my latest children’s story, “Clyde and I Help a Hippo to Fly”. I finished the draft of the story and sent it to my editor.

After that, the story went to my book layout specialist, who created a storyboard with her ideas as to which words go on which pages, where illustrations could go, how many pages the whole book should/could be, etc.

If I like the storyboard–and so far I always have–I send it to my illustrator and ask him to come up with suggestions for what scenes each illustration could depict while I’m doing the same.  Then we talk on the phone going through each page of the storyboard, sharing ideas until we reach agreement on the concept of each illustration.

Then the illustrator went to work and sent concept sketches of new characters, scenes, etc. The sketches above are the first rough drafts of concepts for Hippita. I just got them this afternoon.

When each sketch is just the way I want it, I greenlight it for creation of a full-color illustration.

In later posts I plan to discuss what happens after all the full-color illustrations are done.

While this is only my third children’s story (and second book–I’m publishing the third story second), the process and flow is happening very smoothly thanks to my wonderful team of publishing professionals.

I believe that if weren’t for financial considerations we could create high quality children’s books at the rate of about one every 4 to 6 weeks from the time I come up with a one sentence story idea to the time they are printed and ready for children to read. I believe that is quite fast.


About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
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4 Responses to Introducing Clyde’s Newest Friend

  1. mimijk says:

    I must say I feel a certain affinity for Hippita – she is really quite lovely…

  2. utesmile says:

    I do like her eyebrows, she looks really sweet in the third sketch!

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