Balancing an illustrator and author can be tricky, but I was an illustrator mostly before I wrote my books.
Usually, an author writes a manuscript that is handed in to the editor. The editor will then work with an art director to find just the right illustrator for the job, and off they go. Many times, the illustrator and author never meet.
Illustrations can be a big window: a looking glass into the author's imagination.
I'd love to be an astronaut. I bet you get a better understanding of our planet seeing it from a distance.
When you're in elementary school, you get these amazing assignments, like to come up with your own animal, come up with your own city, come up with your own planet, what do the people look like; you're very much encouraged to be as imaginative as possible.
In 2008, my one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Sophia, suffered a grand mal seizure. It came from nowhere, for no apparent reason, and took hold of my little fairy-girl.
Now, as Global Ambassador for Starlight Children's Foundation, which brightens the lives of poorly children, I visit hospitals and tell stories to the young patients. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I draw.
'The Wizard of Oz' and 'Alice in Wonderland' inspired me. I wanted to take those themes and try to bring it into a more 21st story with aliens.
When I see how fast technology is advancing, my mind thinks of evolution and how organisms also have to evolve or adapt in order to, in their case, survive.
When you hear the words 'magic' and 'story', they will probably evoke thoughts of your favourite fairy tales from childhood. Storybook pages abound with all manner of magic: fantastical fairies, wish-granting genies, or even a certain boy wizard.