I’ve got some stellar interviews lined up on the blog for the next few weeks, and I’m thrilled that Samantha Cotterill is here to kick things off!
Hello, Samantha! Thank you for joining me here!
Thank you, Dylan! It’s such an honor to be here!
Tell us a little bit about all of the books you have coming in 2018!
2018 is an extremely exciting year for me, as I have three wonderful books coming out over the next three seasons. February 13th will see the release of Jinx and Doom Fight Crime, written by the amazing Lisa Mantchev. This is my first book done in 3-d format, and I’m just ecstatic with how it turned out.
Once Upon a Slime, written by debut author Andy Maxwell, slimes stores everywhere July 3rd. I know there are probably many parents out there ready for the slime craze to die down a bit, but we are enthusiastically encouraging all the kids out there to keep it going strong (sorry parents).
Finally, Just Add Glitter by Angela Diterlizzi will hit shelves this September with sprays of glitter vs the goop of slime. I will say that was my most challenging book to date, as in addition to the 3-d approach, piles and piles of real glitter filled each spread. (Our family is still in therapy trying to heal over the specks of glitter that are still present in every nook and cranny of our home.)
Tell us about your very unique and amazing illustration process.
It depends on the book, and with my ADD, sticking to one method gets boring pretty quickly. I like to vary things up, while trying to be aware the entire time of the common threads that need to be sewn into every book I make. Pattern and linework have quickly become those threads for me, and it’s my goal that they take center stage no matter the medium of the work itself. Whether the work is 2-d or 3-d, my approach to linework now is always the same. I have tried digital methods of drawing, but find the good ol’ nib pen and ink bottle to be my preferred method. Once dry, they are scanned in to be colored digitally via Photoshop. For the 3-d books, the process continues as I print, cut, glue, and set up each diorama to be photographed.
Have you always been into writing and illustrating?
I studied bacteriology and virology for 5 years at uw-Madison, but I did eventually admit to my mother that she was right and agreed to go to art school like she told me to 😉. A good 20 years was spent as a ceramicist, oil painter, and fiber artist (ADD make more sense now?) before taking a good 8-year hiatus to focus on my family. When I hit 40, I decided it was time to get back out there, and was soon approached by the amazing Kirsten Hall, who thought my illustrations could lend themselves well to picture books. So first my mum told me what to do, and then my agent. I need to listen to people more often.
What is one thing that readers don’t know about you, that only you could tell us?
Hmmm…..I accidentally shut down all the computers in Helen C White Library at UW-Madison 1 hour before closing during finals week? And all because I sent an email asking about a party. My computer screen froze…I absent mindedly reached under the desk, turned the power strip off, and within seconds heard the shrieks of many a students’ final essays disappearing. Let’s just say I made a very stealth and quiet exit.
If you weren’t writing and illustrating books, what do you think you’d be doing?
Diagnosing everyone’s food borne illnesses.
What can readers expect from you in the future?
More books! I have a wonderful series coming out over the next couple of years that’s very near and dear to my heart. I cannot wait until I have the green light to share those details! I am also illustrating a book for debut author Jonathan E. Jacobs, entitled The Secret Rhino Society, which will debut Spring 2020.
Anything else you’d like to share with readers of this blog?
Just thank you to all of the kids, readers, librarians, publishers, editors, interviewers 😉, that have already made this career so fulfilling.