Guest Post by Julie Chibbaro-Working With the Guy Who Shares Your Bed
“Come on,” I poked him, “you can’t fall asleep now! This is important!” That was one of our more common arguments. JM, the artist for our novel Into the Dangerous World, who also happens to share my bed, was drifting off right in the middle of my sentence. It was one in the morning, and he got up at five. That meant he’d been up for 20 hours, working his full time job, and drawing the book during his off hours. We had a young daughter, who we had to work around. Finding time to create this novel wasn’t proving to be so easy.
“What, what?” His eyelids shot open for a minute. “Yes, yes, I see,” he muttered.
People who work at home often complain that their job time blurs with their off time. If that was true, our life was a total smear.
“Look, this is due tomorrow, you have to finish!” I held his pencil up, forced him to look at the drawing.
But he was already asleep. I had to let it go. The truth was, I had to get ahold of my own panic. It was my anxiety that made me think this mountain was impossible to climb. That’s what I thought each time I faced the task of writing a novel. “I’ll never in a million years be able to do this.” My panic was twice as bad with JM involved.
I turned off the light. Four hours later, my husband got up, went to his studio, and came home before I was even awake, the drawing completed. Crisis averted.
Since there are 130 drawings in this book, it didn’t always go that way. Sometimes, it was the opposite: Him poking at me for answers. “Well, if you don’t think Trey looks like that, what does he look like?” he’d say.
“I don’t know. He’s handsome, he’s hot, she falls for him immediately.” I could tell by the way JM’s face was wrinkled in a frown that he wasn’t seeing it. My general statements just weren’t serving him.
“What you think is cute and what I think is sexy are obviously not be the same thing,” he informed me as he looked back at his drawing.
“Fine, here,” I said, opening up my computer. I typed in “hot black guys” and scrolled through until I found a picture I liked. We used the internet a lot this way, to find examples, and as a way to communicate with one another. Each drawing was a back and forth, just as the text had been, a compromise that landed us further than either of us could go alone. That was the great part of the collaboration.
It was hard for me. My need to control serves me as a lone novelist – it is my world that I am creating, at least until my beta readers and editor get to it. That total control doesn’t work in a marriage or partnership. Letting go of my own opinions long enough to listen to his complaints or point of view, and releasing the worries at least long enough to get a good night’s sleep, helped me be a better partner, in work and play.
Now that the book is finished, I’m grateful to JM for all he did and continues to do for this book. Without his artistic background, I don’t think it would have been made at all. Just the thought of that makes me open my heart, surrender control, and dive back in.
About the book...
Into The Dangerous World By: Julie Chibbaro Artwork By: JM Superville Sovak Release Date: August 18, 2015 Publisher: Viking/Penguin Pages: 352
Ror lives to draw—to her, it’s like breathing; it’s how she understands life. Raised on a Staten Island commune, she’s never attended a day of school, and knows little of the outside world. When her paranoid father burns down the commune with himself inside, Ror, her mother, and sister end up in a homeless residence in Manhattan. There, she runs into trouble—and love—with Trey, the leader of Noise Ink, a graffiti crew. On the city’s streets, and in its museums and galleries, Ror finds herself pulled in different directions. Her father wanted her to make classic art. Noise Ink insists she stay within their lines. Her art teacher urges her to go to college. But what does she want? Ror’s soul-searching—expressed in remarkable drawings and sharp-edged prose, set in the gritty Manhattan of 1984—is cinematic in its scope, and its seamless blend of text and art makes Into the Dangerous World a groundbreaking event in young adult fiction.
About the authors...
Julie Chibbaro and Jean-Marc Superville Sovak are the husband and wife duo behind Into the Dangerous World (Viking 2015).
Julie Chibbaro was born into a family of artists, and also married one. She grew up in NYC during the explosion of graffiti art. She has written two historical novels, Redemption, which won the American Book Award, and Deadly, which won the National Jewish Book Award. JM Superville Sovak is half-Trini, half-Czech, half-Canadian. His fourth half is spent making art, for which he earned his M.F.A. from Bard College in NY.
They both live in Beacon, NY.
For those of you that purchase a copy of INTO THE DANGEROUS WORLD any time during the official book tour (August 18-September 30) will receive a one of a kind #IntoTheDangerousWorld pack filled with lots of goodies.
(While supplies last)
To qualify you must send proof of purchase to amydelrosso(at)gmail(dot)com.
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August 20th– Reads All The Books – Review
August 20th– Anything But Vanilla Book Blog – Top5/10 List
August 20th– Handbags, Books...Whatever – Guest Post
August 24th– Bookish – Review
August 25th– Heather Ann's Book Reviews – Review
August 26th– Fangirlish – Review/Author Interview
August 27th– Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review
September 3rd– Bookish Lifestyle – Review / Character Interview
September 7th– Christine Abee – Review
September 14th– Triple T Tots tweens and teens – Review
September 15th– Melissa Martin's Reading List – Review / Interview
September 16th– Journeys & Life – Review
September 17th– The Power of Three Readers – Review
September 18th– My Reading Reality – Review
September 18th– Miranda's Book Blog – Guest Post
September 19th– Actin' Up with Books – Review
September 19th– A Life Bound By Books – Guest Post
September 21st – Cabin Goddess – Review & Recipe
September 26th – Karin Baker – Review
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