Fear not: It’s not that long a post, just a riff on the old “a picture is worth…” equation.

Last week Bob and Joe Switzer’s younger brother kindly sent me a batch of snapshots of the Day-Glo brothers themselves. I already had a few photos, which I’d passed along for the illustrator to use, but these were the first I’d seen of Bob and Joe as children, when they were younger even than the target audience for my book.

The manuscript mostly picks up with their story in their late teens, but I love being able to see how these guys looked, say, on their first pairs of stilts. When he got older, Joe took an interest in magic that’s key to the story I tell, so I was especially excited to see a picture of his stage setup. I didn’t get to look for long, though, as I packed all these up and sent them on to Charlesbridge the day after they arrived.

This weekend, the artist who’s taking a crack at a sample illustration for one of my manuscripts sent me a sketch she’s done in preparation. My story involves a couple of animal characters, and so this artist logged some time doing research at a nearby zoo. Which provoked two reactions from me:

  1. Wow! What dedication! And what a neat glimpse of what one of my characters might look like!
  2. Uh, why didn’t I think to observe real-life versions of these animals?