The Cybils

     It's official. GLITTER GIRL AND THE CRAZY CHEESE is on the list of nominations for the new Cybils Award.
The Cybils (a loose acronym for "Children's and YA Bloggers' Literary Awards") is a new award invented by a group of (per the website) "librarians, teachers, homeschoolers, authors and illustrators, parents and the kidlit-obsessed" who felt the need for an award based "both on a books merit's and popularity."
     If Glitter Girl doesn't win, at least it will be read by some passionate people who may not have been familiar with it otherwise. But you never know – a girl can hope.
     Keep yer fingers crossed!

illustration Friday: Invention

     This is another illustration from my latest book, "Haley and the Big Blast," written by A.E. Scotland and illustrated by Yours Truly for Amy Elise Press.
     Haley is a young inventor who's constant experiments get her into all sorts of trouble.
     In this scene, she noticed the slide didn't "slide" very well - so she added cooking oil - which made it work a little bit too well!


Wippee!!! The movie comes out this December and the trailer looks GREAT!! And what a great role for Jeremy Irons! I can't wait!!
You did read the book, right?

     Okay, well we saw "Eragon" last night, and while the die-hard Eragon fans will find some things to love about it, for instance, Saphira can make one heck of an entrance, overall the movie was disappointing. Young Ed Speleers career has been made though - within two weeks every teenage girl in America will have a poster of him in those low slung leather pants on their walls (woowee!).
     I've heard critics call the acting horrendous, which on some levels I'll agree with, Joss Stone - stick to music sweetie, but my biggest complaint was with the editing, the directing and the CGI effects (or lack thereof). Breaks came at strange places, shots were held too long, scene cropping was lazy, the fight scenes looked like about twelve men trying to fill a room, and the crowd scenes, my hubbie noticed, actually flickered. Set design looked small stage and underdone in some key scenes. I would have expected about the same level of production for a made for SciFi Channel movie.
     That said, I do think Saphira was handled well, and I liked some of the ways they adapted some hard to translate to film ideas. (Except, how did he suddenly know all the Elven words for vaious spells?) Overall, I wish more talented people (where's Peter Jackson when you need him?) had spent more time and money on the film - it had the potential to be positively epic . . . but wasn't.

Welcome to the World Kate Olivia!

My cousin, Chris, and his wife, Kelly, just produced the first heir to the Oberholtzer clan (that's what the "O" stands for in my name). Kate Olivia is just six weeks old and sweet as can be. Her parents don't get much sleep right now, but they love her something silly. I'm looking forward to when little Kate can run around and make lots of noise - we're going to have so much fun! Welcome to the world little sweetie!

Illustration Friday: Thanksgiving

     Happy Turkey Day! This is an illustration I did for an Andes chocolates in-store promotion about . . . ten years ago - really? Wow, I think that's right. Anyhow, the bowl in front is supposed to be full of Andes (that was a photo dropped in later).
     But, you get more than just a pencil drawing this week kiddies - here's another free coloring page - just click the image to download a pdf of Mr.Turkey!

Mr. CityMen

Okay, I am totally stealing this link from Drawn! but geese - I am addicted. Y'all have got to check these out. The purple guy and the orange guy especially. These are just freakin' beautiful!

Mercer University Author's Lunch

     I was invited to draw on stage while Frank Hollon talked about the inception of our picture book, GLITTER GIRL AND THE CRAZY CHEESE, at this year's Mercer University Press Author's Luncheon (Saturday).
     Imagine my happy surprise at finding my name on the docket with chef extraordinaire, Nathalie Dupree! Hubbie and I met her at the Decatur Book Festival where he told her, "You taught me it was okay to be messy in the kitchen" - he's a great cook.
     Several acclaimed authors were in attendance with their books, but Frank and I had the only children's books. We signed copies until our hands cramped. It was so much fun.
     One of the guests got to my drawing of Glitter Girl before the organizer of the event could, so I need to draw another one for the Press. Too funny!

Children's Book Week Virtual Book Fair!

     Yesterday kicked off Children's Book Week! This celebration of children's books begain in 1912 and is still going strong today. You can read about it's history here.
     In celebration I have two things going on this week. The first is the Children's Book Week Virtual Book Fair hosted by Fandangle magazine.
     I'll be the guest speaker for a virtual chat tonight at 8pm EST, so if you'd like to ask me questions about my digital illustration technique, my books and upcoming projects, or how you can best dive into the business of children's books, come join us! And stick around this week as there are over 60 authors and illustrators represented, more chats, and opportunities to buy some great books for the holidays.
     I'll also be reading GLITTER GIRL AND THE CRAZY CHEESE at my favorite children's book store, Little Shop of Stories, this Thursday at 7pm. Bring the kids!

Haley and the Big Blast!

     Hi Y'all! I have BIG news!
     HALEY AND THE BIG BLAST, written by A.E. Scotland and illustrated by Yours Truly for Amy Elise Press, has just been released!
     Haley is a young scientist with a lot of crazy ideas. Her constant experiments get her into all sorts of trouble. But, when all the windows at her school are mysteriously shattered, it's Haley's science experiment which proves how it occured.
     HALEY AND THE BIG BLAST is a fun chapter book for bright young minds, and best of all, a "Haley" doll is available for your budding young scientist.
     Haley would make a great Christmas present! Click on the images to visit the Amy Elise website.

Illustration Friday: Clear

     This is a tricky theme this week, but I'll give it a go.
     This is an illustration from my latest release, "Haley and the Big Blast." When Haley pours hot water on clear, cold glass, it cracks - solving (clarifying) the mystery of the school's broken windows. (Notice she's wearing clear goggles . . . ) Ha!
     I just received my copies of "Haley" yesterday and am putting together my big web announce over the weekend. Look for details coming soon on my blog and in my newsletter (sign up to the right)!

Spanish 101

     Tonight I start taking spanish lessons at the Latin American Association in Atlanta. I'm excited and a wee bit nervous. I hope this old decrepit brain can squeeze a bit more info into it.
     I've always wanted to speak and understand Spanish - well all languages really. I LOVE languages. I speak some French (need a long vacation to Paris to trip over to fluent), and being a romance language, the structure is the same. That'll help. I can also speak a few words in Italian, Hebrew, German, Swahili, Mandarin, oh, and Amharic (Ethiopian). Love 'em, love 'em all.
     The Spanish is most important right now for two reasons: one, we have a wonderful culture moving into the state of Georgia and I want to be able to really experience it; and two, PACO AND THE GIANT CHILE PLANT comes out in June 2008. It's a bilingual picture book, and I'd like to be able to speak to what I hope will be a large, culturally mixed audience.
     Wish me luck!

Illustration Friday: Smoke

Well, I had about three pieces of art that fit this week's theme, however they were all still in black and white. So I'm going to take one of them all the way and show you my progress. This is a piece from my picture book dummy, "Queen Bea." First is the line-art version. I usually do sketches, scan them into the computer, then arrange my composition. Sometimes I then do a cleaned up line-art version to then work from. But I have to say I probably won't create line-art anymore. Editors seem to respond better to pencil sketches - where things look more rendered in black and white. My line-art seems to have more of a cartoony look that doesn't hint enough at the extent the final piece will be rendered.

So here is my next stage, flat color. I set the pencil or line-art layer to multiply in Photoshop. I work on a flat color layer below it. I may go in and add a few more color blocks to indicate light and shadow, but this is almost finished with stage 2.

Next I'll pull it into Painter where I do my shading and rendering. You'll have to check back to see how the piece ends up - it usually takes me a few days.

Update: Thanks for all the great comments - I'm so glad some of you find my process helpful. I used my weekend to finish the art - isn't that what weekends are for? Anyhow, the last step was to render in Painter then pull it back into Photoshop for minor adjustments. Click on the final piece to get a better look.

"A Bird On Water Street" is outta here!

I sent my first novel to my agent today and I have the strangest emotions going on. I'm relieved, nervous, scared. I feel about 50 pounds lighter. I mean, this thing has been with me for four years. It was born as a picture book and demanded to be longer. Turned into a chapter book and got some really good feedback, but again the word was "make it longer." So, it turned into a novel. A real novel. Who knew I could do that? I bled all over the paper - there wasn't another thing I could have done for it. It's as good as I felt it could be. And now it's out there - my little baby - to be slashed and edited and rejected and god knows what else. I'm just raw. I'm one big open wound waiting for either a band-aid or salt. Could go either way. And yet, I'm excited, really, really excited. Like I said, strange emotions today.

e's news: November '06

I send out a newsletter about every other month. If you would like to sign up, click HERE. Here is my latest:

Hi Y'all!
Well, it's been a crazy and exciting Fall.
Here's what's coming up:

I've been invited to present
with the author, Frank Hollon, at the
Annual Author's Luncheon at
Mercer University next weekend.

November 13th-19th is

In honor, I have two events planned:
I will be the guest speaker for an online chat in the First
Children's Book Week Virtual Book Fair.
If you have any questions about illustrating for picture books,
come join us on
Tuesday, November 14th at 8:00 pm.
To learn more, click the logo:

at my favorite independent bookstore

during the Evening Storytime,
Thursday, November 16th at 7:00 pm
Author Anne Ginkel will also be there to kick off her new book
Come join us for a fun time!
Call (404) 373-6300 or
for more information.

Along with working on
(Raven Tree Press, June 2008)

I have a new contract in the works.
I'll share the details as soon as they're confirmed.


That's the new stuff,
here's a recap of the last two months!

I had a great time at the Decatur Book Festival
which turned out to be a bigger hit than anybody expected.
To read my summary of the event on my blog, click the logo:

I had several book signings in September:
at the Barnes & Noble Northpoint;
the Barnes & Noble Edgewood;
and the Imagine It! Children's Museum of Atlanta
What a blast!

My logo design graced the
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
Southern Breeze Fall Conference
in Birmingham a few weekends ago.
The SCBWI is the umbrella organization
that holds children's writers and illustrators together.
I was happy to give a talk about the "Nuts and Bolts" of this
business and do several portfolio reviews.
If you're an aspiring children's writer or illustrator,
look for the southeast region's Springmingle
event in Atlanta next March.


As always, you can order
signed copies of my books through:

Call (404) 373-6300 or
email for more information.

I'll be talking to media specialists and librarians
about doing School Visits at the upcoming
in Kennesaw this December
(more info on this soon).
You can learn more about inviting me
to your school at my WEBSITE.

For more information, additional events,
upcoming books and free coloring pages,
visit MY WEBSITE at

Thanks Y'all!
Elizabeth O. Dulemba