Posted by: nancyisanders | April 21, 2011

The Writer’s Life with Children’s Author, Diane Kredensor

Welcome to day two of Diane Kredensor’s 6-day NWFCC April Author Showcase tour and learn how she goes with the flow.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

Hmmm, that’s a good question. I really don’t have a typical day of writing. There are two ways that I work. The first is to write stuff down whenever an idea hits me— on whatever I have with me at that moment—the inside flap of a book, a napkin, or some scrap of paper I find in my purse or backpack.

Worst-case scenario, I’ll pull out my Blackberry and type ideas and email them to myself. I really don’t like using the Blackberry because it’s more fun to write ideas on paper and sketch at the same time. You’d think I’d carry a notebook with me, but I never remember!

Once I get back to my office, I’ll pull out my scraps of ideas and transpose them into my computer. Then over time, and many drafts, I’ll see if the idea is something I want to stick with and what form it should take—a picture book, a cartoon, or maybe something else, like a t-shirt for my cat.

Okay, that’s a joke, just making sure you’re paying attention. I own and operate an animation production company called Tricycle Films, so often I’m in my office doing invoicing or budgets or trying to get new business. It’s busy work and sometimes consuming, so when the ideas come, I write them down immediately, otherwise I’ll forget them!

The second way I write is to actually schedule “creative time” for myself a few times a week. Although I often have ideas, I find I still have to make myself sit down and commit time in my schedule to “be creative”. Sometimes that time is spent just twiddling my thumbs, and I end up writing nothing ever worth sharing with another human being. And sometimes I’ll spend that time fleshing out the ideas I’ve written on scraps of paper or inside book flaps.

But it’s a good habit to practice scheduling the time, otherwise I might go months without writing or illustrating anything—and then I’ll just have a lot of ideas floating around in my head which I’ll end up thinking about at 4am when I can’t sleep. So scheduling time to be creative really keeps me sane.

With Ollie & Moon, I had a pretty solid manuscript before I started illustrating. I needed to have a strong feeling of who these little guys were before I could see what they looked like. Once I knew that they were super-excitable, enthusiastic, and silly, it was pretty easy to visualize them as big-eyed, expressive little animals.

My drawing process may start w/ a sketch or two on a scrap of paper, but quickly moves to my computer. I drew Ollie & Moon digitally in a program called Flash. I’ve been drawing digitally for about six or seven years now. It was a tough transition, and it took me a while to actually get rid of my drawing table, but now I can’t imagine working any other way. I draw directly onto my Cintique tablet, which is not that different from my old drawing table. But it’s much more efficient in so many ways. I love it!

Often, my Siamese-mix cat, Stu, will sit on my lap while I’m writing and I find I’ll talk through some ideas out loud. This probably makes me sound like a crazy cat lady, but truthfully, reading sentences out loud helps me hear them and often it’s easier to edit that way.

Follow Day 3 of Ms. Kredensor’s tour tomorrow at Lori Calabrese’s blog.


  1. Hi Diane:

    Your insights into your day are quite interesting. Beyond the creative process of writing and illustrating there is so much “business work and promotion work” to do behind the scenes. It’s a pleasure having you on the NWFCC April Showcase.

    Hi Nancy:

    Thank you for being a wonderful host for the NWFCC and authors.

    Best wishes,

    • Hi Donna,

      You’re very welcome! It’s an honor to share my process with NWFCC.

      My best,

      • Thanks for visiting my blog today, Diane! Best wishes with your books. -Nancy

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