It seems like yesterday when Paul and I spoke for the first time about the possibility of working together on a story I had written about an adventurous little redhead. My father-in-law knew Paul’s wife, Maria, from work and had put me in touch with him as he knew I was looking for an illustrator for a story I wrote called Penelope the Purple Pirate. Paul was a recent transplant from England and told me he had always wanted to illustrate a children’s book. It took us a few tries to get Penelope “just right” but it sure was a fun journey watching Paul bring Penelope and her friends to life. Every time he would send me a new illustration I would just smile from ear to ear as it was my dream to create a children’s book as well!
This month we are celebrating Penelope’s 2nd birthday as she was released as a storybook app through PicPocket Books January 2011. I remember the first time I read Penelope on the iPhone and saw all the cool animations that Lynette of PicPocket Books had included in the storybook app. This was a whole new world for me so I was so ecstatic. It took me a few weeks to realize that in order for more people to find Penelope I would have to do some serious marketing. I think I sent out no less than 50 emails to app review sites that first month. But the two moments that stood out to me that maybe – just maybe – we had a story that people really enjoyed was when Digital Storytime chose it as a Top 10 Educational iPad app and lilsugar of Popsugar.com chose it as a Top 10 eBook. I don’t think Paul or I could have imaged how well received Penelope would become with her mates – but all the support has been so heart-warming for both of us! All the comments and stories about how much your children like Penelope are really appreciated. I am so excited to be able to share this wonderful illustrator and friend with all of you! See what he has to say about his journey as an artist and illustrator.