An Interview with Bunnies!!! Author/Illustrator Kevan Atteberry, plus a GIVEAWAY!!

The talented Kevan Atteberry, author-illustrator extraordinaire, is joining us today to talk about the evolution of Declan, the exuberant monster in his new picture book, Bunnies!!!

 

bunniesCover250wide

Welcome, Kevan!!

 

MG:   Who came first, Declan, or the bunnies?

 

KA:   The original Declan was not the Declan that lives in the book. For the past few Octobers I’ve challenged myself to create a monster a day for the whole month and post them on Facebook. Completely from scratch. On October 20, 2012, I drew this monster:

 

Declan1

 

KA:   I am pretty certain I drew the monster first. But the bunnies were an immediate addition. The comments I got on this monster were split between those who thought the monster was going to eat the bunnies and those who thought the monster was smitten with them. This intrigued me.

 

MG:  In relation to that, did the images come first, or the storyline, or was it a more back and forth process?

 

KA:  The image came first. On October 20, 2012. In November 2012, during Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo), I came up with an idea for a story about that monster. And in December 2012, I was going through my PiBOIDMo entries and landed on that particular idea. I wrote the story in one day. Then I thumbnailed the story the next day. I had the first dummy a day or two after that.

 

MG:  How did Declan first appear to you? How do the first sketches compare with the Declan in Bunnies!!!? How would you describe his evolutionary process?

 

KA:  This first Declan (though he wasn’t Declan at that point) was the one above. When I started the thumbnails and the dummy, Declan took a different proportionate appearance than what had inspired him. Here are some looks at him from thumbs to sketch to dummy stage and finally where we ended up.

 

pbThumbSheet

 

 

declanSketches

 

 

Declan4

 

 

declanColor5

 

KA:   You can see in this comparison where we kind of started from and ended up. The publisher felt we should replace the pointy tail with a puffy tail, soften the horns and teeth, lose the hollow eyes and lips. Though I like both versions, I completely trust my editor and art director in giving Declan his new look.

 

 

declanCompared

 

MG:  This is your author-illustrator debut. How would you compare/contrast the creative process between making your own book, rather than working as the illustrator of someone else’s story?

 

KA:   I’ve never felt a sense of ownership on books I’ve illustrated for other people. I like them and am proud of them but in the end, they are the authors’ books and I just feel lucky to have been the one to illustrate them. Because of that, I never felt compelled to initiate marketing for them. Or to arrange signings. Though I always participated with enthusiasm when asked. Now, having penned my next book (as well as illustrated it) I am completely behind it! I want to do everything I possibly can to push it, promote it, make the world aware of it. I will be having my very first book launch next week and I am thrilled about it!

 

MG:   Declan’s joy is contagious! Where does that come from? Was he inspired by anyone, or anything in particular?

 

KA:  Declan has a toddler’s sensibility. His excitability and his sorrow are both exaggerated. And he can swing between the two quickly. Simple pleasures.

 

MG:  Do you have more adventures planned for Declan and his bunny friends?

 

KA:  I am working on a follow up book with Declan and the Bunnies. It will be out next year. The title is Puddles. You can probably guess what gets Declan’s motor running for this book.

 

Thanks so much for joining us, Kevan!!  thinkingEars

 

This week Kevan will give away TWO signed copies of Bunnies!!!  For a chance to win, please leave a comment on this post, or any other this week!

 

 

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

 

Maria is obsessed with—you guessed it—DOGGIES!!! Especially her beloved Dixie Chick, Becca. Isn’t she a beauty?

Maria’s debut picture book, Penny & Jelly: The School Show, illustrated by Thyra Heder will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in July 2015, with a second Penny & Jelly book to follow in Spring 2016. Maria has both fiction and  nonfiction picture books forthcoming from Roaring Brook Press,  Aladdin Books and Boyds Mills Press. She is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary. To learn more, please visit her website: mariagianferrari.com, or visit Maria at Facebook.

Photo of Becca by Monogram Arts Photo.

 

 

 

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103 Comments

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103 responses to “An Interview with Bunnies!!! Author/Illustrator Kevan Atteberry, plus a GIVEAWAY!!

  1. Congrats, Kevan on Bunnies and all of Declan’s upcoming adventures! It’s always fun and inspirational to learn from a fellow creative.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So fun to see the start to finish changes here.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. mariagianferrari

    Go Bunnies!!! Thanks, Lori & Mylisa 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. pippinmathur

    Go Kevan! Can’t wait to read this one!!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I love how the bunnies are different colors!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The pictures in my head only ever come out in words, so it’s fascinating to me to see the process of an illustrator – how the character develops over time, through revisions. (And can someone please ask Kevan about the bunnies’ noses? Why is that one bunny different? It grabbed me right away. So adorable!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • mariagianferrari

      Very observant, Maryanne! I’ll pass your question on to Kevan!

      Liked by 1 person

    • kevanjatt

      Hi Maryanne, Good eye! Yes, Green bunny’s nose is round(ish) as opposed to the other bunnies’ noses which are kind of triangular shape. My art director and editor wanted slight differences in all the bunnies. (This would also be helpful in figuring out who is who if for some reason they were represented in black and white.) So Orange is kind of chubby, Blue has a bent ear, Green has the round nose and Pink has none of those.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The puffy tail is a winner. (And doggies too!)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Congratulations Kevan! I can’t wait to read BUNNIES! I’ve been waiting for this one since last spring.

    Like

  9. Congrats Kevan! I’ve been waiting for this since last spring. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. mariagianferrari

    I agree, Wendy–puff tails & doggies 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. tamaraellissmith

    Oh what a pleasure to learn a little bit about Declan’s (and Kevan’s) evolution!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Lindsey Lane

    Thank you for taking us behind the scenes and inside your brain. I was thinking just yesterday how the puff ball tail was such a perfect touch…Congratulations, Kevin!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Carleen M. Tjader

    So interesting to see the evolution of Declan! Looks like a delightful book!
    Thank you and congratulations.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. mariagianferrari

    Thanks, Tam, Lindsey & Carleen!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Yay, Declan!! And to think I knew him when. . .
    Congratulations, Kevan!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Mike Jung

    I’m a fan of pointy, scarcy, devil tails, but I accept Declan’s new puffy tail. It really is amazing how the feel of the character changes along with little details like the tail and eyes.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I loved hearing about the evolution of Declan…fascinating! Thanks, Maria and Kevan!
    BUNNIES!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. mariagianferrari

    Go Bunnies!!!! Thanks for your comments, Elizabeth, Mike & Penny, and special thanks to Kevan, Declan & the cast of bunny characters!

    Don’t forget to join us tomorrow for another special book launch event!

    Like

  19. Oh, this is so cool. It’s awesome to get a glimpse behind the scenes at your process, Kevan! The resulting Declan is so endearing and lovely, and my little boy is so much like him. I can’t wait for PUDDLES!!! which is pretty much my life. We have to stop and splash in every. Single. One. You’ve made something wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Kevan, you are a gifted writer/artist. I loved seeing this book evolve.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Lyndi

    I love to see the process behind the creation! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Reblogged this on Writing for Kids (While Raising Them) and commented:
    Another PiBoIdMo success story…from author-illustrator Kevan Atteberry!

    Follow the link to the EMU’s Debuts site to read on and enter the BUNNIES!!! giveaway.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. mariagianferrari

    Thanks for sharing this, Tara!! 🙂

    Like

  24. Claire

    Thanks for sharing information about this wonderful book!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Yes, love the puffy tail too =) Congrats, Kevan!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Dee Knabb

    Declan is charming. Love his toddler personality.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I love it and it was interesting to hear your process. Congrats and thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. The book sounds intriguing–I can’t wait to read it! Thanks for sharing the story behind the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I love books with monsters and Declan looks like no other monster I have met. Good luck with the book Kevin!

    Liked by 1 person

  30. This looks like such a fun book. Declan is an awesome monster.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. winemama

    This book looks so cute, thanks for the giveaway, and thanks Tara Lazar for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Jon Blauvelt

    Declan sounds like a lot of fun! Looking forward to reading Bunnies.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I want to know what happens with these bunnies!!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. mariagianferrari

    Thanks, Claire, Pascale, Sylvia, Jon & Kimberly!!
    And if you’re in the Washington are, the book launch for Bunnies!!! is here:

    http://www2.bookstore.washington.edu/_events/events_cal.taf?evmonth=01&evyear=2015&eventid=2014120415250200&pre=20150120&pst=20150131

    Like

  35. The puff ball tail says it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Declan is an adorable monster! And who doesn’t like bunnies? Super idea and wonderful illustrations!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. So cute!! I love that he completely trusted his editor and AD, I feel like that is something everyone is afraid of in this industry. “What if they make me change my illustrations?” “What if I don’t like the illustrator they choose for my book?” There’s a reason they’re the pros! :] Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. jdewdropsofink

    The pictures instantly grab me. I love the idea already.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. What a great writing/illustrating journey. So happy for you! The book sounds wonderful too.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. That was a funny bunny interview. I love the story , and it being like Spring in Calgary these days I can see our white bunnies a bit confused by the missing snow. Declan is a great illustrator and storyteller. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Thank you so much for sharing your creative process with us! Inspiring!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Love this idea. I’m NOT an illustrator, but my new year’s resolution was to draw a hundred pictures this year. I think I’ll draw a month’s worth of monsters. So much fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  43. This is adorable. I love Kevan’s style!

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Stephanie Fitzpatrick

    I can’t wait to get my own copy and share it with my kindergarteners and 2nd graders (I’m the AP for both grades at my school). I loved seeing the evolutionary process of Declan and compare it to the drafts of my own manuscripts…so different from where they started out, but still with a similar concept. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Congrats, Kevan! Looks like so much fun 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  46. janelle

    Love this!! Can’t wait to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Congratulations, Declan! Cannot wait to introduce Declan to my son.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. So much fun to read about how such an endearing character came to be!

    Liked by 1 person

  49. I saw a hilarious book trailer for this one a few weeks ago. It was great to hear his process. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Laurie Theurer

    Wonderful post… thank you! My girls will love Bunnies!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  51. kathalsey

    How is it possible I did not know of Emu? Love this idea and you debut folks. Declan is fun and toddlers do go to extremes. Congrats and I want my OWN Declan & Bunnies to share w/my grandson. Amazing how such small changes in Declan change his personality. Yay! *clapping for Kevan and Declan*

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Cinzia

    Congratulations Kevan! I can’t wait to read the story. Declan and the bunnies are so cute, and it was fun to see the evolution

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Angela Turner

    I love seeing the progression of Declan and the book looks adorable.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Maria Oka

    This is fabulous! So fascinating to see how it all started with an image. Makes me want to draw more…oh yeah, and learn how to draw… This book looks so awesome! Can’t wait to read it to my girls. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  55. mariagianferrari

    Wow!! Thank so much everyone for sharing your comments about Kevan and Declan and Bunnies!!! And a HUGE THANK YOU to Tara Lazar for sharing and completely boosting this post. Congrats, Kevan!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  56. I enjoyed the window into your creative process and watching how Declan evolved. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  57. I love getting this behind-the-scenes peek. 🙂
    Congratulations, Kevan!

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Heather Pierce Stigall

    This sounds like such a fun book! I can’t wait to read it. I love monsters and bunnies, so that’s a perfect mix to me. I am always interested to hear about an illustrator/author-illustrator’s process since I am not an illustrator. I am envious! I imagine pictures and hope the words I write down are doing them justice. You talked about books that you’ve illustrated that are really the author’s books, but I have to disagree (at least when it comes to picture books). Yes, the author dreamed up the words, but the illustrator brings the words to life! I think of it like putting music to lyrics. Both can be beautiful alone, but together they really sing! Congrats on your new book!

    Liked by 1 person

  59. Matt Tesoriero

    Thanks for sharing your journey! Best of luck on the “Bunnies” launch!

    Liked by 1 person

  60. Love your illustration style Kevan! I can’t wait for the book too. You got me as excited a Declan gets 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Erika Hitchcock

    Love hearing how your story came to life! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your book!

    Liked by 1 person

  62. danielle hammelef

    So much fun seeing the progression. Reminds me of seeing Pooh Bear and Arthur early versions. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  63. I agree with the editor on the monster changes. Sounds like an exuberant book.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Hi Kevan, this was so interesting! I loved seeing the process of evolution of Declan. And it just goes to show we should trust our editors – the puff tail etc really gave Declan that extra bit of personality. Not that your drawings weren’t exceptional before that of course 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Ellen Sirianni

    Looks like a great book! Can’t wait to read it. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. I loved seeing the evolution of Declan (a name I’d never heard before and now twice in the last few months!). The story looks/ sounds awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  67. It’s a toss up – who is cuter, Declan or the bunnies?? Love ’em 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Love seeing Kevan’s process. PUDDLES, LOL! 😀 Too cute…

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Looks like tons of fun, plus adorable!!! Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  70. Pat

    Thank you for the glimpse into your creative process! It is an amazing journey. I can’t wait to share the book with my neices and nephews.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. Thanks for a great interview. It was interesting reading the process of an author-illustrator. Looking forward to reading Bunnies!

    Liked by 1 person

  72. Thanks for sharing, Kevan. Bunnies are always cute, but Declan is totally adorable!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  73. DaNeil Olson

    Bunnies and monsters – love the combination!

    Liked by 1 person

  74. I thought your FB monster was smitten by the bunnies, but I see why some people would think it wanted to eat them.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. laura516

    Looks like a hit. Thanks for sharing your inspiring journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  76. M.A. Bentz

    I love the illustrations they are very likable. Thank you for telling the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. I love Kevan’s monsters, and I can’t wait to read his book!! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  78. shiela fuller

    Kevan:
    Congratulations to you, Declan, and the bunnies!

    Liked by 1 person

  79. Vicki Wilke

    Love to hear about illustrators’ processes – since I can only draw circles … Looks like a fun book.! Congrats to Kevan!

    Liked by 1 person

  80. I like the name Declan and I was surprised to know that an art director has the final say on drawings by an illustrator. I thought it was mostly creative for the illustrator to do. Does it change when the book is written and drawn by the illustrator?

    Liked by 1 person

  81. Carolyn Rohrbaugh

    Thanks for sharing. It was interesting

    Liked by 1 person

  82. Carolyn Rohrbaugh

    Your illustrators’ process was very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  83. Virginia Law Manning

    I can’t wait to find out o Declan is smitten or wants to eat the bunnies? I hope he is smitten : ) Very cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  84. Cindy Cornwall

    Great to see the versions of Declan. Also wonderful that another PiBoIdMo session has produced success. Kudos for Kevan!

    Liked by 1 person

  85. Rebecca Sheraton

    Looks like such a fun story. Interesting to see how quickly an idea can develop when it strikes

    Liked by 1 person

  86. zebrakitchens

    I love the bunnies. They seem to be as inquisitive as Declan. Congrats! I can’t wait to read it and see your illustrations. There is something about the ears . . . it’s like we’re kindred spirits. I too like the softer look of Declan.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. A monster a day? That’s neat- hmmmmm…..maybe I should work on a character a day….interesting concept! Thank you!

    Like

  88. Tracey Brown

    I appreciate your perspective as both the author and illustrator. Never say never, but I am pretty sure I’ll only be able to speak from the author and “not complete owner” perspective. Congratulations!

    Like

  89. There is such sweetness in BUNNIES, and at the same rime, such strong emotion. I love the spread where Declan and the bunnies first meet!

    Like

  90. Huzzah for Kevan! I look forward to reading this book. I’ve enjoyed Kevan’s 30 days of monsters every October, which has inspired my 31 Days of pandas every December. Huzzah again.

    Liked by 1 person

  91. Susan Howard

    Congratulations! I’m amazed at how quickly you were able to complete the dummy. You are an inspiration! Looking forward to reading it and all Declan’s future tales.

    Like

  92. I love hearing about the developmental process. Well done Kevan and yay for Declan and the bunnies!

    Like

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