. . . comes in threes !
 Blog hop* time!
It’s been awhile since my last post. I’ve been deeply immersed in the world of online learning & teaching, at UCSD Extension. What an adrenaline rush!
 I was tagged …
by the a•maze•ing Roxie Munro , who shares links on creating apps for books at my public Got Story? Facebook page. Her books are a maze of dazzling fact-filled wonders. Besides creating e-books, she takes you inside and outside of cities, events, and creatures (eggs, bugs, and snakes, oh my), and much more. Do check out Roxie’s blog-hop responses here.
* What is a blog-hop? An author is tagged to answer a set of questions at their own blog. They then tag two other authors with blogs, to keep the blog-hop going.
I think I’m the first blogger/art director/book designer/teacher who’s ever blog-hopped this event! Here goes:
1. What is the title of your work-in-progress? The Gallaudet American Sign Language Dictionary for Children [as art director/designer, and production artist, that is].
2. Where did the idea come from? *Gallaudet University Press editor Ivey Wallace.
[* Note: Based in Washington DC, Gallaudet University is the only institution of higher learning whose programs and services are customized to accommodate deaf and hearing-impaired students. Thomas Gallaudet (1787–1851) was a pioneering figure in the advancement of deaf education.]
[ASL sign for TV, by Debbie Tilley (l) and Peggy Lott (r)]
Debbie Tilley was selected because her witty illustrations communicate well to children and adults. Debbie’s agent Richard Salzman recommended my services as a free-lance designer who’s fluent working with artists and editors; and in the prep of layouts and electronic files for print and other media.
3. What genre does your book come under? Children’s illustrated /Ages 3-11 / reference / American Sign Language / parenting / instructional / school / general trade
4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie? A wide spectrum of fluent multicultural ASL signing children, ages 4 through 11, will be in the accompanying DVD. A joyous group!
5. One sentence synopsis for your book? A kid-friendly definitive children’s American Sign Language dictionary with companion DVD, of over 1,000 entries, humorously illustrated by Debbie (Hey Little Ant!) Tilley alongside easy-to-follow signing diagrams by an unparalleled team of ASL experts.
6. Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
Due out Fall 2014, from Gallaudet University Press.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Debbie, the signing illustration team, and I were supplied with the final word list in December 2010. We’ve all been collaborating steadily since then. That’s over 1,000 illustrations from Debbie; and 1,000+ diagrams from the signing team. Sketches, approval process, revisions, final art, organizing, scanning, etc. Sentences are composed as layouts are formed.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? There’s none like it. Anywhere.
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book? The Gallaudet University Board of Directors made this project part of their mandate. The jewel of the crown.
10.What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? In addition to instructors, students, and users, parents will want to teach ASL to their babies, who are often able to sign before they can talk! Imagine that. Real-life ASL, and it’s from Gallaudet, the go-to source!
And now, I’m blog-tagging three friends. Visit their blogs for…
 Tag 1, 2, 3…
My colleague Andrea Zimmerman  teaches the writing aspect of picture book creation at UCSD Extension [Writing Children’s Picture Books (WCWP-40261)] with Sara Tomp. Check out her fabulous blog, Picture Book Party here. She is both an author and author/illustrator. Among her many titles are Train Man (with David Clemesha); Eliza’s Cherry Trees; and Trashy Town (illustrated by Dan Yaccarino).
Julian Hector  draws and writes stories in his inimitable way. Visit his blog here. Check out C.R. Curmudgeon (written by Leslie Muir); Monday is One Day (written by Arthur Levine); The Little Matador; and The Gentleman Bug. Here’s the trailer for his 10 Scary Animals: A Field Guide.
Kathleen Krull  roots out the most interesting aspects of a person’s life, and distills it into snappy delightful prose. Let’s peek at her über-awesome output:
I knew her back in the days of Harcourt, San Diego (she was Senior Editor, I was Art Director), where she edited luminaries like Tomie dePaola, Eve Bunting, Patricia Hermes, Anne Lindbergh, Jane Yolen, and Amy Schwartz, before she left to launch her own writing career.
She also collaborates with husband Paul Brewer on projects — including The Beatles Were Fab (and They Were Funny), and Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved the President (and the Country). In 2011, she won the Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award for her body of work.
NOTE: Since Kathy uses her Facebook page in lieu of a blog as of this writing, her Q & As (and tagging) will happen here at the Got Story Countdown. Watch for announcements, and spread the word. . .