Mike Malbrough Talks Creating Children’s Books

Young At Heart

Mike Malbrough has become well-known drawing comics like Battlestar Galactica and Kent Menace but he actually has a parallel career creating children’s books. Tripwire’s consulting editor Scott Braden just spoke to him about this with a new book, Love Is Here, out now…

TRIPWIRE readers may know you for your comics work – Realm Press’ Battlestar Galactica and American Mythology Productions’ Kent Menace – but you have been a children’s author for so much longer. How did you enter the genre of children’s literature? How long have you been a children’s author of credit? 

Comics were my first love, but when I had kids, I discovered (or rediscovered) the world of children’s literature. The art and stories were so diverse and awe inspiring that it planted a seed in me that said, “You can and should do this.”

Years later, at a career crossroads, I decided to go for it. I learned as much as I could, mainly through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, or SCBWI. It is a great resource for aspiring creators who want to learn what it takes. I followed the breadcrumbs, attending conferences and meeting art directors and editors and eventually my agent. I owe her a great debt for taking a chance on me and teaching me along the way. Eventually, a portfolio review at an SCBWI conference lead to my debut book Marigold Bakes A Cake getting discovered and eventually published in 2017.

What is the secret origin of Love Is Here – your new book? How did you come up with the idea of it and how did the project evolve into the book you present today? 

In October 2018, after the tragic shooting that took place at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, I was struck by a need to rediscover a sense of peace and connectivity. This led to an exploration and celebration of all that connects us on the deepest levels. While the topic of love was always the driving force behind the book, the visuals took on many forms.

You received a KIRKUS-starred review for Love Is Here. How important is that accolade in selling your book and getting it into the hands of your audience?  

A starred review from Kirkus is a great honour. Any accolade is very humbling, and it’s wonderful to get some reassurance that what you are trying to say is transmitting. Building an audience still takes time, and it falls on me to do that work everyday. It is a labour of love.

You are known for your strikingly beautiful artistic style. Has it evolved as your work has evolved over time? How do you describe your work with brush and paint?    

Self-describing my style is one of the hardest things to do. I am an amalgam of my influences and I see the next work I want to create more clearly than the work I just completed. That said, I try to create work that has enough detail and texture to capture the imagination while breaking reality in ways that only illustration can. I use mainly watercolor and gouache.

Do you write full script before you add the art or do you plot out the book with each illustration you create page after page? 

It changes with each project. Sometimes I start with a few words, or a few drawings. It is a lot like a walk in the woods. I start on a path and just sort of choose each way to go. Sometimes I have to start over, or go back a few steps. Each book is its own journey.

What does the future look like for author/illustrator Mike Malbrough? Do you know what your next project is . . . and if so, can you give us a hint of what’s to come? 

I have several things in the works, but everything is in the early stages, we will have to see what comes up to the surface first. I am looking forward to it.

You are living your dream, which ain’t easy in today’s world. Do you feel blessed?

Every single day. I also feel a certain responsibility to make sure that I share my successes and failures with those who aspire to do something similar. If I can inspire someone to take a few steps forward, or save someone for taking a wrong turn, that is a real blessing.

Visit Malbrough’s home on the web

https://www.mikemalbrough.com

Love Is Here is out now

The post Mike Malbrough Talks Creating Children’s Books appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.

Young At Heart Mike Malbrough has become well-known drawing comics like Battlestar Galactica and Kent Menace but he actually has a parallel career creating children’s books. Tripwire’s consulting editor Scott Braden just spoke to him about this with a new book, Love Is Here, out now… TRIPWIRE readers may know you for your comics work
The post Mike Malbrough Talks Creating Children’s Books appeared first on TRIPWIRE MAGAZINE.Read MoreTRIPWIRE MAGAZINE

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