State of Emergency is almost done! It’s been great to be involved with a book of this caliber from scratch–from the outline stage to the cover art. I loved working through the editorial issues and point of view issues with Scholastic Library division’s excellent editors. All the prose is done now (I think). And I just did my first author Q&A, which was a lot of fun. It was a good chance to look back over the project and think about all the stages–the planning, the research, the writing, and the research again, and how deeply through this wash-and-spin cycle I imbibed the story of Katrina from a number of different angles. All in all, it felt kaleidoscopic. I’m eager to see the final book and, luckily, am closer to that possibility because Josh has gotten to draw the cover for it. He has published an in-depth walk-through of the cover art and design, which is a really interesting look at how this process happens and how a book evolves and shapes under the guidance of various hands. This is what interests me so deeply in the book-making process: how did something so essential collaborative by nature become so associated with a single vision, and, as cultural product, defined by the auteur voice?
Here are some of Josh’s early sketches for the cover (you can see even more sketches and the final cover on his blog):