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Lon Levin artwork

painting by Lon Levin

My answer is …How much patience do you have?

This painting is from “There’s A Kid Under My Bed”written by Lisa Willever. It got numerous mentions as an award-wwinner

Foreword Book of the Year Finalist
IBPA Ben Franklin Award Finalist
Eric Hoffer Award Finalist
2008 Hollywood Book Festival Honorable Mention

The illustration was given a Certificate of Merit from SILA (Society of Illustrators LA) in 2009

Now I thought after all that and the fact I was an award-winning illustrator and art director publishers and art directors would be making a beeline to my door. Well, that didn’t happen. Here’s what did.

After working on this project I got the idea for a MG novel called “A Girl, A Forest Ogre and the Demon Baker” .  Here’s the log line:

Life can be a difficult for an orphan, especially when you are thrust into a chaotic world of ogres and demons – and you are the only human around.

“A Girl, An Ogre And The Demon Baker” is the story of a feisty city girl, a young ogre tribesman and a quest to save their world from total destruction. It takes place in the present but it’s origins started many years ago in world that exists parallel to ours, in the underground demon lava fields that flow beneath the wooded forest of Fartooth.

The main character in this piece started out to be Mambo, a young ogre who has visions of his grandfather Wiki who speaks with him about his future as the tribe’s leader, but after many drafts Stella Weatherfield, the little girl in the piece took over and it became her story. Here’s an excerpt from a scene where Stella is confronted by the magic Mambo the young ogre has let loose.

That night Stella lay in bed thinking as she drifted off to sleep. Her thoughts bounced from karate and kung fu moves to being a rock star that performed in front of thousands like Avril Lavigne. She was performing martial arts while singing and dancing hip-hop. Her fans adored her as she slid across the stage her red spandex costume glittering in the bright lights, the crowd was whipped into frenzy …then suddenly she was shook awake.

The floorboards beneath her shook as she wiped her eyes open. The room vibrated and in the center just above a large blue paint stain a small swirling vortex appeared. Stella’s eyes went wide as saucers. She had no idea if she was still sleeping or awake. “This must be a dream”. She thought as she crept slowly towards the disturbance, Her eyes slide back and forth eyeballing the room’s perimeter checking for hidden monsters She peered into the vortex opening and could see fire, trees shimmering and heard voices.

"There's A  Kid Under My Bed" book and plush toys

"There's A Kid Under My Bed" book and plush toys

“I’m not scared of you,” She spoke softly as she raised her hand to meet the churning air. It whistled, hissed then died out and disappeared. The room was as quiet as a morgue save a clattering wooden wand that came to rest by her feet. Stella craned her head around perking her ears listening carefully, but all was still. Then she noticed the wand on the floor with strange carvings embedded into the handle. She turned it over in her hands. Every now and then a tiny sparkle glowed then disappeared. The letters look a lot like an English alphabet but unreadable. Shaken, she crawled back into bed and slid the artifact under her pillow. She pulled the bed covers up to her neck and snuggled in. She stared fixedly at the ceiling and whispered to herself. “Come and get me monsters, I’m ready for you.”

The point is keep your mind open as you work and take note of your ideas. If one sticks with you then run with it. There isn’t a time limit on creativity. “A Girl, A Forest Ogre and the Demon Baker” has been through numerous rewrites with editors and knowledgeable friends. It is finally ready to go out to agents and publishers after four years of work. So my advice is patience, hard work and diligence is necessary to bring things to life. And listen to critiques, don’t defend your work. Take in every comment and address them without justifying what you’ve done. It ain’t easy my friends. If it helps you to follow my journey of ups and downs then climb aboard and stay tuned as I attempt the impossible!