Thursday, March 6, 2008

Inpiration and Chris Gall

I find inspiration in looking at the work of other authors, illustrators, fine artists, and of course everyday things around me. The work of those I admire motivates me. It makes me hope one day I can create work that good! As for things around me, I just want to share the joy of those things. So I found it very interesting listening to Chris Gall speak about what inspired him to write and illustrate There's Nothing to do on Mars. I had the pleasure of meeting Chris last weekend at a wonderful local bookstore, Changing Hands. After talking with him during a phone interview in November, I had been really looking forward to meeting him. Did I mention I'm a huge fan of his work!

So you wonder what could the seed of inspiration be for a book with a setting on Mars? Well, none other than a place right here in the state of Arizona, a place I've visited many times, a place I find full of joy and wonder, I place that's said to have a spiritual aura, a place called a vortex, a place called red-rock country. That place is Sedona!

Photo from:

He visited that place, and it made him think, this is what what Mars would look like, he then came up with the title, from there he had to work out the story. As he said, it had to be about more than "nothing to do", or it would be a very short story! So that seed of inspiration had to grow in his creative mind. That's the part where authors and illustrators really get to have fun. And do a lot of research. (He picked an actual mountain on Mars to be the center of his story.) An idea is just an idea, unless you turn it into a story. When you read this story you'll find out there really is a lot to do on Mars. And yes, I do have another signed book to add to my collection.


Susan Sandmore said...

It sounds great! And that does look a lot like Mars . . .

WordWrangler said...

I love knowing where ideas come from. Thanks for sharing!


Bobbie Dacus said...

Wish I could have been there, Gail. Boy, do I miss Changing Hands.
Hope things are going great for you!

Jennifer said...

Gail- Great background on the story! I never get tired of hearing about other artist's process. And how fun that you got to meet him in person.

gail said...

Susan and Donna, isn't it fun hearing where ideas come from! And it does look like Mars. I think. ;)

Hi Bobbie! I just spent the weekend with Debbi at a conference (more to come on that for my next blog post-I'll just name one name-Ted Lewin!) Wish you could have been there too.

Jennifer, it was great to meet him. Maybe someday I'll get to meet you too! You know I enjoyed doing those interviews so much I'm thinking of doing more. Plus, there's so much local talent here I'm hoping to do a series of interviews with Arizona authors and illustrators.


Jennifer said...

Yes, wouldn't it be nice to get together for a cup of coffee and a chat? Maybe someday! At least there's the internet for now. :-)

I love your idea of doing more interviews. I think you'd get a lot of interest in them.