Tuesday, September 6, 2011

WITCHES! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem


Welcome back to I.N.K. everyone! As our our opening act, I have a good story for you and an evil one too.


At exactly 10:03 A.M. on August 2, my 12-month-old granddaughter and I were sitting upstairs on the floor pretending to talk to each other on some broken old telephones I had never thrown away, when the real telephone rang. First I had to shut the door at the top of our long wooden staircase so that she wouldn’t fall down. Then I had to find the real phone, wherever it was. I almost didn’t find it before it stopped ringing, but it’s a good thing I did.


“Hello, is this Rosalyn Schanzer?”
“Um, yes….” (everybody I know calls me Roz, so this must be an ad, right?)
“Well, this is Kate Feirtag from the Society of Illustrators in New York, and I’m calling to let you know that you’ve just won the Gold Medal for the Best Illustrated Book of 2011!”


Wow….I have never won anything of this caliber in my entire life, so I was positive this had to be a joke. Then I saw the NYC area code on my phone and the hair and the back of my neck stood straight up. (That’s the good story - at least it sounds good to me - because it actually turned out to be, um, nonfiction!) Funny thing is that the book that magically won this award is supposed to make the hair on the back of your neck stand straight up too. (That’s the evil story….but I kinda like it anyway). Here 'tis:


WITCHES! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem will be released in exactly one week on September 13. Since the gold medal is for the artwork, I thought it would be fun to introduce this evil tale by showing you some art I did for my book trailer. By clicking right here, you can catch a glimpse of a most bizarre event in Salem and watch a fast paced time-lapse movie of the art being created all in one fell swoop. There’s even some spooky music and scary sound effects. (Be afraid….be very afraid…)


The artwork in this book was done on scratchboard, a hard thin board akin to masonite that's covered with a layer of white clay and then coated with black India ink. To make the demon swoop forth, I used an extra-sharp pointed scratch knife that cut away the black ink coating until its picture appeared. It takes forever to make a video this way but I think it's worth the effort.


Here’s the drill:

1) Clamp wooden frame to desk next to artist’s work space. Frame must be larger than scratchboard.
2) Mount camera on sturdy tripod so that camera lens points directly down at frame.
3) Draw picture with a scratch knife 1/8” at a time. Each time you scratch a new 1/8” line, put scratchboard inside left front corner of frame and take its picture. That way when all the thousands of photos are put together, the resulting movie is very smooth. Whew!!
4) Record scary narrative in soundproof room in exactly one minute and 30 seconds. If you rattle any papers you have to start over.
5) Add terrifying music and sound effects.


That's it! Have a blast!!

12 comments:

Melissa Stewart said...

Congratulations, Roz--on your award and on a very cool book trailer. I can't wait to read the book.

Susan E. Goodman said...

Hey Roz, I'm sure it's a great book. It definitely is very compelling art and a great trailer. Congrats.

Sue Macy said...

What a great post to start I.N.K. back up for the new year. I wonder if/how your granddaughter will remember the day of that momentous phone call years from now.

CC said...

Congratulations on your award!! Can't wait to see and read the entire book. Especially excited by the illustrations I've already seen and that they are in limited color and this is a non-fiction book! Very exciting!!

Carolyn Croll

Jim Murphy said...

Congratulations again, Roz. A great honor and well deserved.

Jim Murphy said...

Congratulations again, Roz. A great honor and well deserved.

Kathleen Krull said...

Congrats to you, Roz - and the glowing Fuse #8 review as well - can't wait to get my hands on this!

Rosalyn Schanzer said...

Wow...thanks for these messages! I had waaay too much fun making this evil little book.

Vicki Cobb said...

Of course you know that you have my deepest feelings of joy for you. I know how you struggled to get this done and how many other obligations tugged at you at the same time. You deserve this, Roz! I'll be at the NYC show and any parties we have to celebrate. I also want to thank you personally for the incredible job you've done on the Ink Think Tank website. Huzzah! Roz ("Huzzah" was recently on the word for a day I subscribe to.)

April Pulley Sayre said...

Congratulations, Roz! Can hardly wait to read your book. As a fan of your other books--which I quote to aspiring nonfiction writers and teachers during workshops--I know this new one will be grand. Smokin' trailer, by the way.

Gretchen Woelfle said...

Way to go, Roz. Love that trailer too!

Jules at 7-Imp said...

I love that story! Thanks for sharing ...