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Weekly newsletter of Robert Thibeault - Issue #2

Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault
Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault
Dear Person, Who Opens My Newsletter, 
Thank you for opening it! I am deeply grateful. As you may know, I am working on a graphic novel called LUNA LILY. Ever wonder how much time it takes for an author/illustrator to arrive at their final story and what it took to get there. I decided to give a short history of my ever-changing story about a young girl who goes to the moon.

Luna Lily Origin Story
It all started with a doodle. My daughter Lily was four at the time. Below is a drawing I made at the end of December 2004. Nothing became of it at the time, but the image stuck in the back of my mind.
The sketch that started it all
The sketch that started it all
Time passed, my daughter was now seven. I still wanted to make a story for her and felt stressed. I struggled to come up with something. I wrote a rough draft and storyboarded all the pages about a girl who lived all alone on the moon and studied nature on earth with the use of a giant telescope to observe the earth’s natural wonders in an attempt to bring life to the moon. I tried to make it rhyme like a Dr. Seuss book, but it did not succeed. The text will forever be on paper in a folder.
Illustrations from my rhyming children's book. Words not included.
Illustrations from my rhyming children's book. Words not included.
This is the children's book cover I did. That dedication page will have to wait.
This is the children's book cover I did. That dedication page will have to wait.
I then dropped the rhyme and wrote a thirty-two-page picture book that went through many revisions. The concept kept growing and eventually had too much text for a picture book. I shelved it again, and for a short period, I thought it would be a great TV series. I changed the story to meet a very young audience (ages 2-5). That did not work out for many reasons, and so I moved on. As a creator, you search for the right place for your story, and when you can write, draw, and animate, you explore the possibility. I was good at storyboards so, I thought I would create a cartoon pitch. I did it, and it did not feel right. I had changed the heart of the story. Lily was a know-it-all do-gooder who was invincible and had all these quirky friends to take on adventures. I felt I sold her out. I dropped it and never looked back. I learned never to try to write stories you think people will like. You have to write stories you love! 
LUNA LILY TV Show concept.
LUNA LILY TV Show concept.
After the TV show distraction, I went back to writing again. I decided all the detail I crammed into the original picture book would be expanded into a chapter book! The story grew fast, and I felt I was on the right track again. It took little bits of my spare time to get it done but, I finished. I ended up with twenty chapters which came to 200 pages, at 47,000 words. I had it professionally edited, and it felt like I was finally going to get something printed! 
In 2017 I decided to join The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, Ma. I went to my first meeting, where I introduced my story. My first meeting was a real eye-opener. It was there I learned I still had further to go. I received a lot of positive feedback on my drawings, but the story prompted many good questions and comments. When I left, I felt discouraged, but they were a good group. I knew I had a good story. I only needed to fine-tune my craft and keep working at it and read more.
My Chapter book cover, inside pages, and  illustrations.
My Chapter book cover, inside pages, and illustrations.
Then, during one writer group meeting, someone asked me if I had ever considered making a graphic novel. A light went on! I was an illustrator first and a writer second. I felt comfortable doing sequential art, and I loved comics! I knew it was another skill I would have to learn, and I had been focused so hard on being a novelist that I forgot my strength of visual storytelling. I had to, once again, restructure my story. I took ten pages, penciled it, and placed word balloons so my writer group could see my story in comic book form. When I presented it, I could see they were excited. I knew I was on the right track but still had a ways to go. I researched my characters and gave them rich backstories. I have about four chapters storyboarded and nine chapters written out of sixteen.  
Some books that have helped me a lot are Save the Cat by Blake Snyder, Growing Gills by Jessica Abel, and of course, Making Comics and Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud! It was a long road to get to this point. To save you time, please remember these things I learned the hard way. 
• Always be honest with yourself.
• Your creative ideas matter a lot! 
• NEVER beat yourself up for trying and failing!
• Doubt and self-criticism are part of the process. Go for a walk! 
• You are NOT alone! 
I am at the point where I am querying my story. I know as long as believing in this story, it will get better. You are now all caught with the peaks and valleys of LUNA LILY. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you next time! -Bob :)
Final Luna Lily Art!
Final Luna Lily Art!
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Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault
Tea Bow Studios Newsletter - Robert Thibeault @https://twitter.com/bob_thibeault

Author/Illustrator/Book Design/Covers/Logos - Clients include Scholastic, ABC, Houghton Mifflin, Verizon, Stephen Colbert

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