P&D- It was never my intent to write and illustrate a Christmas book about a little boy who wants to be a girl. A couple weeks before Christmas, in 2002, I decided to take a break from my current writing project and create a list of my most memorable holiday experiences. This was only meant to be a writing exercise and I didn't think anything of it until I found the list a few months later. Immediately upon reading, images and a storyline formed in my head. I wasn't sure what would become of this idea, but I decided it was worth developing.
I based the characters, along with their experiences, loosely on my family. My childhood home was also used as a reference for the setting and I created a font using my elementary homework assignments. The book took over a year to complete. Another two years were spent approaching a variety of agents and publishers only to be rejected due to the subject matter my story addressed.
Determined to see my work in print, I decided to self-publish and distribute a limited edition of "Pearl's Christmas Present" in 2006. As a result, the book has received positive media reviews, was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award in 2007, and has been added to many Gay and Lesbian Archives including the Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell University.
Signed copies of "Pearl's Christmas Present", as well as the original illustrations used in the book, are available for purchase at www.pearlanddotty.com.
UCU- What advice do you have for crafters that are trying to survive these economic times?
P&D- Focus on quality as opposed to quantity. Be creative with your materials. Minimize your costs by making items out of things you find rather than things you buy.
UCU- What are you looking forward to the most at Urban Craft Uprising?
P&D- I'm always interested in feedback regarding my work. I also enjoy being around creative people.
UCU- Do you have any advice for someone that wants to publish a book?
P&D- There is a great deal of truth in the saying, "You can't find a publisher unless you have an agent and you can't find an agent unless you've been published." My advice? Publish it yourself. Keep in mind, you will also have to advertise, distribute, and sell the books yourself, but it's worth it. Someone out there is hoping to find a book like yours. Trust me.
UCU- Got any new year's resolutions you would want to share with us?
P&D- Do more yoga. Make more quilts.