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SWIM, JIM! by Kaz Windness proves you simply bought again within the water (plus a giveaway)

It is nearly summer time! Get able to make the leap!

A dive into the debut water, that’s! I have been following Kaz Windness for years now and I’ve admired her quirky paintings for a very long time. So when she emailed me about her first image e book, you knew I needed to bounce proper in!

Kaz, you recognize I like to speak about image e book concepts – the place does this come from?

The concept for SWIM, JIM! got here out of the information.

A person in Key Largo, Florida noticed a crocodile crossing a canal floating on a pool noodle and snapped a photograph.

I noticed the picture and made a drawing of my model of that crocodile. After I confirmed the drawing to my agent, he mentioned there was a narrative in it and inspired me to write down the e book.

I failed swimming classes as a toddler and know what it is wish to be afraid of the water. I really nonetheless want floats within the pool, so Jim and I’ve quite a bit in widespread. It took me a couple of weeks to flesh out the story and some extra to attract the dummy e book, after which we had been submitted!

OMG! I really like getting concepts from “bizarre information”!

Being simply an writer, I’ve all the time puzzled if when an author-illustrator comes up with concepts for tales, are you limiting your self by what you assume are you able to illustrate?

I restrict myself by what I need to illustrate, not by what I feel I can illustrate. I do not thoughts a problem and can work out a manner to attract one thing if it is a part of my project. I am undoubtedly a character-driven artist and storyteller, so for those who give me an excellent character, I will be pleased to present that character no matter they want. Normally my environments are extra implicit than robust, however I’ve loads of instruments in my toolbox to get round sophisticated paintings.

And people instruments embrace pool tubing! (Say that 10 occasions quick!)

Kaz, a bit of crocodile instructed me you had a traumatic swimming expertise as a toddler…?

My swimming lecturers threw me off the excessive dive once I was 4. My mom pulled me again from swimming classes that very same day. On reflection, these swimming lecturers had been in all probability mid-teens, but it surely broke me for swimming. I just like the water, however I do not swim.

I even have a traumatic swimming story! I took courses on the native YMCA and on the finish of the category we needed to paddle your entire size of the pool on a kickboard. For some purpose 3-year-old me thought I did not want a smelly kickboard so I pushed it away. I can nonetheless see him hopping throughout the water. Then I do not keep in mind something till I grabbed my mom’s leg by the sting of the pool.

Okay, so that you’re Jim on this e book?

Sure! SWIM JIM is autobiographical! Like all my books in a method or one other. Even “If UR Stabby” is all about my edgy introverted aspect who simply desires to be left alone with my canine ​​and take heed to podcasts and write kids’s books. Not all unicorns are rainbows and kittens, you recognize!

Subsequent yr I will have a brand new e book known as BITSY BAT, SCHOOL STAR, made by the identical workforce and printout that you just SWIM JIM! Bitsy talks about my experiences attempting to slot in as an autistic baby. Bitsy Bat is in a nocturnal faculty and irrespective of how onerous she tries to do issues like everybody else, she will be able to’t be anybody however her true self.

There shall be fairly a couple of books popping out within the coming years! What recommendation do you’ve gotten for PB makers who need to do the identical?

Be prepared! My break from the image e book was a very long time coming (20 years!), however when you’re in a relationship with an editor, they’re going to ask you what else you are engaged on and even suggest you to different editors. Having some WIPs readily available is an enormous plus. I maintain a google doc known as “Random E-book Concepts” and generally the random concepts flip into books. I additionally strongly suggest having a critique group. My work is 1,000,000 occasions higher as a result of I get common suggestions. My critics are additionally associates who perceive the bumpy journey being revealed. We elevate one another by way of the lows, have fun the highs, and purchase one another tacos and artwork provides simply because.

SWIM, JIM! was on submission for a yr and bought 50 rejects earlier than going to public sale so the entire “do not surrender” recommendation is one thing I am behind. Being persistent pays off when publishing, and for those who can benefit from the journey within the meantime, all the higher.

We had our SWIM, JIM! launch occasion at The Wandering Jellyfish on Saturday, watching youngsters react with laughter, sympathy and curiosity – and even dressed up because the character? It made all these years of onerous work price it!

Kaz, so your first image e book IS autobiographical! It is all about your publishing journey! You saved getting in that water repeatedly!

Thanks a lot for sharing SWIM, JIM! with us!

Weblog readers, Kaz is freely giving an entire set and an entire lot of swim noodle swag! Simply take part by way of this Rafflecopter!

Kazgratulations, Kaz once more! (I do know, I am corny.)


Kaz Windness is an autistic author-illustrator specializing in inclusive tales that includes cute and quirky animals for youthful kids and creepy and edgy humor for older kids and youths.

Kaz studied kids’s e book illustration on the Rocky Mountain Faculty of Artwork and Design (RMCAD), graduating in 2002 as a farewell scholar. Kaz volunteered as SCBWI Rocky Mountain Chapter Illustrator Coordinator from 2009-2021 and continues to mentor and advocate for illustrators. She is keen about serving to artists succeed and believes that schooling is vital. She is a professor of illustration and curriculum writer at RMCAD (2013-present).

Kaz is obsessive about squishy-faced canines, waffles, thrift, and all issues spooky and witchy. She likes to work with watercolor, gouache, acrylic, collage and pencil, however particularly with Photoshop. There’s not a lot she will not flip into an artwork stash.

Kaz lives in Colorado along with her husband, an English instructor, two kids, and a rabbit-obsessed Boston Terrier named Remy. Go to her at linktr.ee/kazwindness.

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