This month marks the second birthday for my book, Drabsville. I came up with the idea for the book around 1980 when I was attending Georgia State University. I had always wanted to write and illustrate a picture book but had no idea how to do so. I was taking art education courses and one of the professors gave several options to complete one of the assignments on teaching the elements of art. One of which was to write a children’s book. I jumped at the opportunity. At the time, I was a divorced single mom with young children and my only time to work on school projects was late at night after had finished driving the kids to practice and games for baseball and softball or soccer and all their homework was finished. My solution was to sketch all of the illustrations and hand letter the text on each picture. At that time there were not the digital solutions for putting books together that there are today. I then took the pages that were made from watercolor paper and taped them together back to back and made a trip to Kinko’s where I had them laminate the pages then punch them out to create a spiral bound book.
My professor was impressed and liked the book and said I should try to get it published. He also liked the idea I had for the storyline on teaching the primary and secondary colors and how to mix them. The book was put away until years later my kids that were then grown gave me a course in writing children’s books at an arts center. The instructor was an author and when I showed her my Drabsville book, she also said to see about getting it published. Unfortunately though, once again the book made to a shelf in my closet.
In 2011, I retired from teaching public school. My hopes for my retirement included working on my creative efforts with my painting and to learn to write and illustrate books for children. I enrolled in an online writing course and became a member of SCBWI. I began writing and illustrating a chapter book for young readers and suddenly remembered my Drabsville book. It took a couple of days to find it since I moved several times but I found it in decent shape. I preceeded to edit the book and redid all of the illustrations I published it in September of 2012.
Drabsville, is a picture book about Matthew John Paul Abernathy, a bright boy who lives in a very drab town. After he dreams in color of how to change his surroundings to a more colorful environment, he succeeds in making his home, and town a brighter more colorful place. This educational story introduces the primary and how to mix the secondary colors in addition to the importance of color.