April Hedge a gram

Happy April,
    I'd like to let you know how my new book is going.  I've always been intrigued by the creative process behind movies - for example the extended DVD of the Lord of the Rings which involved very complicated and detailed sets and characters, or, this is more personal for me, watching a symphony orchestra rehearse.  My husband, Joe, is a a classical musician.  Any arts process is very curious.  I try to use a light touch when writing this hedge a gram every month, hoping that some of you will be interested in how books evolve, especially children's picture books.
     I have written a rough draft of THE EASTER EGG.   That is the working title.  My editor Margaret approved it, and we have gone back and forth with the word choices and changing the emphasis of certain scenes, and also the order of events.  It may surprise you to know that after 30 or more books, I don't expect my first try to stay exactly as I wrote it.
     This is the first book I've written that actually coincides with the season I'm writing about.  In a nutshell, it is a book about spring, my favorite season.
     I've always loved seeing wildflowers, and have many varieties around our yard, hepatica, trillium, jack in the pulpit, bloodroot, trout lily, spring beauty, wild violets and false mayflower.  Nearby, blooming around Mother's Day we see marsh marigolds and lady's slipper.  I plan to put them all in my book, including budding maple and pussy willows, my favorite.
     Migrating birds are also appearing and I may also be able to add them if I can do so without detracting from the robin family that have a very big role in the border story.  I enjoy filling out the story once I have the plot figured out, but I am usually unsuccessful if I try to do it the other way around.
     The little rabbit that is the main character comes alive the more I draw him.  He changes before my eyes and leads the story with his personalty.  It is odd when a character one makes up takes control, but I guess that's the unconscious surfacing with a story to tell.  Writing and illustrating books is somewhat mystifying because you plot and plan and research which all take self discipline, but at the same time, the best stories appear to inhabit the characters and plot lines and make them their own.  Confusing thoughts, but all the more interesting because it is all rather entertaining.  The best part is after I finish a book I scratch my head and think, "Where did that come from?"
     Please start your own creative story and see where it takes you, you may be very surprised.    Happy reading, happy creating.
                                  Happy spring,

                                      Jan Brett