Wellesley resident Valerie Gates has joined forces with longtime friend and photographer Ann Cutting to produce an artsy new book for kids that adults might also enjoy and it’s called “The Other Colors: An ABC Book.” As the title suggests, this book focuses on less familiar hues such as gamboge, zaffre and debian.
For Gates, this is book #1 and she’ll have a chance to show it off locally at a book launch on May 1 at 7pm at Wellesley Books. The book technically goes on sale April 9th via Amazon and has already received a couple of positive reviews (Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews). Oh, and her mom had this to say, upon getting the very first copy of the book: “Valerie dear, I just got your new book in the mail – what a nice book – there are so many words in it! ”
Here’s the rest of the story:
What’s the story behind the story?
The book was a labor of love. My best friend Annie who lives in CA and I have always wanted to team up to create a book our kids would like to read. We tossed around lots of terrible ideas and then this one stuck since we both work in the design world and both are a bit offbeat. We took about 6 months to create a mock-up and then shopped it around to the big publishers. We got a bite from a NYC agent who loved it and shopped it around and then came back to us and said the large publishers really liked it but were reluctant to take a chance on new authors of kids’ books unless they were celebrities (i.e., Julie Andrews). After that discouraging news we put it in the drawer, so to speak, until the New Year when I suggested we try “one more time” and this time we found the lovely folks at Skyhorse Press in NY who agreed to publish it if we rewrote it as an ABC book.
The process was a bit more difficult making it into an ABC book because the rules I created were that the text had to be completely alliterative and make sense – X, Y and Z were the most difficult to find the color name, the animal name and then create a sentence that made sense.
Any colorful anecdotes about the whole process?
What’s your favorite color mentioned in the book?
Fandango, harlequin and razzamatazz are pretty cool colors and fun names to roll off your tongue at a dinner party…
What color is the outside of Wellesley town hall? Hmmm…. that is a tough one because it has a few colors – I would say a mix between ecru, urobilin and a touch of gamboge…