Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Letter to the Fans of Esther Rayde

Dear Fans of Esther Rayde:
Esther Rayde was the nom de plume of Tyra D. Sheere. It is my sad task to inform you that on May 6, 2011 Tyra died of a head injury on the island of Borneo. She was on her way to Australia where shooting of her Peregrine Jones Mystery series was set to begin filming. (She wrote that series and other mysteries under the name Hydra Seetre.)

Her final moments were without pain. She was sketching only seconds before her death. As her readers you know there is nothing she would rather have been doing.

Tyra leaves a large and popular body of work which we at the Mind Factory know will continue to delight and entertain readers of all ages for decades to come.

Tyra completed the final volume in her Pierce trilogy before she left on her trip. It will be released shortly. It is bittersweet to recall now that when she finished it, her note to me was short and to the point, "It's done. I'm so glad Pierce didn't die." We can't choose the moment of our death, but Tyra was able to spare Pierce for all of us.

Thank you for seeing the delight, humor, and insight in her work. She loved corresponding with you.

A memorial service was held for Tyra on May 18. Friends and family celebrated her work and life. (If you wish to celebrate it you may send memorials to support your favorite nature preserve. I know she would also appreciate it if you would teach a child to draw.)

We will miss her irritating laugh and her too observant eye.

Carol Sprog, editor, Mind Factory Books

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Clearing off the Work Table

Left: "Oscar," 12 x 16 inches, mixed media on Fredrix Watercolor Canvas Board. (The photo is a little too violet. I have to get it shot professionally.) Click on the image to view an enlargement.

As my trip approaches it's a flurry of activity here. I'm trying to clear my work table of all jobs pending and needing completion. On Friday, April 29, it was a joy to wrap up this commission portrait of Oscar! He came over for a play date and more sketching (well I was sketching). When he left, it was back to work for me.

I love writing and I love creating the illustrations for my books, but I have to say that the best part of my job and life happens on days like Friday, with dogs like Oscar.

The painting has been sitting on the easel since then. I've been casting a fresh eye at it every so often. I've resisted the urge to get fussy. Today I know I've successfully resisted and it's finished. All I have to do is sign it. Which I'll do right now.

What do you think? I think Oscar needs a book of his own.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What Bertie Saw—Coming Soon

Click on the image to view an enlargement.
Fantastic news, the cover for What Bertie Saw is finished and I can show it to you! I'm excited about it (though I think my name on the spine is a bit hard to read, but my editor assures me that the proof on her desk is clear). It won't be too long now, I'll keep you posted.

This has been such a great year for projects ending and being released. Several years of work all coming to a head. I'm looking forward to new projects…but first, more good news—I'm going to take a trip back to Australia. I hope to post on my travels. I'll be working on a current project as I travel, giving a couple talks (readings/signings) and I'm going to be stopping along the way for a little vacation time, and of course, sketching!

Thank you all for the wonderful reception of my children's books.