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I'm writing, illustrating, and kickstarting a children's novel. Ask me anything!

Amanda Kastner
Oct 12, 2017

I'm writing, illustrating, and Kickstarting A Really-Truly Princess, the tale of a (not-quite) storybook Princess. It's been a fun and challenging project with over 80 pen-and-ink illustrations!

Visit my Kickstarter campaign--funded in 24 hours, and now working on reaching the first stretch goal!

Click here to read the first chapter for FREE! 

Check out my website for more of my illustrations and other projects!

Do you want to ask about the book, campaign,  or artwork? Questions on the process of creating personal projects? I'd love to hear from you! 


Here are links to my blog and social media sites:

blog.amandakastner.com  

instagram.com/storyseamstressart

facebook.com/amanda.kastner.illustration   

pinterest.com/storyseamstressart

storyseamstress.tumblr.com  

twitter.com/storyseamstress

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Conversation (36)

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Let's get started!

Do you have a (very) personal favorite artwork/illustration of yours? Is it okay if you share it here? :) Thanks!

Oct 13, 3:54PM EDT0

Hi Maddie! Let's see...I'm bad at choosing favorites of almost anything, but this piece was inspired by a super fun travelling experience last year, so does that count? :)

Oct 13, 5:08PM EDT0

Hello, what inspires you into a children side of writing?

Oct 13, 1:35PM EDT0

I enjoy well-written children's books and have read a lot of them. I suppose that influenced me somewhat! But I didn't just sit down one day and say, "Now I'm going to write a children's novel!"--the idea came to me, and I liked it, and wrote it down, and this is what it turned into!

Oct 13, 1:40PM EDT0

How would I go about finding out the steps to copyright my own book?

Oct 12, 4:00AM EDT0

You automatically own the copyright to your own work as soon as you create it, and you are free to use the (C) symbol with or without registering your copyright. If you want to register your copyright, you can visit copyright.gov to find out the next steps.

Oct 12, 10:18AM EDT0

Have you written any other books?

Oct 12, 1:41AM EDT0

Hi Richa! Last year I published a shorter illustrated children's book (George and the Dragonvine--see it here!) but this is my first [completed] longer book. 

Oct 12, 10:06AM EDT0

Do you have any other novels? What inspires you when you write? 

Oct 11, 10:05PM EDT0

Hello, Lou! Last year I published a shorter illustrated children's book (George and the Dragonvine--see it here!) but this is my first [completed] longer book. I guess I am probably inspired by things around me--which must be why books and gardens figure largely in this story. :)

Oct 11, 10:24PM EDT0

How much have you crowdfunded to date?

Oct 11, 3:05PM EDT0

Hi Ankita! This is my second Kickstarter campaign. You can see the first one here.

Oct 11, 3:35PM EDT0

What is the novel about?

Oct 11, 10:21AM EDT0

Hi Andy! Here's the synopsis from the back cover and the campaign page:

When Rosellen receives a book of fairy tales as a birthday gift, she decides to use its stories as a guide for her own life. From enchanted frogs to lost slippers to hundred-year naps, Rosellen wants to be a really-truly Princess just like the ones she reads about in her book.

Follow Rosellen through five fairy-tale inspired escapades as she discovers that real life problems can't always be solved in story-book style--even if you are a Princess!

Oct 11, 11:48AM EDT0

How hard is it to copyright your work?

Oct 11, 10:09AM EDT0

Hello, Faye! You automatically own the copyright to your own work as soon as you create it, and you are free to use the (C) symbol with or without registering your copyright. If you want to register your copyright, that will be a little more time and money to invest, but it will give you an advantage if you ever have to prove the work is yours.

Oct 11, 12:01PM EDT0

Do you plan on writing any books for adult readers in the future?

Oct 11, 5:21AM EDT0

That's a good question--I'd like to think that the answer is yes! :) At the moment my ideas for future projects are more image-centric (picture books, graphic novels) but who knows...? :)

Oct 11, 12:04PM EDT1

How old were you when you first started writing?

Oct 11, 5:20AM EDT0

Hmm...I think my first complete story was probably written when I was 6 or 7. As soon as I realized that reading was actually fun (at about that age) I also realized that I wanted to create my own stories, and I have stacks of notebooks with stories or story ideas or fragments-of-stories from that time on.

Oct 11, 12:08PM EDT1

What was one of your favorite books when you were a child?

Oct 11, 4:20AM EDT1

Ooh, tough question; there were so many! I'm going to have to say the Narnia series. I read and re-read them so many times! (So when my sister said the pictures for A Really-Truly Princess remind her of Pauline Baynes, I was quite flattered--even though I know C.S. Lewis didn't always approve of her illustrations!) ;)

Oct 11, 12:13PM EDT3
Show all 3 replies

What made you write a children's novel specifically?

Oct 11, 2:28AM EDT1

Hi, Paulynna! I enjoy well-written children's books and have read a lot of them. I suppose that influenced me somewhat! But I didn't just sit down one day and say, "Now I'm going to write a children's novel!"--the idea came to me, and I liked it, and wrote it down, and this is what it turned into! It's like Winnie-the-Pooh says: "Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they can find you.” And, I dare say, it's sometime the same with books. :)

Oct 11, 12:19PM EDT1

Do you share your new plot ideas and characters with close friends or family members?

Oct 10, 1:02PM EDT0

Yes, at some stage, after it's a coherent enough idea to explain! I have one friend in particular who's great for bouncing story ideas around, and one sister in particular who is good at telling me when my ideas are stupid and won't work or aren't clear. (In the nicest way possible, of course.) ;)

Oct 11, 12:22PM EDT0

Hi Amanda, One of your backers here (Love the first chapter!!) and I was wondering what your inspiration was for writing this tale? Simply being an Aunt or was there somthing else that really inspired you?

Also, small aside, are you considering any more stretch goals? One suggestion: stickers! My daughter LOVES stickers.

Oct 9, 6:11PM EDT0

Hello, Lethann! Yay! I'm excited to have you on board with the Kickstarter, and so glad you enjoyed the first chapter!

I honestly don't remember exactly how I got the idea for this story. I think it was the thought, "what if you were a princess--just a regular, ordinary, non-magical princess, but you thought things ought to work out for you like they do in the fairy tales?" You know, an imagination-gone-awry kind of thing. :) I've always enjoyed well-written kids' books with characters who act and think like kids really do (I love Beverly Cleary and Edith Nesbitt for that reason!) and I hope I've captured a bit of that in my stories of Rosellen. 

Funny thing about being inspired as an Aunt: I started this story about five years ago (about 5 nieces ago, too, actually!) and when I gave my family one of the final drafts recently, a couple of them said that Rosellen is very much like one of my nieces--who wasn't even born when I wrote the story--so I hope that means Rosellen is a realistic and relatable character, despite being a princess!

Yes, if we reach the current stretch goal, I'm going to plan another! Stickers are one of the things I'm considering, so I'm glad to know you think that would be a good idea--thanks for the feedback!

Oct 9, 11:48PM EDT0

Love your illustrations :)

Is this your first Kickstarter campaign?

Oct 9, 1:41PM EDT0

Hello Shilpa! I'm glad you like the illustrations--thank you! :)

This is my second Kickstarter campaign. Last year I kickstarted a coloring book with quotes from Jane Austen's novels. (Yay for Jane Austen!) You can see that campaign here. I've really enjoyed getting to interact with my backers and share my love of books and illustration with them!

Oct 9, 1:51PM EDT0

Do you have any help illustrating your novels?

Oct 9, 1:09PM EDT0

Hello, Melody! Thanks for your question. :) I'm illustrating the book myself. I enjoy being both author and illustrator so I can have the text and illustrations work together to tell the story just the way I want them to!

Oct 9, 1:44PM EDT0

Hi, Amanda! Your illustrations are really amazing and interesting.First question, do you post them online? Do you have a twitter or Facebook so we can follow your art and updates? :)

Oct 9, 2:56AM EDT0

Thank you! Yes, I do post them online! I'm most active on my blog and instagram accounts, and also have a mailing list that gets extra behind-the-scenes info. :) Here are links to my blog and social media sites:

blog.amandakastner.com  

instagram.com/storyseamstressart

facebook.com/amanda.kastner.illustration   

pinterest.com/storyseamstressart

storyseamstress.tumblr.com  

twitter.com/storyseamstress

Oct 9, 9:44AM EDT0
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