Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Grand Adventure

My book about John Wesley Powell is now available at Amazon and other outlets. It's called The Grand Adventure, and it's the true story of Powell's first expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers and through the Grand Canyon in 1869. This daring 1,000-mile journey is one of the great exploration adventures of the American West.

Originally copyrighted in September 2000, the journey to publish this book, not unlike Powell's expedition, was a challenge. First there were numerous query submissions to publishers that were rejected because, believe this or not, they "only want to publish true stories about history*." Many other publishers just weren't interested in picture books about historical events. And while waiting (and waiting) for publishers to review the book idea, I reworked the text several times and experimented for years with different styles for the illustrations and format - from very realistic to graphic-novel style until I finally settled on my own watercolor and pencil style. Eventually, out of frustration, I threw it back into the idea file and worked on other projects.

A couple months ago I decided to revive it and get it published through non-traditional avenues. When I first started shopping the idea around to publishers in 2000 -01 there were no other John Wesley Powell children's books on the market, now, amazingly, there are several. So, I think it's only fair, that since I have been fascinated by John Wesley Powell's trips down the Canyon since I was quite young, and because I'm a native Arizonan and have actually experienced the mystique and grandeur of the Canyon, I should share my vision of Powell's story too.

* I still have the rejection letters.


Ginger*:) said...

Congratulations Mark! This is on my list of books I want and I am off to AMAZON.... This looks like a labor of love and the illustrations you have shown so far are amazing. I can't wait to share this one with the rest of our family.
My brother has been an outdoorsman for all his adult life and will enjoy reading over my shoulder... aw heck, I'll just get him a copy too!

Great Big CHEER!!!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Congrats Mark!!! The illustrations are beautiful!!!! I really love all that fantastic detail. It's just excellent. I wish you such great success with the book. My daughter is just going to flip out our this. This is just the thing she loves. Great work. Best wishes for lots and lots and lots of sales he he hehe!!