Publishing my first graphic novel
Hello! My name is David Jesus Vignolli. I’m a writer and illustrator who will publish his first graphic novel, “A Girl in the Himalayas,” in April this year.
I want to share some of my creative process with you together with my experience with storytelling.
Life as a storyteller
I work as a Creative Director of a company which tells stories in images. So, you could say that telling my client´s stories is my daily bread, but publishing a graphic novel is the opportunity to tell my own stories.
I started the project, ‘A Girl in the Himalayas,’ two years ago, not knowing whether or not it would ever attract a publisher. I looked into options for self-publishing, but nothing seemed to be the ideal solution. In fact, the idea of having boxes scattered around the room sounded quite terrifying.
Perhaps one of the biggest challenges in writing a graphic novel is finding the time, as one needs lots and lots of it! Having my own business in London gave me some space to manoeuvre and I dedicated three full months of my life to drawing and colouring the first 84 pages.
I remember reading ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King, where he suggests completing the first version of the book as soon as possible, before we, as authors, become changed by our every flowing lives which transforms us into different people from we were when we started to write.
Finding my publisher
I took this advice to heart and after three intense months the first version was ready. I sent the project to an American publisher, Archaia, whose website accepts submissions. After six months of waiting I finally received an answer, and to my delight it was a very positive one.
Archaia evaluated the material and I started working with two amazing editors: Sierra Hahn and Cameron Chittock. It’s important to choose a publisher whose works you admire. The publishing process is a partnership with editors and in my case, I could not have found better ones. Their vision for the book exactly matched mine.
The editors asked questions about the story and proposed ideas to maximise the potential of the graphic novel. As a result, their comments improved the story and I ended up adding 90 more pages.
You will have the opportunity to see the result of all this effort in April. 😉