About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Friday, May 17, 2013

Challenge of Telling a Story Through Pictures by Jewel Kats

Today I'm hosting award winning children's author Jewel Kats. She's touring with her new book via World of Ink Tours and has graciously stopped by to discuss the challenge of storytelling through images.  Thank you, Jewel, for stopping by. 

Challenge of Telling a Story Through Pictures
By: Jewel Kats


In my book, that’s the biggest challenge when it comes to telling a story through pictures. People often overlook the role a writer plays behind the birth of an illustrated page.

To date, I’ve written seven award-winning books for Loving Healing Press. They all contain images. I also happen to write and star in a reality-series web comic strip: “DitzAbled Princess.” Naturally, it contains eye-popping illustrations, too.

My pen—like any other visual storyteller’s—stands behind the creation of these pages. From my experience, the general public doesn’t realize this. That’s precisely why I’m writing this post. I’m here to break a longstanding myth.

Take note: Writers of all hats do more than just create dialogue. We plot story arcs. We build believable worlds. We bring characters to life. Comic strip writers even go onto stick in punch lines. The job of a writer isn’t easy. (Fun, yes! But, not easy-peasy!)  

After I pen a children’s book manuscript, I’m expected to break down the story into pages and write illustration descriptions. Things are a bit different with comic scripts for: “DitzAbled Princess.” The illustration notes are written right into the script.

Here’s a very ROUGH “DitzAbled Princess” comic script that shows my process…

Panel One:
There’s a door that has a “Do Not Enter” sign hanging in the middle of it. Behind the door someone screams: “OUCHHH!” This screaming should be in a sharp, jagged bubble. Hairspray and nail polish bottles are shaking like an earthquake is occurring.
Hubby: “What’s going on? Is she giving birth in there?” (Hands covering his ears).
Baby Sis: “No biggie. Jewel’s getting a bikini wax.”

Panel Two:
Jewel comes out of the waxing room. The earthquake has stopped. She comes out dressed in a very feminine, yet conservative dress.  
Jewel pokes Alan in his stomach. She’s teasing him. There’s a huge height difference between them.
Jewel: “Now, who’s the ‘tough guy’?”
Alan is biting his nails.
Now, let’s compare this to the actual published and fully illustrated comic strip. Both the rough, and final scripts contain a measly group of TWENTY words of dialogue. That’s all! However, the scripts are obviously more detailed.

Matters are the same for children’s literature. My book for toddlers, “Teddy Bear Princess,” contains hardly any words. Yet, the illustration descriptions are lengthy.

I personally know that I put a lot of effort into my writing. I know other visual storytellers do, too. So, the next time you read a board book for kids or a comic strip try to imagine the writer behind it. ‘Cause believe me, there’s a quiet pen sitting next to the bright artwork.

Thanks for that, Jewel. I enjoyed how you broke the process down for us.  Now let's take a look at "DitzAbled Princess."

"DitzAbled Princess" comes out as a web comic on Tapastic.com and Marvelous Spirit Press published a graphic novel based on this character. It's a hybrid of a women's comic book meets graphic novel.

About the Book:
A reality-series comic strip based on Award-winning Author Jewel Kats’ life. Jewel at 33 is a Princess in her own right. She's a fun-loving, demanding Diva who loves to shop as much she loves to write. Jewel is the apple of everyone's eye--be it her doting family, her doctor for her never-ending bowel issues, her pushy book editor and especially her frugal husband's soft spot. So, what's Jewel 's weakness? Her pet dogs: Snowie and Dolly. Particularly, naughty Snowie who is known to pee wherever he fancies--including Dolly's face!

For Jewel, her physical disability doesn't dampen her spirits. Rather, it enhances them. She gets to use an unusual fashion accessory (Imagine: A hot pink elbow crutch.) She gets out of doing housework. She gets carried up-and-down stairs like a Princess a la command. Jewel may be horribly messy, terrible with numbers and a workaholic, but nobody can imagine life without her. Not that she would let them, anyway! She has a big mouth, remember?

The book is a quick, fun read.

Written by Jewel Kats
Illustrations by Katarina Andriopoulos
Publisher: Marvelous Spirit Press
ISBN-10: 1615991832
ISBN: 978-1615991839
Genre: Graphic Novel

About the Author: 

Once a teen runaway, Jewel Kats is now a self-made Diva. She’s authored seven books! Think: ­Loving ­Healing Press (USA.) Think: Marvelous Spirit Press (USA.) Think: Kube Publishing (UK.) For six years, she penned a syndicated teen advice column for Scripps Howard News Service (USA) and TorStar Syndication Service (Canada). She’s won $20,000 in scholarships from Global Television Network and women’s book publisher, Harlequin Enterprises. Jewel also interned in the TV studio of ­Entertainment Tonight Canada. Her books have been featured in Ability Magazine twice. She recently made a guest appearance on Accessibility in Action. Jewel appeared in a documentary series by the Oprah Winfrey Network (Canada) in September of 2012.

About the Illustrator:
Katarina Andriopoulos has made art her life’s passion. Her beginnings started with a crayon in her hand, and resulted in a Graphic Design diploma from Durham College. Along the way, she’s been ­honored with various awards, including: “Most Vision” by the Durham College’s design faculty and had her portfolio featured at the Design Exchange (DX) in Toronto. She also interned as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator at Intellectual Design studio in Toronto, Canada after which she went to work as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. Her past clients include: The Shopping Channel, Botanico Creative Decor and various specialized boutiques. She’s always ready to conquer new creative challenges, and hopes to take the art industry by storm!

Follow Jewel Kats at
Twitter @DitzAbled

You can find out more about Jewel Kats, her books and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/cplfx6g

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com   


  1. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

    You can find me here: http://lynnthompsonbooks.blogspot.com/

  2. Thanks for sharing Jewel Kats thoughts on this subject. I love hearing what authors think as we can only guest as readers.

  3. I found your blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe. Great to connect! I'm at www.sdkeeling.com. I look forward to reading your posts!

  4. I found your blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe. Great to connect! I'm at www.sdkeeling.com. I look forward to reading your posts!

  5. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

    You can find me here: http://loren-mathis.com/blog-3/. Thanks!

    Loren Mathis