Naio the feather doesn’t quite fit in.
Every day she contemplates the same question: why is she here, where did she come from, and why isn’t there anyone like her? Caught up in her own thoughts, she is oblivious to a raging storm approaching, until a twist of fate changes her world.
I found the sketch from the 18th of October, 2018, shortly after Tamaishi rolled off the presses and into my hands. I had started to think about creating a story about Naio the Feather, because she seemed like she had a potential for something more interesting.
The story centers on Naio, before she meets Tama, and she’s quite a bit different than in Tamaishi. A little less self assured and a lot more nervous, she doesn’t quite know how she fits in. But a mysterious storm that overtakes the valley sweeps her up into a place where she discovers more about the sky and more about herself.
Fast forward a year later. I have a completed draft and two short stories to go along with it, already sent and edited. It’s still not quite there, but I feel really good about it, good enough to shelve the text and move on to focus on illustration. I remember when I got to that point with Tamaishi — it was liberating.
Tentatively the book is called Where All the Little Things Live, but the more I think about it, the more I might save that title for a fourth book of only short stories that I hope to complete in 2021. But for now, it’ll do.
Of course, there’s an audiobook coming!
I’m lining up talent for the audiobook. It will include Christine, of course, reprising her role at Naio. I’m planning on having Eliot be Tama this time, and of course have Marcel participate wherever he can. I’m ecstatic know that the incomparable Michael Kuzmanovski will be joining me again, having sincerely rocked the part of the digruntled butterfly in Zōsan. I had high hopes he’d be back to play Kani in Tamaishi, but alas, it was not to be. Also returning will be my friend Stefanie Goodell — I had just the part in mind for her — and one of Eliot’s childhood friends Calise. I’m looking to have Jon Reed come back to play a part as well, but he’s now in Middle school and far busier than when he was only 10 (when he played Zochi!)
Suffice it to say that it’s worked in the past and it’s just the best way to get this done. I’m now planning on launching in June of 2020!