William Joyce may be an Oscar-winning filmmaker, but he always puts books first.
After winning the 2012 Academy Award for “Best Short Film” with The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, Joyce published that story as a picture book and an app. In a GalleyCat interview, he shared advice on apps, self-editing and writing.
Q: How did you land your first book deal?
A: By pluck luck and accident. I was two weeks out of college and I sent my portfolio to Harper Collins (they were called Harper and Row then) they said come on up. I had no prospects for employment whatsoever and didn’t expect anything to happen other than to get a nice pat on the head and a cookie. I went into the office there and they gave me a book contract to illustrate Tammy and the Gigantic Fish. I didn’t have an agent or anything; they just liked my stuff. I don’t think that kind of thing happens anymore. They don’t even have readers. They don’t take unsolicited manuscripts anymore. I got in at that last golden time when you could walk in off the street. I illustrated five books before I was confident enough to do my own stories.