Often when I'm working on a novel, I create artwork for whatever book I am writing to help visualize the world or characters I'm creating. This piece, made for my speculative fiction, SPROUT, may be one of my favorites.
SPROUT is Sweet Tooth for a middle-grade audience, blending the vibrant humor and joyful wordplay of Lemony Snicket with the depiction of friendship and environmental themes of Erin Entrada Kelly's You Go First.
Middle school is a strange time for most kids, but for twelve-year-old Sprout Sprowder, it’s stranger than most. It isn't because her florist mother gave her an annoying acronym for a name, Sprout being short for Scarlet Posy Rose Oleander Ursinia Thistle. It’s what lies beneath her pageboy cap—a pair of flowering antlers, or plantlers—that makes her feel so singular in her strangeness. But when Sprout discovers a mysterious headline from an old newspaper, she begins to uncover the secret of who she really is, and she finds that the people of her small New England community might be hiding sinister secrets of their own. With the help of an unlikely friend whose own unseen quirks are every bit as challenging, Sprout will learn she’s not as alone in her strangeness as she feels, and maybe even save her town in the process.