About Me

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A little about my artwork: I interpret the words written on a page by telling the story behind the story working with pen and ink, watercolor and Photoshop, I fuse old techniques with modern ones to create a world that every drawing can speak to a child or grownups.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Giving Meadow on Tour with Stephanie Burkhart

"The Giving Meadow"
was a joy to illustrate, there is such a flow to the words that the images really just came to me very easily; putting it down on paper was another matter.  But all the hard work was worth it.
A few things helped me make this book the best it could be. 

1) Stephanie wrote a simple tale with a lot of heart and it did not require a lot of text to make it work, which gave me more room to create the illustrations without worrying so much about where the text will fit.

2) In June of this year I did a little post called "Maurice Sendak & The Giving Meadow" it was about how seeing the Maurice Sendak artwork on exhibit inspired me to take my own artwork to the next step. If you ever get a chance to be that close to someone who inspires you Do It!

3) Also, on a personal note, the reference material I used for the snake in the story came from my cousin Joey who owned the snake. He past away in a car accident only a day or two after I finished some of the first pages of the book when the snake comes into the story.  I never got a chance to share it with him. But I will be able to share it with his son.     

I just want to thank Stephen for having me today on my blog tour for my children's book, "The Giving Meadow."
Just a little about me: I was born in Manchester, NH but live in Castaic, California with my husband, Brent, and two sons, Andrew and Joseph. I have fond memories of Manchester, but have made California my home. I earned a BS in political science from California Baptist University in 1995.

I have been writing since I was 5, first making homemade comic books. Now, I work on creating short stories and novels. I spent 11 years in the US Army and over 7 years in Germany. Writing is a passion that still challenges me. The Giving Meadow is my first children's book and my first book with 4RV Publishing.

The Giving Meadow is about a caterpillar who hatches from his egg in the middle of a meadow. As he travels through the meadow, he meets new friends who learn the value of sharing.


I go to Blessed Kateri Catholic Church (in Santa Clarita, CA) and I'm involved in our Sunday Preschool program. We call it Little Church. The program works with 3, 4, and 5-year-olds. I help to teach the 3's along with 3 other talented ladies, Shirley Chang, Maureen Dunahoo, and Mary Tesselaar. Every year I help to write the Easter play for the children. In 2009, "The Giving Meadow" was our Easter play.

After I wrote it, I showed Vivian at 4RV. She's also a moderator at Writing.com and I wanted her feedback on the story. She offered it a contract! I was tickled pink. It was a nice, unexpected surprise. I can't thank Vivian (Gilbert Zabel, publisher, 4RV Publishing) for believing in the story and wanting to bring it to life.

GOODIE TIME: Leave a post here on the blog. I'll pick two lucky winners to receive an autographed postcard of the cover. Winners will be drawn out of a hat, and I'll return on AUG 13th to announce them.

Next STOP  Crystalee Calderwood on August 13th

Were else you can find Stephanie Burkhart on the Web:
Blog site ,WebsiteFacebook, & Twitter 

To Purchase a copy of "The Giving Meadow" please follow one or all the links below:



  1. Stephen,
    The illustrations have such heart and your story about Maurice Sendak and the inspriation he gave you was very nice to hear. Amazing how our muses guide us, huh?

    I am so sorry to hear about your cousin, Joey. I can tell you put a lot of love into Snake. When my husband saw the book he absolutely adored the illustrations. I told him my favorite was Snake because of the attention to detail you gave him. His favorite, along with my son, Joe, was Caterpillar, of course!

    Thanks so much for bringing The Giving Meadow to life.

  2. Thank you Stephanie,
    for your kind word regarding my cousin oddly enough today is his birthday as well so this post is very fitting.
    I love to draw dragons, snakes and other reptilian creatures. I can sit for hrs drawing scales. It once took me twelve hrs to finish inking one illustration of a Gecko.
    I think for this book it took me about 4-5 hrs per snake. I won’t do the math

  3. I really enjoyed the story and the illustrations go perfectly with it. I enjoyed the detail of the drawings against the softness of the background It is interesting to read about how the author and artist work together.

  4. Hi Stephen and Steph! I enjoyed this combination author-illustrator post and the book is truly beautiful!

    My condolences on the loss of your cousin.

  5. Stephen, thanks so much for having me yesterday. Aly, did you get the copy I sent out? Let me know. Loraine, congrats on winning the autographed PC. I'll get that out to you.


  6. Stephen, we loved having your story on aussiewriters this month! Loved learning more about The Giving Meadow here too! I'm glad we can all remember your cousin's birthday this week.


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