First of all, congratulations to Julie Rowan-Zoch for winning first place in Susanna Hill's First Ever Pretty Much World Famous Illustration Contest. She was one of the illustrators who chose to illustrate a mock cover for my The Jackrabbit who Cried Gila Monster story. She is one ah-mazing illustrator and I know we will be seeing her name on many book covers in the future!
I absolutely loved the cover she came up with for my story. It was super exciting to see an artist's interpretation on a character I created. I do have to admit though, I had a few surprising feelings. Sure I was excited, elated, and giddy (the expected emotions) but I was completely surprised by my realization that I was now "sharing" this character. Yes, I created the little stinker jackrabbit named Torito, but Susanna re-created him in a different, visual way and so, he is now hers as well. And I am okay with that.
It reminded me that the author and the illustrator truly SHARE a story. It becomes both of theirs. It also becomes the agent's, the publisher's, and eventually, each child's who reads it. And that is a good and happy thing.
It's like a marriage: You aren't losing your love, you are sharing it, and therefore gaining many friends!