WithThe Show Must Go On!, Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise have launched Three-Ring Rascals, a new series for young readers. The Klise sisters began working together as children. They explain how they collaborated then and now in this exclusive interview.
Kate: When I was eight years old, I was in awe of my sister Sarah’s ability to draw. I was also struggling with a school project on cavemen. I liked doing the research and writing, but I wasn’t happy with the pictures I was drawing. So I asked Sarah to help me. She created a really cool caveman-style painting for the cover. It was fantastic! It made my report a hundred times better.
Sarah: I’m pretty sure it wasn’t fantastic. But it was probably better than the stick figures Kate was drawing.
Kate:Much better. So I started asking Sarah to draw more things for me, including pictures for the books I was beginning to write. And guess what? Many years later, we’re still doing the same thing. Here’s how it works. I write a simple paragraph like this: Just then the zookeeper arrived. She was driving a snazzy zoomobile. It had an unusual horn.
Sarah: Kate usually includes notes to me in her manuscripts. On this page she had a note saying it would be funny if the horn was a goose. And I think, yes it would be funny. But how would a goose be attached to a zoomobile? I have to do a bit of research before I can start sketching.
I liked this approach, and so did Kate and our editor. So I
drew the final art.
another example. Chapter seven of our new book (The Show Must Go On!) opens with this sentence: On Saturday the crane operator arrived with a large Siberian crane.
Sarah: Again, Kate
has a note to me in the manuscript that it would great if the crane operator
used a living crane to do the work. I read that and think: Okay, but how will
this work? And what does a Siberian crane look like? Once again, I have to do a
little research on cranes. I look at pictures in bird books and online. Then I start
Kate: I love it!
When I look at Sarah’s final art for this page (below), I feel like I’m looking
at my cavemen report. Sarah’s drawings always make even the simplest words a
hundred times better.