We’re taking you Behind-the-Scenes for the making of KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Athens, Greece!

“Well Begun Is Half Done”

Athens Storyboard

So said Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Can you believe it starts with this storyboard? This is our sketching out the pages of the book (with art director Paul’s drawings) and thinking about the scenes. Next is the writing of manuscript, the book’s story!

Casey’s Sketch Phase

Casey & Paul working on Athens

Once Author Shannon completed the story draft, she sent it to Illustrator Casey to work on  sketching every scene from the story.

This is Casey and Art Director Paul discussing the details of each sketch and working on new ones.

A Look Inside Casey’s Notebook

Casey Athens Sketches

This is just the beginning of Athens, Greece!

Can you see where KeeKee might be going? Who she might be meeting?

From Notebook to Light Box

Casey at the Lightbox-1

Once Casey has the sketches in her notebook, she moves to tracing them on her back lit tracing table. This allows her to take her notebook sketches and perfect each one to exactly where she wants it.

You can do this at home…hold a drawing up to the window and trace just the parts you like!

The Magic Drawing Tablet

After Casey has perfected her notebook sketches on the tracing table, she scans each scene of the book into her special Illustrator electronic drawing tablet. Once in Cintiq (the type of tablet), Casey can get to work on adding color to all of the scenes.

Casey at work

It’s like a canvas and paint brush but it’s a computer!

But first….

KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Athens, Greece… The Cover!

We’re thrilled to unveil the cover to The KeeKee Club Members! Let us know what you think and if you can guess where KeeKee might be landing. >^..^<

KeeKee in Athens

Color, Design & Off to the Printer

Casey uses her tablet to color every single page of the book. Here you can see an example of the progression from one of the Paris book pages.

Paris Coloring Phase 1

Paris Color Phase 2-1

Paris Color Phase 3

Once Casey has completed all the color, Art Director Paul puts Casey’s pictures and Shannon’s manuscript together to design every page of the book, like this opening spread for Athens.

KeeKee in Athens Opening Spread

Then once all the pages are designed, the files are loaded onto the printer’s computer.

The printer downloads the files and prints out proofs. They send the proofs to Paul, Shannon and Casey to make sure the layout, design and color are perfect. Here are the actual Athens proofs!

KeeKee in Athens proofs

Printing the Signatures

Once the proofs are approved, the official pages of the book are printed. They are called Signatures.

The pages are printed like big posters on these GIANT rolls of paper.

Printing the KeeKee Books-1

The printer itself is HUGE! It prints one color at a time on the page of the book. These 4 colors make all the beautiful colors you see on each page.

KeeKee Printing

The result…the Signatures…8 pages of the book printed on two sides of the paper to make 16 pages of the book, or one Signature. Here is one of the Athens signatures, front and back…

KeeKee in Athens Signatures

KeeKee books are 40 pages. It takes 2 Signatures plus the End Pages and Cover to make the 40 page book. Cool, huh?!

The Final Steps

Once the Signatures, End Pages and Cover are printed, they are put together to make the hard cover book.

First the Signatures are folded, sewn together and edges trimmed.

Pages Folded & Sewn Together

Then the Cover is created by glueing the Cover art and end pages to a piece of cardboard the size of the book.

Cover Created & Attached

Then the pages are glued in…and…tah dah…you have a book!

The Books Arrive

Last but not least, the books are packed into specially made boxes (ours hold 36 books), stacked onto crates, shrink-wrapped and loaded on a truck for the drive from Hagerstown, MD.

Boxes of Athens

The first box of books arrived just before a meeting at the Embassy of Greece so we had the official opening of the box on Greek soil!


And that’s the making of KeeKee’s Big Adventures in Athens, Greece.

Thank you for joining us on the journey. Can’t wait for you to read the new book! >^..^<