LB - Manpower

Home | Real Estate Search | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Obituaries | Subscriber Services | Kingman Digital | Contact Us
Kingman Daily Miner | Kingman, Arizona

home : latest news : local May 24, 2016

1/31/2013 6:01:00 AM
Inspiration needs perspiration to bear fruit
There's more - a lot more - to getting published than meets the eye
J.C. Amberlyn, far right, poses with students who participate in the Black Mountain school’s GEAR UP program Tuesday evening in Golden Valley.
J.C. Amberlyn, far right, poses with students who participate in the Black Mountain school’s GEAR UP program Tuesday evening in Golden Valley.
This book by Black Mountain Elementary School student Breanna Gernon was one of dozens created at the Golden Valley school.
This book by Black Mountain Elementary School student Breanna Gernon was one of dozens created at the Golden Valley school.
Doug McMurdo

J.C. Amberlyn was obviously nervous. The microphone in her trembling hand shook ever so slightly.

Her voice caught in her throat for a moment or two and her kind and respectful audience seemed to silently pray the lady speaking to them would find her way.

And then, with the stroke of a pencil, Amberlyn got her groove back.

The Kingman Daily Miner photographer and accomplished book author, working with a pencil and a sketch pad projected onto a screen at Black Mountain Elementary School in Golden Valley, began drawing.

The case of the nerves that plagues all but the most confident public speakers vanished into thin air.

She quickly drew a squirrel and then, after students eagerly asked for a second exhibition, a bat and a fish. Children and their parents watched transfixed.

It was as if Amberlyn was not simply drawing creatures, but performing magic. Her now-steady hand flew across the page as she created something out of nothing.

That's the scene that unfolded Tuesday evening, when Amberlyn spoke of the hard work required to get a book published.

There is more to it than merely putting a story on paper, she said, and like most things worthwhile, the devil is in the details.

Amberlyn has authored three books published by Watson-Guptill Publications, a division of publishing heavyweight Random House, all related to two of her main loves: drawing and wildlife.

Her first book, appropriately titled, "Drawing Wildlife," was a success. Her second book, "Drawing Manga Animals, Chibis, and other Adorable Creatures," was equally well received. Her third, "The Artist's Guide to Drawing Animals: How to Draw Cats, Dogs, and Other Favorite Pets," was published two months ago.

But Amberlyn was far from the only book writer and artist in the audience. The middle school students at Black Mountain had written and illustrated their own books, and Nationwide Publishers bound many of them free of charge.

Amberlyn was there to motivate those students who would like to pursue authoring a book after their school days end.

She said she studied writers' markets, sent in samples of her writing and drawing, and a letter that answered the question, "Why you might want to publish my book."

She struck gold early on.

"The first time I got a response, it was from Random House," she said. "I was very happy, but there was lots of work to do after that."

This is where those pesky details come into play. What followed was a grueling three years that consisted of Amberlyn and the publisher "going back and forth so everybody was happy."

She was asked to provide a national focus to her book to widen audience appeal, a request that required her to study wildlife that live outside her beloved Arizona.

The second year was when the actual writing took place and the final year was spent on revisions and editing, she said.

"Basically, it was a lot of, 'Take this out, change this,'" said Amberlyn. "It was kind of tedious."

To aspiring young authors, she had this advice: "Look at the different genres, look up publishers and use the Internet to help guide you."

She said illustrators will want to study real wildlife and their anatomy.

Most important, never be afraid to draw something the wrong way. Paraphrasing Thomas Edison, she said,

"First you have to make 10,000 mistakes, and then you're an artist. You never stop learning."

She also encouraged students to follow their dreams.

"Find the things that you love," she said. "Study them. Pay attention to the details and pay attention to what your teachers tell you. These are the kinds of things that will help you succeed."

For more information on Amberlyn and her books, visit her website,

ICT - Kingman Honda

    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Editorial: A boy named I'll sue (1641 views)

•   Obituary: Claudia Pena (1450 views)

•   KRMC follows trend, outsources coding (1283 views)

•   Ray Smith resigns as LWHS boys hoops coach (1122 views)

•   Man suffers injuries in Golden Valley rollover (1121 views)

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
Kingman Chamber News
House Ad- Dining Guide
Auto Racing Upickem
Find more about Weather in Kingman, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Find it Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Local Listings
Real Estate Search | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Find Kingman Jobs | Kingman Chamber | e-News | Contact Us | RSS | Site Map
LB - Manpower

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Kingman Daily Miner is the information source for Kingman and surrounding area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Kingman Daily Miner Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to email your questions, comments or suggestions. Kingman Daily Miner Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved