Willow’s Tale by Gray Sterre
October’s Author Spotlight, featuring a book we printed called “Willow’s Tale” by Gray Sterre! Below features an interview with the author and Illustrator, Gray Sterre.
PUBLISHED – OCTOBER 03, 2022
Featured book: “Willow’s Tale” by Gray Sterre
What is “Willow’s Tale” about?
“Willow’s Tale” is the story of a lonely spirit and the friends he meets. Willow is an innocent spirit with a gentle heart. He cannot venture far from the willow tree that he’s bound to, so he waits for people to enter his part of the forest.
There are three parts to this story, each focusing on a different friend: a young girl that grows up and something precious that she leaves behind, a traveler with a restless soul, and the one who watches over them all.
Where did you get the inspiration for “Willow’s Tale”?
I have a fondness for fairy tales and myths. Willow was based on the legend of the will-o’-the-wisp. The first part of Willow’s Tale came to me while daydreaming in the dead of night; I rushed to write it out before I lost the thought. The later parts were written with the intent to give the story a satisfying ending.
The focus of the story was on Willow’s emotions. I wanted to capture the bittersweet feeling of growing apart from friends and the sadness of feeling like you’ve been left behind. We meet many people over the course of our lives, but we don’t always stay with them. Sometimes we have different plans for life and go our separate ways. Sometimes we just drift apart without noticing. Even if we’re no longer close, I still wish for the happiness of those I’ve cared for. Willow’s Tale was written to express that sadness and love.
What part of the writing or illustrating process did you find enjoyable with this book?
I enjoyed using color to set the mood of the story. On a whim, I tinted the grayscale pages just a little bit blue and it looked nice. More vibrant colors were used for the magical effects, and it gave the story a very mysterious and soothing atmosphere. Seeing the art come together was very satisfying.
How did MyBookPrinter help your vision become a reality?
Since this was my first time printing a comic, there was a lot to figure out. I don’t use an American standard page size, either; my books are all printed at A5 size. This made finding a printer more difficult since I wanted an American printer that could do custom book sizes. I saw MyBookPrinter recommended on a forum (under a different name at the time) and looked them up.
The people at MyBookPrinter answered my questions, helped me make corrections to my files (of which there were many), and delivered a beautiful final product. Their gracious assistance with my first book is why I was happy to continue working with them. They’ve worked hard to meet all of my deadlines for other print runs—some of which were very tight due to my misjudgment with upcoming events—and the quality has never been lacking. I can’t praise their reliability enough; I’m immensely grateful for them.
Where can you follow Gray Sterre?
Where can buy “Willow’s Tale”?