Frequently Asked Questions
1) Why do you use the pen name?
Ah, life—it’s a growing experience, one in which we will all hopefully learn from; most especially, we hope to learn from our mistakes! This was one of our earliest, and our biggest: using a pen name. At the time our first book, IT'S RAINING, IT'S POURING (Fall 1994) was published, we were both working at a major children's publishing house, Macmillan—Kim as a children's book designer, and Danny as a production manager. However, Macmillan was not our publisher, Whispering Coyote Press was. Even though it was not against company policy for us to have a book published elsewhere, we thought it important at the time to avoid even the appearance of impropriety; hence, then pen name. To do it over again, we wouldn't use one.
2) How did you come up with Kin Eagle as a pen name?
A much shorter and simpler answer: Kin is a cross between Kim and Dan (even though he now prefers to be called Danny); Adler, the first part of our last name, is German for Eagle. Kim and Dan Adlerman = Kin Eagle. Pretty cool, huh?
3) When do you use the pen name?
After the success of IT'S RAINING, IT'S POURING, AFRICA CALLING (Fall 1996) was published under our real names, as we no longer worked at Macmillan (we left in late 1994, about a year after Macmillan was purchased by Simon and Schuster, and about a month after our son Joshua was born). Soon after we started work on a new nursery rhyme—HEY, DIDDLE DIDDLE (Spring 1997), and requested to use our real names from that point on. One thing we didn't count on, however, was the huge success of IT'S RAINING, IT'S POURING...and our publisher held firm to the idea that people would be looking for the next nursery rhyme from Kin Eagle, not from Danny and Kim Adlerman. It was resolved that from that point on, only the nursery rhyme series would be published under our pen name; all other works would carry our real names. In late 1999, however, Whispering Coyote was purchased by Charlesbridge Publishing , and they have since allowed us to abandon the Kin Eagle name on future books including nursery rhymes, so when you look for ROCK A BYE BABY (Spring 2004), look for it under Danny and Kim Adlerman. In addition, Rub a Dub Dub has been reissued (with a CD!) under our eral names. IT'S RAINING, IT'S POURING; HEY, DIDDLE DIDDLE; and HUMPTY DUMPTY (Fall 1999) will still be available under the Kin Eagle name until further notice.
4) How does Kim "do" her artwork?
Kim likes to render the images in her mind as she sees them; at the same time she is very fond of taking real things and making them appear like different real things; she also likes using things found in nature. For example, in AFRICA CALLING, the stick which the chameleon is walking on is real; the tree the zebra is hiding behind is made of leaves; many leaves on various trees throughout the book are made from herbs and spices. The desert the snake is slithering in is made from real sand. The cliff where the lion is standing on both on the jacket and the first spread is made from a single rock mined from our own backyard! Oh, and glue. Kim uses lots of glue.
5) How do they get the 3-D art into the book?
This is where Danny's expertise as a production manager comes in. Normally, two dimensional art is scanned on a scanner much like the ones you may have at home or at school, except that it is shaped like a drum: it is round (cylindrical, actually). It gets wrapped around the glass tube as opposed to laying flat on a flatbed. Of course we can't wrap Kim's art around a drum scanner as it is inflexible (it won't bend). Therefore we either get a digital photo taken or take the art to a transparency house, and they make an 8 x 10 transparency of each piece. When we have this done Kim and Danny will attend so that Kim can guide them as to how the lights should be positioned to ensure the shadows fall in the right places. When the transparencies or digital photos are delivered and we approve them, they get sent in place of the artwork to the color separator; in effect, they become the originals. Then, just like with any other art, one piece of film is output for each of the four process colors: black, cyan (blue), magenta (red), and yellow. From those films, proofs are printed, and when we have approved the proof for color, they print the final book.
6) Where do you get your ideas from?
We get our ideas from everywhere, and the more time goes on the more ideas we have! Our children are a good source of ideas for sure, but so are other children, events, nature, and experiences & ideas that we had when we were kids! Great ideas are everywhere! Where do you get your ideas from?
7) What's your favorite book?
Well, we have many we're pleased to say; what we like on any given day may depend on what mood we're in. Kim loves The Very Busy Spider (Eric Carle), Charlotte's Web (E.B. White), and Tuesday (David Weisner). Danny loves Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl), Ozma of Oz (L. Frank Baum) and House of Stairs (William Slater)
8) Can we have your autograph?
We hope you'll understand how difficult it is to honor this request by email. Our names get added to celebrity lists all the time and we get email requests literally every day. Not only could we not reply to all of them even if we wanted to, we can't even sort them out between actual fans and autograph collectors, and most will identify themselves as fans. Not to mention how much it would cost us in time, materials, and postage! However, wherever we appear we are always thrilled to sign autographs; we NEVER require anyone to buy anything; bring a napkin or a paper towel or even your brother's face (we're kidding, we promise!) and we will be happy to sign it for you.
9) Do you have any new projects in progress?
Always! Please check out our Facebook page to see what we are currently up to—and friend us!