I now had my edited manuscript and was in need of an illustrator. I had no clue how to find one. I found a few people on the Internet but nothing worked out. One day, I unwittingly connected with Mike Wimmer who introduced me to his wife, Jime. Jime, an accomplished artist/professor, also gives private art instruction to students. She gave me various pieces of illustration to choose from and asked what style I preferred. I selected a drawing style much like what is in the book “Charlotte’s Web”. Jime told me she had the perfect student in mind and introduced me to Kathryn “Katie” McGaha. She and Katie came to our home to meet Quackers and the gang. They took photos of my backyard and the animals so they could get to know their subject matter. Jime selected scenes in the book where illustrations would be most effective. She worked with Katie to make my vision a reality. Katie, a senior at Edmond Memorial High School at the time, captured the essence of Quackers perfectly!
I was at home thumbing through a coffee table book our oldest son gave me. I hate to admit his gift had sat unopened for quite a while. As I flipped through the pages, I recognized several oil paintings I’d seen at our state capitol. I read the caption and it said, “Artist – Mike Wimmer”. I turned the page, same thing. Again and again….. Mike Wimmer. I searched Mike Wimmer on the Internet and reviewed Jime and his website, Wimmer Studios (http://www.wimmerstudios.com). I called Garry at his work and said, “Remember Mike & Jime Wimmer? Well….. they’re kind of a big deal.” I don’t believe connecting to Mike was a chance encounter. I’m confident it was meant to be. I’m not lucky enough to have stumbled into this providence randomly on my own. I know it was God, lining up the right people in my path.
Katie and Jime provided me with the full page and spot illustrations as agreed. Jime was so very kind when she asked me what I was going to do next. Honestly, I hadn’t thought that far in advance! I had no clue what the next step was! I was the proud owner of some beautiful drawings and a manuscript but how would that become a book?
Jime must have seen the panic on my face because she asked, “Would you like me to design it for you?” “Yes”, I sighed with relief. “Would you?”