Six Questions with Leisl Adams
Leisl Adams is a Director, Storyboard Artist and Illustrator in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She has been worked in film and TV for more than 20 years, working for amazing clients like Warner Bros, Disney Jr., Mattel, Teletoon and CBC. Her debut graphic novel, Batter Royale was published in June 2022 by Abrams (Amulet) Books. Visit Leisl's website to learn more about her and her work. You can also find her on Instagram and Twitter at @leisladams
1. When did you first realize you wanted to write for young readers?
I think making things for a younger audience is something that has always come naturally to me. I work in animation so a lot of what I do is done with kids in mind so books for me are an extension of that.
2. What was your favorite book when you were a child? Why?
One of my favourite books was A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle. I still have my old copy. I've always loved fantasy and sci-fi.
3. What are you working on? What’s next for you?
I'm currently working on a picture book pitch. I have a few picture books in mind, and also slowly working on another graphic novel story.
4. Where did you get the idea for Batter Royale? What was your inspiration?
Much of it was inspired by a trip I took to England to study baking! Being among professional bakers was pretty exciting, as well as just a competitive vibe. The chef world is very interesting and I've always enjoyed competitive baking shows like "MasterChef" and "The Great British Bake Off."
5. Was this always the title for this project? If not, what other titles did you consider and how did you land on this one?
Originally I wanted it to be called "Bake Off," but I read somewhere that the term was copywritten, so then I called it "Loser's Dozen." My agent (Adria Goetz of P.S. Literary) suggested changing it again and we had a big list of brainstormed titles. I thought of "Batter Royale" as a joke, but everyone seemed to like it, so I went with it.
6. What was the process or timeline for this book, from idea to publishing?
I would say it took about five years, including the year I gave up on it and put it aside.