Allison's Book Bag

Author of the Sock Monkey Series

Posted on: October 6, 2014

The author of the popular Sock Monkey series, Cece Bell has written a graphic novel memoir. In El Deafo, she writes about her hearing loss at an early age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic ear, an awkward but powerful hearing aid.

cecestudioHer bio reveals that Bell grew up in Virginia. After graduated with a degree in illustration and design, she worked freelance for all kinds of projects but now is a full-time author and illustrator. She and her husband have two children and several dogs. The family lives in an old church and she works in a new barn right next door, which is featured here.

From Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, I also learned a few other tidbits such as:

  • Bell’s first attempt at publication got rejected and so she put waited to try again until a better idea came along. When a better idea came along, she made a dummy version of it and sent it to Candlewick Press in 2000. Three months later, she got a phone call asking her to make a few changes. Once the changes were made and approved, she signed a contract with Candlewick, and three years later, Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood was published.
  • Her best ideas come when walking one of the family’s dogs or every time she and her husband go to Wendy’s without their kids. She usually writes ideas on pieces of paper, which she sticks in the top drawer of her desk. When ready to start working on a new book, she looks at all those scraps of paper and pick ones that is most appealing—or combines a few into one story.
  • OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABell always writes the story first, trying very hard to get it as perfect and streamlined as possible. Once she is satisfied with the story, she does a bird’s eye view of the whole book on one piece of paper, to try to figure out the pacing and that sort of stuff. Usually she’ll edit the words at this point as well. Then she’ll enlarge the tiny drawings, scan them into her computer, and use Freehand to lay out the book with text. After printing a version, Bell will ask her husband to read it and makes a lot of changes based on his comments.
  • When Bell visits schools, she asks for volunteers from the audience. Then the volunteers and Bell present one of her Sock graphic novels like a play with scripts and simple costumes. She also teaches the kids how to draw all the characters in her books and introduces them to the original stuffed animals that started it all. Bells prefers to have an interactive program, as it takes some of the pressure off to perform the whole time.
  • If she were to pursue any other careers, despite possessing little musical ability, Bell has fantasized about being a really good jazz pianist who could play anytime and anywhere—at the drop of a hat.

If you want to know even more about Cece Bell, watch the below video interview:

I’ll review El Deafo tomorrow. Save the date: October 7!

4 Responses to "Author of the Sock Monkey Series"


Thanks for your visit!

El Deafo was great, wasn’t it?

It deserved the Newbery Honor!

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