Here are some recent character designs for a chapter book project. I have no idea if I will get to illustrate this one. They look good to me but everyone has their own idea as to what is right for a project. The writing is very good which always helps when it comes to illustrating.
I'm sure that once upon a time people used to meet in person to talk about such projects but now it is mostly email. It is so hard to read into what it is that the commissioner might see in your work and to get a full understanding of what is expected. So decision making becomes a daunting prospect when approaching the design of story characters. Which is the right avenue for this project? I think that what it comes down to in the end is, do what you do and hope for the best.