The Path of Thorns — Brisbane launch 17 June 2022

Photo of hand holding The Path of Thorns book with purple foil lettering

A. G. Slatter‘s newest novel, The Path of Thorns (available to pre-order) is being officially launched in Brisbane at the

BRISBANE SQUARE LIBRARY
on
Friday 17 June 2022
at
6PM
registration required (but free)

Angela will be in conversation with me! There will be a signing, and books for sale, and you will see us talking elegantly (Angela says bickering).

About the event:

Asher Todd goes to live with the mysterious Morwood family as a governess to their children. Asher knows little about being a governess, but she is skilled in botany and herbcraft, and perhaps more than that. And she has secrets of her own dark and terrible – and Morwood is a house that eats secrets.

With a monstrous revenge in mind, Asher plans to make it choke.

However, she becomes fond of her changes, of the people of the Tarn, and she begins to wonder if she will be able to execute her plan – and who will suffer most if she does. But as the ghosts of her past become harder to control, Asher realises she has no choice.

Angela Slatter is the author of the gothic fantasy novels, All The Murmuring Bones, The Path of Thorns and the Verity Fassbinder supernatural crime series. She has won several awards including a World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Australian Shadows, Ditmar and Aurealis Awards.

Join Angela in conversation with illustrator and writer of Flyaway, Kathleen Jennings as they discuss her latest novel Path of Thorns.

Books will be available for purchase on the day or bring your copy from home to be signed.

Presented as part of the Lord Mayor’s Writers in Residence series.

Registration is through Eventbrite (required but free).

Advance copies of A G Slatter’s The Path of Thorns

Photo of hand holding The Path of Thorns book with purple foil lettering
Cover design by Julia Lloyd

Look what’s arrived! My copy of A. G. Slatter‘s newest novel, The Path of Thorns. It is released in June, and you can pre-order it from all good bookstores and usual online places now.

There will be a launch in Brisbane on the 17th of June — it’s free to attend but you will need to pre-register here: Eventbrite.

Photo of back cover of The Path of Thorns
Cover design by Julia Lloyd

A lush and twisted dark fairy tale suffused with witchcraft, dark secrets and bitter revenge from the award-winning author. Exquisite, haunting and at times brutal, readers of Naomi Novik and Erin Morgenstern will be entranced.

Asher Todd comes to live with the mysterious Morwood family as a governess to their children. Asher knows little about being a governess but she is skilled in botany and herbcraft, and perhaps more than that. And she has secrets of her own, dark and terrible – and Morwood is a house that eats secrets. With a monstrous revenge in mind, Asher plans to make it choke. However, she becomes fond of her charges, of the people of the Tarn, and she begins to wonder if she will be able to execute her plan – and who will suffer most if she does. But as the ghosts of her past become harder to control, Asher realises she has no choice.
 
From the award-winning author of All the Murmuring Bones, dark magic, retribution and twisted family secrets combine to weave a bewitching and addictive tale.

And this time, instead of drawing for Angela, I got to do a cover quote! Here’s the full quote:

Angela Slatter's The Path of Thorns is beautiful and vicious. Although it is a ruthless, Gothic tale, bright and bitter as poison, cold as a crypt, its chinks are stopped against the bleakest wind with deft, jewel-toned tales, and at its bruised heart, it is as loving and warm as a wolf curled around her cubs.

An interview about Flight

Rick Kleffel of Narrative Species interviewed Angela Slatter and me about Flight!

Flight is out now from  PS Publishing.

Photo of book Flight, closed, on original illustrations

Here’s my first glimpse of it: Flight has arrived.

Flight has arrived!

Photo of book Flight, closed, on original illustrations

Flight, which we began work on in 2016, is now a real book in the world! My copies have now arrived from PS Publishing — and are shown here on top of the original pen and ink illustrations.

This picture of Emer at the beginning was one of the very first illustrations I did, to test the style.

Photo of first pages of Flight with picture of girl pulling feathers out her her palm, and some gloves

Entering a rose forest. At the time, this was one of the biggest projects I’d worked on — and might still be, in terms of the quantity of illustrations.

Book with illustration of girl entering rose forest

A hall full of shadows.

Illustration in book of long dim blue hallway

The jacketed hardback and the limited signed edition are available from PS Publishing here: Flight — Angela Slatter.

All the Murmuring Bones — limited edition

The limited hardcover edition of Angela Slatter’s All the Murmuring Bones is now available from Tartarus Press — with a limit of 300 copies!

The book itself is not illustrated, except with Angela Slatter’s own lovely written descriptions, but there is, of course, FOIL UNDER THE DUST JACKET!

(And a little on the spine.)

And you can buy it now (while they last!) from Tartarus Press.

Sneak peek: Mirrors and clocked stockings

Here’s something exciting — a project by Angela Slatter, which has been several years in development since I first illustrated it, is now inching towards publication, and this morning we were looking over printed layouts!

More in due course, BUT I do remember particularly enjoying drawing that ornamental mirrored screen.

All the Murmuring Bones — hardcover sneak peeks

Arm with pearls holding a lantern

Two sneak peeks from the cover of the limited hardcover edition of Angela Slatter‘s All the Murmuring Bones, to come from Tartarus Press later this year (the paperback from Titan is available now). More details on the hardcover when pre-ordering is possible!

I do love this little flicker of merfolk.

Bottom of a drawing of a blue skirt embroidered with mermaids.

The Tallow-Wife arrives!

Cardboard box with bubble-wrapped parce.

Look what’s arrived from Tartarus!

Spread of three copies of The Tallow-Wife, on top of bubble wrap. The first is open to the story "Embers and Ash", with a drawing of a ship half-sunk in a cliff. The second has its dust jacket on. The third shows the foil-and-purple cover design on the boards under the cover.

It’s Angela Slatter‘s extremely beautiful The Tallow-Wife and Other Tales, which is now available to buy in a limited edition.

The spines of The Tallow-Wife, with hand-lettered title printed in foil on a purple ground.
(Photo from Tartarus Press)

It is illustrated throughout with vignettes and spot illustrations in the same style as The Bitterwood Bible.

Hand holding two pens and several folded sections of drawing paper, on the top page of which is written "The Tallow-Wife & Other Tales by Angela Slatter", with drawn ornaments of candles, branches, and moths.
A Staedtler Pigment Liner 0.05, and a Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pen Warm Grey 272, on Canson Illustration paper.

It’s a loose, conversational, first-impressions style that I love working in. It’s so first-impressions that the label for my sketchbook notes for the project became not only the title page, but the spine lettering and the basis for some of the cover ornaments.

Title page of the book with sketches of candles, floral flourishes, and moths.

First impressions isn’t the same as easy. Here, more than any other style, is where I can feel all the work of observing (the world, how I work, how other people solve problems) and sketching pay off.

I particularly enjoy working this way because it catches that first response of an early reader, the images that intrigue and charm me, the conversation I wanted to have with the stories when I was first exposed to them. And also because, while there’s a lightness to the style, there’s also a lovely weight of quantity — spooling out wavering lines in response to the stories as they unfold, questioning and reacting and correcting.

More commonly, illustrating a book involves reading through, responding, making thumbnail sketches, having those approved, refining pencils, having those approved, and then working on the finals (subject to approval). For The Tallow-Wife, the selection process was simply the appeal of the text (and the limits of my abilities!), and the taste of the author and publisher as they select and place the final collection of drawings.

Page of black and white line sketches of wine, a boy bowing, ghostly dogs at a cathedral, etc.

The Tallow-Wife and Other Tales is a companion book to Sourdough and Other Stories and the World Fantasy Award-winning Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings. The limited edition is now available to buy from Tartarus (while the print-run lasts).

If you need reasons to buy this, apart from the obvious (Slatter, Tartarus, enchantments), I have posted An Incomplete List of Reasons I Have Bought Illustrated Books, in case any of those excuses resonate with you.

The Tallow-Wife: pre-orders open

The cover of The Tallow-Wife, cream with a small purple rectangle with an illustration of a pale crowned woman

The Tallow-Wife and Other Tales, the third mosaic collection in Angela Slatter‘s Sourdough world, is now available for preorder from Tartarus Press, in a limited edition hardback.

As with most Tartarus hardbacks, it pays to look under the dust jacket…

Close up of a head crowned with branches, a candle, and moths, printed on purple boards in gold and bronze foil

And look at the lettering on the spine! I now wish to have all my handwriting printed in foil.

Book spines in purple with the title in gold and bronze foil.

(I wasn’t expecting that part.)

Previous Tallow-Wife art posts:

A hand holding a fan of folded pages, with a pen drawing of candles and moths and the title of the book.

Flight — to be published by PS Publishing

Illustration in pen and ink with digital colour of a girl in a pink gown walking into a thicket of improbable roses, watched by a fox. A castle is in the background.

Some exciting news about a project that’s been a rumour for a while now. Angela Slatter‘s story Flight, with illustrations by me, is being published by PS Publishing UK, and is currently in layout and design mode.

More on that as it becomes available! In the meantime, PS Publishing have published Angela’s The Heart is a Mirror for Sinners and other stories, with cover art by Danielle Serra and an introduction by Kim Newman.