A few screengrabs of my publisher collating thoughts on Flyaway. (I recommend following Tor.com on assorted social media generally — they are so enthusiastic about books, and not just their own!).
It comes with some useful links (although I’ll let you know more about pre-orders as that becomes available) and a few lovely words from Kelly Link, Holly Black, C.S.E. Cooney and Brooke Bolander — authors whose way with stories I very much admire.
I am extremely delighted with this cover, for which the designer and art directors should get most of the credit (and I adore the typeface), and I can’t wait (I must wait!) for the book to be a real thing in the world.
A little cut-paper moon-thief, for Illustration Friday.
So, a little while ago I mentioned Tansy Rayner Roberts’s Kickstarter campaign to reprint the Creature Court trilogy. It was successful, and she has launched her new novella in that world: Cabaret of Monsters. This was another fun image to play with: Flappers! Wolves! Stars!
The cover design and typography is by Cathy Larsen.
The pins have also been produced, and look very shiny online.
I’ll show mine off as soon as Australia Post delivers the goods but in the meantime, here is Tansy’s photo:
The campaign is to fund the reprint of her previously published Creature Court trilogy (full of flappers, Rome-esque cities, animal magic and vicious skies), along with a new novella. I will be designing the new covers, as well as this banner and an enamel pin.
Meet Anya Winter, junior professor of magical textiles at Arcanos Hall. She spends her days designing invisibility cloaks and teaching reluctant sophomores to knit. If she can avoid her conniving ex-boyfriend and steer clear of campus politics, that’s a plus. But everything changes when her secret university is unshielded by a saboteur, placing the entire magical community at risk. Joining forces with a rebellious princess and a mysterious engineer, Anya must save her school—and her reputation—before it’s too late. But can she really change the world with just a ball of yarn?
Stewart did a splendid job, and if any of you are looking for a cover designer (and you should be, they are worth their weight in gold), his website is: Stewart A. Williams Design.
Every so often a project comes along which forces me to dust off my needles and knit a swatch for art-reference. I couldn’t find the needles this time, so ended up knitting with a pencil and the handle of a paintbrush.
In the end it was decided to do a design that could function as two covers or a wraparound – there was some refinement, with boots.
And sheep were cut out. They have these beautifully, misleadingly patrician faces. For scale, those are half-inch squares on the cutting board.
I cut the illustrations out as two separate images which could be joined over the spine if so decided (although in the end they were framed by blue).
Then I tidied these up, and sent the files away to be turned by Stewart Williams into something marvellous and blue.
And if you want to get early sneak-peeks and process details on projects like this, I post those for supporters on Patreon.
My bittersweet (and Ditmar Award-winning!) post-revolutionary fairytale “A Hedge of Yellow Roses” has been selected for the 2015 Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror! The book is edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene and is available for preorder now from Ticonderoga Publications.
It has a great cross-section of current Australian writers, and if you’re looking to get a survey of what’s happening here then it’s not a bad place to start!
- Joanne Anderton, “2B”
- Alan Baxter, “The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner”
- Deborah Biancotti, “Look How Cold My Hands Are”
- Stephen Dedman, “Oh, Have You Seen The Devil”
- Erol Engin, “The Events at Callan Park”
- Jason Fischer, “The Dog Pit”
- Dirk Flinthart, “In the Blood”
- Kimberley Gaal, “In Sheep’s Clothing”
- Stephanie Gunn, “The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth”
- Lisa Hannett, “Consorting With Filth”
- Robert Hood, “Double Speak”
- Kathleen Jennings, “A Hedge of Yellow Roses”
- Maree Kimberley, “Ninehearts”
- Jay Kristoff, “Sleepless”
- Martin Livings, “El Caballo Muerte”
- Danny Lovecraft, “Reminiscences of Herbert West”
- Kirstyn McDermott, “Self, Contained”
- Sally McLennan, “ Mr Schmidt’s Dead Pet Emporium”
- DK Mok, “Almost Days”
- Faith Mudge, “Blueblood”
- Samantha Murray, “Half Past”
- Jason Nahrung, “Night Blooming”
- Garth Nix, “The Company of Women”
- Anthony Panegyres, “Lady Killer”
- Rivqa Rafael, “Beyond the Factory Wall”
- Deborah Sheldon, “Perfect Little Stitches”
- Angela Slatter, “Bluebeard’s Daughter”
- Cat Sparks, “Dragon Girl”
- Lucy Sussex, “Angelito”
- Anna Tambour, “Tap”
- Kaaron Warren, “Mine Intercom”
Some initial capitals, in scratchboard with digital colour, for this week’s Illustration Friday topic, “Beginning“. They are, as usual, test pieces for another larger project, but I chose the letters based on what I thought were the first letters of some recent poems. I managed to get one completely wrong.
Last week, Terri Windling held a winter poetry challenge on her blog. Below are three of my contributions. The first, on bears, I posted with the last Illustration Friday picture. One other is not here because it turns out it did not start with the letter “I”. So I have a spare capital and a poem to post later. If you are a fan of poetry, illustration, myths, fables or fairytales, I recommend checking out the posts – there are many more poems in the comments.
(Theme: Snow White, and a memory of first encountering a landscape out of fairytales)
hen apple trees scrabbled to view,
Above a wall, boughs half-unleaved,
Heavy with portent and truth,
All bronze and pewter, I believed.
When garnet, pomegranate fruit,
Struck at my heart, I almost grieved.
(The castles only ever were
Sprung from some wild dream-aquifer).
Snow falling from the mirrored sky,
Softened the blow. But then when I
Saw winter forests spider-grey
All webbed and knotted out of view,
(So little space to struggle through),
I knew the stories all were true.
(Theme: Deer in Fairy Tales, Folklore and Myth, which fit with recent research on legends of white deer for another project)
e do not say we saw a deer. We saw
The starlight slanting through rain-silvered leaves
The mist lift off the lake, owls through the trees
Glide white and silent. This, and nothing more.
We do not say we saw a figure pale
Among the rushes, long-limbed, loitering.
We saw the rushes only, rustling,
The thin frost freezing to a glassy veil.
We do not speak of tracks that, seen too near,
Appear to change from hooves to naked feet.
We do not speak of strangers whom we meet –
Such questions only ever cost too dear.
We keep an older law:
These two have always been
Separate: What you have seen
And what you say you saw.
ut of rumour and night,
Blood and bone,
Something knotted and gnarled
Had sprouted and grown.
A tree climbed out of a heart.
It may have been
Oak or ash or elder,
Or else from a dream –
When the crown of gold and scarlet
Tarnished to grey
The branches clutched at sky.
Something had flown away.