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.
In all Owl Abbas, before it burned (after the Falling but before the Cartographer’s War and the Recurrence of Owls), there were among its many windows only two that need concern us…
This is the illustration reveal for Audrey Benjaminsen‘s beautiful charred, byzantine illustration for my story “The Heart of Owl Abbas”, which is to be published by Tor.com in April. It’s the first time (as far as I recall!) that a story of mine has been illustrated for publication by someone else, and I am so happy with it. Look at all those tiny engraved details, and the little lace cuffs, and that muscular, visceral heart.
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.
Welcome to 2018 (almost)! I’ve started the year with a little clockwork bird calendar, because they are so cheerful, and also because I have a story coming out in April from Tor.com (!) in which I picked up a few threads from “The Emperor’s Nightingale” and ran with them. It is called “The Heart of Owl Abbas”, and like this calendar has a noticeable lack of owls.
As has been the case all this year, the calendar is brought to you with the support of my patrons over at patreon.com/tanaudel. If you’d like to sign up to support the calendar and other art (for as little as $1 a month), you’ll even get it a few days early!
There are two colourways this month, as I was feeling indecisive. Pattern to follow. Please feel very free to print these for your personal use – pre-coloured, or to colour yourself! And if you did colour any calendar pages this year, I’d love to see photos if you’re happy to share.
The December calendar is here!
Clearly I haven’t quite got Kij Johnson’s The River Bank out of my system (and if you are looking for gifts for this time of the year, it is an excellent one – the Washington Post agrees, and included it on its list of “50 Notable Works of Fiction in 2017“!). I’ve started a series of posts about the process of illustrating it – they begin here: The River Bank Process – First Response.
While The River Bank doesn’t make it into winter, The Wind in the Willows of course does, and the image of the mice singing carols outside Mole End is one of my enduring memories of that book. So I ran with that.
I think Toad in his moments of mellower, generous pomposity would have the best tree, and insist on (recognisably) playing Father Christmas.
Beryl skating was one of the first sketches I made for this idea (also, if this were a climate in which sweaters were warranted, I would want hers).
Went a bit stocking mad here.
Now, all these pictures take a lot of time! They have been sponsored all year by my wonderful patrons at patreon.com/tanaudel – they get the calendar early and $3+ patrons also get occasional downloadable stationery (there will be print-at-home cards using some of the images from this calendar). If you enjoy the pictures, and would like to keep seeing the calendar happen, and want to be a patron of the arts, see sneak-peeks, etc, you can join in here at Patreon (a few more supporters and we might yet be able to restart the Dalek Game!). Or if you use the calendar and would like to fling a few occasional dollars in the direction of the artist, this is my PayPal link: paypal.me/tanaudel.
And at last! Here is the December calendar, to print at home – precoloured, or to colour yourself.
“One English village. Two thousand years of stories. Best-selling legends of Australian fantasy Kate Forsyth and Kim Wilkins have teamed up in this collection of 7 incredible stories, all original and never-before published.”
It is currently launching around Australia, with the Brisbane launch next Wednesday 29 November at Avid Reader (free, but bookings essential). That launch will be accompanied by an exhibition of the original cut paper/cyanotype cover (if I can get it to lie flat) and pen-and-ink internal illustrations.
The Sydney launch will be on 30 November at Galaxy Books, launched by Garth Nix (but the only art will be in the books).