“Apparition at Merigvon”, graphite, 2009.
Interior illustration for my novel The Alarna Affair, chapter two.
This drawing took four months to finish because I kept getting frustrated with all the fiddly architectural detail. I’m glad I stuck with it though. I’d explain more about the character, but that would be giving spoilers. 😉
… okay, maybe a few. Here’s an excerpt from the chapter this illustrates:
Jon stared, looking up as a winged figure in flowing black plunged down from amid the ranks of statuary and swooped low over the crowd. The figure’s wings were big and black, the span of a train car’s length. The face, only briefly glimpsed, was a man’s, unearthly beautiful and calm, still as a statue, with terrible, strange, burning eyes. He was there and gone in an instant, sweeping over the moving train and diving to ground on the opposite platform, invisible now along with the thief. Jon stared around open-mouthed to find the crowd already calming, oblivious to what he had just seen. No one looked up, pointed, or seemed in the least alarmed by the sudden gust of wind kicked up by giant wings.
Bought your hardcopy voirsen at Balticon 45, 2011 (and a red wig, for costuming now I gotta figure out how to make it stay on my head!). Liked your art (I also am inspired by Alan Lee). WOW! Now that’s a great little middle reader. I’ve been reading lots of those, and YAs, as my own work falls, all by itself, into that category (I didn’t plan on writing YAs, they just come out that way). A few recent favs: the Percy Jackson series and the Guardians of Ga’Hoole. At first I thought the Alarna Affair might be starting slowly but you parcelled out the mystery very neatly, keeping us hooked, and wondering what was next. I also think this generation is far too immersed in maniacal multitasking, and expects everything to start with explosions and continue to have the action ramped up from there. (Read Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv: a non-fic about why this generation needs to be turned loose in the woods more often, and how that heals a multitude of ills). You define your characters neatly, parcelling out hints that they night be more than we see. I recognize some archetypes (Prof Sheridan, Dr. Blackfeather) which are an entirely different thing from stereotypes; Tolkien gave us archetypes, and gave them back their old power. I think you are on the same road: giving them back their power. I grew up in the Dark Ages when fantasy was set in, well the Dark Ages. It’s refreshing to find more of it set in a realm of steam and magic and exploration, and the edges of modern science. (What, I asked, theheck is steampunk? then I discovered I had already been quite fond of some of it without knowing what it was called.) You’ve given us a nifty tale (sharp enough for us adults, and cool enough for kids), reminiscent of some of the other great works we’ve loved, while being totally original! I also like your storytelling voice/style somewhat better than Kathryn Lasky’s (she wrote the terrific Guardians of Ga’Hoole, which addresses some deep scary issues; for 8 12 year olds but I liked Rick Riordan’s (Percy Jackson) voice/style better) Now I shall have to keep reading this site Oh, you’ve got more illustrations here than in the hardcopy! Keep writing! Teanna