THE CREATIVE FIRE Cover Art Unveiled
A few thoughts to pass along for those that enjoy peeking behind the curtain:
When you’re an illustrator creating a cover for a book, you’re working to connect a story with its audience. You're trying to help books land in homes and hands (both traditional and virtual) where they will be adored and appreciated. But every once in a while, an artist is fortunate to have the opportunity to possibly connect a story with not just an audience, but a moment in time.
When I was illustrating this cover, I wanted to bring Brenda's heroine Ruby to life, but there was an opportunity to push beyond just a character portrait.
Our news and social feeds record the weekly (sometimes daily) attacks on womens' rights -- upon the issues of reproductive rights, access to health care, equal pay and support in situations of domestic abuse. This stuff isn't speculative fiction. It's the world we live in, and I think, especially in America, we're in a very fragile time regarding all of our fundamental rights, not just for womens' rights but for all civil liberties -- whether you be man, woman, or child.
The answers for most cover art questions are often right there in the manuscript, but sometimes a manuscript intersects with the world in which it's birthed, and a character has the chance to transcend the bounds of the pages. THE CREATIVE FIRE will be marketed to an adult sf/f audience, but there's a part of me that wonders what happens when teenage girls read this, and if the book might influence them even more because of their formative age. I look forward to both adult and teenage audiences finding this one.
So this cover is dedicated not just to mothers and daughters, but freedom fighters with tomorrow in their hands.
I see Ruby as a futuristic Rosie the Riveter, but this time, she’s not waiting until the men come home. I see her as Diana of war, and the birth of Venus.
She’s a call-to-arms to be strong and vigilant. She’s a revolution-in-the-making. She's more than meets the eye.
In short, she's probably not what you think she is on first glance -- she’s a girl with a microphone.
Today is July 4th -- our American day of celebrating independence and revolution -- a day in 2012 when our rights to live freely are, frankly, in a dangerous place. My hope though, is that our world is full of Rubys.