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Rules for Anchorites

Letters from Proxima Thule

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Oh, Monday.
c is for cat
Many of you may have wondered if I have seen the discussion and letter-writing on behalf of the proposed cover of The Habitation of the Blessed.

I have.

In fact, it's been seen far and wide.

What I know today is that there will be a redesign of the cover, with input from me. Hopefully this will not delay the book, but it might.

I have optimism that things will be worked out now. I am grateful both to you all who cared so deeply about the book and to Night Shade who responded so quickly with reassurances. It will be a good book, and a beautiful one.

All will be well.

Very glad to hear it. I thought the picture on the former intended cover was pretty enough -- but the writing had a whole lot of problems, from the disappearing author name to the too-small indication that This Is A Prester John Novel. And the picture, while pleasant, gave me zero indication that it was a Prester John novel, or indeed of anything else I wanted to know about it. It was a pretty picture. If I'd run across it at a convention art show, I'd have smiled mildly and enjoyed it for a moment and moved along. That's not the kind of reaction you want someone to have to your books, for cryin' out loud.

It's a shame this all happened, because I think the illustration itself is really pretty good. It may not be the most accurate cover, and I'm glad there's going to be a revision that will make you happy. It will be good to have everyone feeling satisfied here.

That said, sometimes artists don't deliberately "whitewash" things... sometimes the art direction is vague, and there's no sinister intent. It bugs me how effortlessly I've been seeing some people throw around that word nowadays, here and other places. To be fair, I don't think anyone here has blamed the artist specifically, and that's good since we outsiders don't know who was the person, if anyone, to say "make these characters look X way". Sometimes art direction leaves out ridiculously important things like that.

Cat: It's probably not something you want to answer, and I totally respect if you don't, but do you know who was really the trigger-puller on wanting the characters to look the way they look, or if it was even in the art direction at all?

For my part, I know I read the hell out of whatever I'm supposed to illustrate and make sure I try to accurately represent the characters visually. Do you know if the artist had access to the manuscript and read it? If they had a real dialogue about the characters?

I agree that the cover needs to be reworked if it's causing this much discomfort. I feel for the artist, though, who's probably feeling like hammered crap over it all. Which is a shame, since she/he is a damn fine painter.

Good point. It is *not* the artists fault if they were given bad instructions from the get go. I liked the artwork a lot, but felt it really belonged to another book and was accidently paired with hers instead of where it belonged.

That said, sometimes artists don't deliberately "whitewash" things... sometimes the art direction is vague, and there's no sinister intent.

But why is the default assumption that the characters would be white unless specified otherwise?

I'm glad it's getting reworked. Can't wait to see the fionished version on a shelf somewhere.

That's wonderful to hear!

Just go with the Ghost Rider cover!

SO glad the ethnicity issue is being fixed! YAY! And everything else too :)


I'm so glad people spoke up and were listened to! *HUGS*


I did like the cover, but it belonged to another book. It had nothing to do with what has been said about your story.

Happy! I know the book's going to be good; now the cover can match, and be more reflective of your work! It's wonderful that you got such a response from people who like what you do!

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