Sunday, July 19, 2015


Normally, I'm a tad superstitious about illustrating the characters in my novels.

As a reader (and all writers are readers first), I hate it when a book I'm reading has the "wrong" artwork, especially on the cover—that is, a different face or image than the one I'm creating in my head as I read along.

Reading is the original interactive pastime, and the reader has to do a lot of the legwork of bringing the character(s) to life in her own imagination. So it's always a jolt when, every time I close the book, the wrong face is staring back at me.

On the other hand, as the writer, I make dozens of character sketches for myself; I need to know what they look like from one scene to the next. (Eye color, hair color, which cheek has the mole, which hand has the hook, etc.)

I usually don't share these images. But this has been a big month for Beast, the hero of my next book, Beast: A Love Story. Last week, I signed the contract with my new publisher Candlewick Press. This week, I hit the 'send' button on the first draft completed under the careful eye of my new editor, Kaylan Adair. So I thought it was time to give Beast a face and introduce him to the public!

This won't be the ultimate image, I'm sure. As my concept of the character, or my skill, improve, maybe I'll come up with something closer to the essence of my Beast.

But this is what he looks like right now—evolving before our eyes!

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