Yes. I write Mainstream Science Fiction under my given name, Sandra Stixrude. I've had some really gnarly covers for these over the years as the series followed me from one bad publisher decision to another (though I will admit the Silver covers were nice - of course, we all know what happened there...) So when I took them back and placed the Anchorage series with Mischief Corner, I thought I'd take a shot in the dark and find an actual illustrator for the covers. Every SFF authors dream, right? To have actual characters, critters, and scenes from the book on the cover.
Which led me to Catherine Dair, who was working on a project with Josh Lanyon at the time. I'd seen her work and I loved the little dragon she'd drawn for her FB icon. I thought she would be way out of my reach, monetarily, but it doesn't hurt to ask. So I asked. Turns out, Catherine is sweet and kind, funny and quirky, and oh, so patient with us neurotic authors. Today's release is my third Catherine cover - and I've loved every minute of working with her. No one else has given me both a leemacat and a harduk, after all ;)
So - a bit about the new release and then I want to do a revisit of the artwork for the first three down below.
Obligations of Blood: Anchorage 3
Ancient voices reveal a terrible secret: human scientists created the kresnas, devourers of life and sanity. Not only created, but also used in terrible, torturous experiments, turning them against their creators.
Romenel's dilemmas pile up until he's lost in them. How can he destroy all the hordes of kresnas at once and is it morally defensible to do so? What other solution is there if humans are to survive? What should he do about the beautiful warrior, Kyliki, since he has no place in her world and she has none in his?
And, hang it all, if he can resolve these things, what in blazes is he going to do about the mess of a succession war raging back home?
And now, our cover gallery :) The first book, Marya, about an agoraphobic priestess who's handed more responsibility than anyone should ever have to face, was where Catherine very kindly and patiently led me through describing a harduk for her. "Well, it's this capybara antelope riding animal..." and so on. This is the full piece of artwork (Marya on the left, our fierce and intrepid Roke on the right, Windflower the harduk in the back there):
And here's the cover - see what Freddy did with the text here? All snowy :D
The second cover, for Voyage Into Twilight, is one we're all especially proud of. Catherine's version of Romenel is just so yummy, we've plastered him everywhere. Here's the full artwork first, with Hush the lemmacat perched on the railing:
And then the cover with the misty, fog-bound letters :D
For our third cover, Catherine wanted to do something action-y, so she picked a scene in the kresnas tunnels with Romenel (of course, we had to have him again, lol) and Kyliki, with a threatening kresnas shadow that went on the back of the paperback cover. So, full artwork first:
And the cover with the glowy, phosphorescent letters (so cool!):
Catherine has the fourth book to read now - can't wait to see what she does next!
Angel writes (mostly) Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around queer heroes. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head, she has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.