My favourite fictional device is the odd juxtaposition. Putting two unexpected things together can not only help to bust cliches where possible, but also to keep the poor writer entertained as she drills out her daily word count. So in The Creature Court trilogy, my most powerful character has the little brown mouse as her totem creature, my most dangerous character (yes, really, that one) plays a prancing clown in his day job, and I provided my flappers with swords.
The flappers and indeed the swords are not in any way the most important part of my story. But in my head, that image sums up exactly what the books mean to me. The 1920’s elements in the world building are jammed up against Victoriana, Edwardiana, Roman festivals, and there’s even a cameo appearance of steampunk in the final volume. There are shape-changers and court politics, there is the sky opening up and raining death upon cities below, or even swallowing cities whole. There is love and death and smut and horror and hatred and fear and blood and quite a lot of people arguing in public instead of (or um as well as) ripping each other’s clothes off.
But the cover image I most longed for to represent the books as a whole was one of my flappers with a sword. I angled for this with every volume, and was very excited to finally get one with Book Three, Reign of Beasts. But while I love my covers, none of them quite have the ‘1920’s’ vibe that I crave. So when I decided to commission a piece of artwork from Kathleen Jennings (the queen of nostalgic fashion plates) to illustrate this blog tour, and promote the availability of the Creature Court books outside (HOORAY!) Australia, this was the first and only image that came to mind.
Kathleen was slightly evil and sketched me a whole bunch of gorgeous, glorious and quite different flappers with swords, only one of which I could take for this particular project, but which she is holding in reserve for me (EVIL, I TELL YOU) should they be necessary at a later date. Of course they will be. Flappers are essential!
Myself, this particular flapper and her sword will be visiting a few different blogs this week, to talk about all manner of topics including fantasy fiction, history, Batman and frocks. I hope you enjoy coming along for the ride! I’ll put up link updates every few days, and do one big fancy round up at the end.
If you want to get into the spirit of promoting the Creature Court with me this week (and none of you should feel in anyway obliged – just reading my blog is more than enough support, and I appreciate it!) then the best way would be to put up a review of one of my books on Amazon/the Kindle store. Just a few extra reviews can make all the difference.