I admit that I bring forward a blend of ideas from fantasy and fantasy sci fi literature I’ve read in the past. Much of it, readers may not have been exposed to. What they have, they’ll find in a new form, a different setting. Some can well be brought forward since it might otherwise get lost, on the dusty shelves of used book stores, or worse, moldering in attics. Some of my ideas are hybrids, expanding from synergies, occasionally breeding an entirely new element (at least that I’ve never encountered). I don’t claim to be seminal. Maybe my readers could argue with me about that.
Right now I’m negotiating for the cover of my first book in a fantasy sci fi series. It’s a dynamic process that I’m finding thrilling. For this series, I’ve requested original art, not a patching together of photos and computer graphics. I don’t want to illustrate my own book covers, even though I’ve drawn and made art all my life. There’s something I like about handing part of the process—namely, layout and design—over to others. For me, it’s enough to write the books, at this point. What might be unique as I work with an artist is that, because I’ve always drawn, I bring a visual mapping to the process, along with painting my concept in words. I chose images to go with my description for the Pakistani artist to weave together. I’m loving anticipating what she’ll form out of the combination. I’d far rather have a collaboration and see what happens than entirely control the process. I have a vision and would be ecstatic if the final product comes close to it. But I’d love to be fascinated by its difference, its divergence from my initial concept, as well.
Is this unique to me? I don’t know. We’re all unique!