Thursday, February 6, 2014

My Gorgeous Illustrator and the Cheshire House

In 2012, my friend and writer Pavarti K Tyler challenged her associates to contribute to an anthology of erotica stories.  I've never worked in that genre, although parts of David Priest dip into the dirty, but I'm willing to try anything.

However, the project failed to come together.  Still, I had this erotica story sitting around so I decided to publish it as an ebook.  All I really needed was a cover for The Cheshire House.

I asked my wife to produce a winking cat with a mischievous smile and full, feminine lips.   She began searching the web for various images to inspire her.  She looked at eyes, both feline and human.  She looked at lips, both real and cartoon.  Finally, she found her best model in our own cat.

Her sketchbook began to bloom with feline faces at various angles with various expressions.  She erased and re-drew.  I really hate to see erasing and wish she'd just turn to another page, but I can't mess with her process.  I always figure you should always keep every draft around for later use or comparison.  But I can't draw at all, so I shut up.

Gradually she progressed from a fairly ordinary cat to one with luscious lips.  She denied having any ability to make it wink so I asked her for a twinkle in the eye.  She said should couldn't do twinkles.  Eventually, she had something I was satisfied with.

But she was not satisfied.  She couldn't explain what was missing but wouldn't let me publish until she found it.  Next time I turned around, she had this:

This feline-fetale had what I wanted all along.  She knew something.  Something sultry and mysterious.  I wanted to know, but she wouldn't tell me.

She was perfect.

I added a shade of color to the background.  Something between a lady's rogue and Pinot Noir. I tucked in the title and my name.  Finit.

My Gorgeous Illustrator still thinks she has no talent and no one but me likes her work.  Tell @jajamilevska she's wrong on Twitter.

Oh, and you can get The Cheshire House at Smashwords for 99 cents.