Art Quest and Oz

I have looked at so many fantasy art images this week that tiny dragons have burned themselves into my retinas. The original piece I had been looking at for the Kitemaster collection is by Jenna Vincent. Click the thumbnail for a larger view, and check out some of her other work while you’re there.

This pic doesn’t actually match the details of the story “Kitemaster,” but I think it captures the whimsical tone of the collection.

Sadly for me, this was a personal commission, and the rights weren’t available. But I wanted to link y’all to her site and this pic anyway, ’cause I like it.

I had been hoping to get the rights to use a completed piece, because I’m a cheap bastard and don’t have the budget most New York publishers do, but I’m also very picky. At this point, I’ve e-mailed another artist about doing a cover image on commission, and we’ll see what happens.

Once again, this process is giving me new reasons to appreciate my publisher. I’m sure they’ve got a Rolodex of potential artists ready to go, but taking the time to go through that list, match up the artist’s style to the book in question, negotiate the work … it’s more hours of behind-the-scene work that I don’t have to worry about, freeing me to do more important things like catch the season finales of Criminal Minds and Castle.


On a totally different note, I’ve been reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to my six-year-old, and he’s loving it. So am I. This is a big book for him, and I’m reading it from my iPhone, so there are no pictures. But we go through 2-3 chapters every night, and he’s already told me he wants to read the second book when we’re done.

(He was especially impressed when I mentioned that a friend of mine had actually written two three Oz books. That was much cooler than those goblin and princess books Daddy writes.)

I love that he’ll put the Nintendo DS down and hurry to get ready for bed so we can read. I love that he talks about the book, about the golden cap that controls the flying monkeys and the Tin Woodman’s heart and whether it would be better to have a brain or a heart. I love that his big sister stopped reading her own book last night to listen.

I want to say something like, “Behold the power of books,” but that would be cheesy. It’s true though. I don’t know how long it will last, but for now, we’re spending our evenings on the couch together, me reading and scrolling through the pages on my phone while he wiggles and squirms and listens, and it’s wonderful.