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Sycorax’s Daughters

How time flies!!

Am I still around? Of course! If you’re a writer, you’ll still write. Maybe… not as often as I did years ago, but it still continues. And why is that? Well…after completing a goal, or a dream, knowing that it can be done, things then become, well, quite relaxed.

You get sidetracked keeping up with all the wonderful TV series like: Once Upon A Time, Westworld, Walking Dead, Orphan Black, The Originals, Expanse, Dark Matter, American Horror Story, Game of Thrones, and some least satisfying series like Colony, and The 100. That’s just a few of the sidetracks of indulgence. There’s also work, raising offspring, and day-to-day maintenance of life.

Years seem to go by, and it’s still on your mind to do some updates on your blog, or website, but you just don’t get around to actually doing it. LOL!

Then, one year, you get invited to do a collaboration effort with other authors, that actually completes and goes into fruition! And the following book was born and available on Amazon and several other places, January 2017!

A list of the authors and their poems and stories are at the ISFDB Site. I’m the only novelette on the list: Perfect Connection. I guess I was a bit long. LOL!!


Kinitra Brooks contacted me through my Facebook, and my LinkedIn, and my Twitter, in March 2014. I guess she wanted to make sure she covered all areas and didn’t miss a communication with me. LOL! I’m pretty sure she got my name from author Alicia McCalla, because Alicia did an interview on her website of me back in 2012.

Alicia had changed her website so it lost all the comments that were in response to the interview, but it’s still up there–Guest Fest: Deana Zhollis Discusses Sexual Slavery in Her Cinderella Fairy Tale.

Thus Kinitra Brooks wrote to me…

I am writing a critical monograph, Searching for Sycorax: Black Women in Contemporary Horror, for a university press, examining the unique positionality of Black women horror creators as subversive pioneers in both Horror studies and Black feminist literary theory….

Searching for Sycorax excavates and illuminates a Black women’s aesthetic of horror—applicable to literature, film, and/or comic books—that uncovers and privileges the multiplicity of subversions that are made manifest in the lives of African diasporic women. ….

I am interested in possibly including an analysis or reference of your work in Searching for Sycorax and would appreciate it if you would send me an electronic file of your books….

I was happy to support, especially with an educational direction, and sent copies of my books.

Then in June 2015, Kinitra sent me an invitation letter to invite me to join the Anthology work that she wanted to do. And I had until January 2016 to write up a selection of work that fit what she had in mind for the Anthology.

In October 2016, she did an interview, and dropped a coin to mention the project: Interview with Dr. Kinitra Brooks, Who Teaches a Class on Beyonce.

Funny…. The way that each of these women define what I write isn’t exactly how I looked at it. Sexual Slavery? Horror? Because of them, I had to rethink the category of my work. Naive me was thinking that all my writing was simply some Erotic Science Fiction writing.

Horror? I definitely wasn’t thinking in that category at all!

When I wrote to Kinitra that’s how I thought of it, she spoke on her idea on the Anthology: “..the premise is that Black women redefine horror when they write it.”

I was like, “Huh.”

I kinda liked that idea. Redefining Horror. So, I told her…
Count me in!

New Cover for Tirna Magique

I’ve never liked the idea of changing my covers. I really, really, really like my covers the way they are! But, sometimes, one must do what the majority has decided. And the majority has decided that my cover for Tirna Magique was just too “young” looking for the content of my novel.

Sigh… I really liked that cover!

So, I went back to my cover designer, who, unfortunately, is no longer working full time for authors, but is still available for long term loyal clients. THANK GOODNESS! Even though it might take her a bit more time to produce, since she now works full-time for a major company, I’ll wait forever for her art!

The first suggestion from my cover designer was that she felt that what was saying “young adult” the strongest was the colors and the fantasy creatures. So, she added a black border around the characters.

Original Cover
First Suggestion Update
Tirna Magique 2nd Color Tirna Magique rough draft

But I LOVE my fantasy creatures!! Next, idea was to aged the women. I wanted something to show a bit sex appeal and suggested daisy dukes. I know. I was desperate LOL!! My cover designer basically said, “Oh no!” She never sees grown women wearing daisy dukes! LOL!! Honestly, she suggested, let’s just skip that idea. LOL!!

2nd update — She gave the purple and turquoise shirts, Tank-tops; added a bit of cleavage for the red shirt; a bit of belly-showing on the green shirt; took off the backpacks (though in the novel they did use them, but backpacks make them look younger); and darkened the background.

Original Cover
Second Suggestion Update
Tirna Magique 2nd Color Tirna_magique_firstupdate

Still…it just wasn’t meeting the criteria. My cover designer said again, it was the “visual cues” that was missing the target. She finally came up with the answer.

In the Tirna Magique cover, people are taking the visual cues of color, i.e. purple trees, and the fantasy creatures in the background that we psychologically associate with children and stories for a younger audience when they are trying to interpret the intended audience for the book. But since you really don’t want to lose those aspects, my thought is to remove the women from that environment and set them in a more informational neutral background which will help break the association of the characters with the young adult vibe and works with the whole traveling between worlds part of the storyline.

Original Cover
Final Redesigned Cover
Tirna Magique 2nd Color TM_Final

Yes! Yes! and more Yes!

This definitely helped in what was needed!! It’s probably not completely away from the “young adult” feel, but it’s close enough. I get to keep my unicorn and mermaid, and the characters also have a background and image of looking older. It also gives that vibe of going from a bleak environment to a radiant one, which is the theme of all my books. It definitely fits!!

Here again is my wonderful new cover! I’ve already uploaded to Amazon and


And, you know…? I actually like this one just as much as the other one.
Lesson learned: Changing doesn’t hurt as bad as I thought.

Until Next Time!bite

See the previous post for Tirna Magique’s (FIRST) Book Cover design steps.
See the previous post for Creations’s Book Cover design steps.
See the previous post for Jetta’s Book Cover design steps.
See the previous post for Irid’s Book Cover design steps.
See the previous post for Ruby, Flesh and Heart Cover design steps.
See the previous post for The Made Cover design steps.
See the previous post for The 9th Symbol design steps.

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