The thing I love best about being an indie author is the freedom. I have control over every creative step – deciding on formats, designing the covers, directing the editing process. Yes, it is for the most part, a lot of work, but the creative process is nothing short of intoxicating to me. I could go on and on about every little facet that I enjoyed, but I have to make myself stop, and focus.
Ah! The beauty of illustrations
In today’s post I want to highlight one aspect – illustrations! Illustrations, you might ask. And you would be totally justified in asking. Maia’s story falls in the YA category, so why on earth would you put in illustrations? First of all, because I liked the idea – it sounded fun. And I realized that illustrations would add so much by explaining the unfamiliar concepts I introduce in my story. Even with a lot of conviction, the decision to follow through was not a slam dunk though – I got a lot of advice on how illustrations in a YA book goes against the rules of the genre, how illustrations are sometimes frowned upon because they constrict imagination. But then, I thought, if being an indie author I was not willing to take a risk and follow my heart, who would?
So, I embarked on a search for an illustrator to bring my world to life. I did not have to look to far. Ron, then a fellow author in my Writers’ Critique Group (Rockville Writers’ Group), introduced me to Nora Meek. I met with Nora and I was extremely impressed with the style and her ability to translate my words into gorgeous visuals. And, so began our collaboration. We met a few times to discuss my vision for the novel and mostly coordinated online to create about ten wonderful illustrations that I was proud to add to the book.
Here are a couple of my favorites of the bunch, the one where Maia practices her swordplay in Appian.
And then the spaceport of Arpasgula, from where Maia journeys into Xif.
Now I can’t wait to get to working on the illustrations for my second book.