Takami Chika Caption: Even though I thought dates belong only to the world of dreams— it’s kind of embarrassing♡
Uwaah~, to think that the word date would actually appear in my life, it’s the first time this has happened, the first time~!!! Ehehe♡ Though it’s a bit embarrassing, I’m happy my first date is with you— It puts me slightly more at ease. Even though I still have no idea what we should do, it’s great that we’ll definitely have fun just being together, right?
Sakurauchi Riko Caption: I still don’t know much about Uchiura— so please lead me along♡
Even though you came all the way to Uchiura, I only just moved here so I’m still unfamiliar with the area, sorry for that—. But thanks to that, when I think about how that means I’ll be able to see all sort of sights in this town for the first time together with you, it makes me feel extremely happy♡ It would be great if the weather was good on the day of our date♪
Matsuura Kanan Caption: A date— It would be great so long as we could spend a day together having fun, so come on, let’s go!
A date, you say— It’s just, spending a day together— right? No- no, of course I wouldn’t be nervous over something like that—. Ah, it’s just, I have a request. Since it’s one of our rare days off, won’t you come with me to the sea? There’s lots of sceneries I want to show you— Pretty please?♡♡
Kurosawa Dia Caption: To actually want a date with me— you have quite the nerve, I admire that♡♡
To pick me would mean— that you believe yourself to be a suitable match for me, right? — Haha! Lovely♡ I like that confidence. When we meet— I will welcome you with a date worthy of that confidence♡ Look forward to it♡♡
Watanabe You Caption: For my first date, I hope it’s a sports date that even I can understand easily!!
If it’s a first date, it’s definitely gotta be watching a sports game! That’s the obvious choice right? That’s what I thought but— Nope. There’s nowhere like that around here. What should we do… Ah, I got it! How about watching my high-diving performance? That’s a splendid sport to watch too. I’ll show off my Yousoro high dive♡♡
Tsushima Yoshiko Caption: You’re really coming with me? Very well, if that’s the case I’ll just have to steal you away—♡
You want to date a demon like me? Then even if our destination is hell— is that fine? You’re just a normal human, so you’ll definitely be burnt to a crisp by the fires of hell— Hehe♡ If even that is fine with you— Very well. I shall protect you. Let’s descend to the very depths of hell—.
Kunikida Hanamaru Caption: Strolling together on our day off— I would be very happy if we could do that zura! Ehehe♡
On days off with good weather, I always take a book and go on a stroll by the seaside. And then, I would sit in the quiet shade of the trees— and read my book. At times like those, if there was someone next to me reading a book the same way— somehow that makes my heart throb, it would definitely make me extremely happy zura♡♡
Ohara Mari Caption: I’ll dress up extremely fashionably just for you, so come meet me alright?♡
Hi♡ Thank you very much for using your day off just for my sake! I’m extremely happy♪— No way, even though it’s a date, you’re not giving me any greeting hugs or kisses? In that case— since it’s sad to not have one, I’ll be the one to give you one instead~♡ Hey, remember this. Physical skinship is very important on a date with me♡ Definitely, okay?
Kurosawa Ruby Caption: Dates are definitely impossible… Ruby’s small heart might explode from the excitement!
Da-da-date— Uhm, a date, such a thing— it’s way too early for me~!!! In the first place I’m shy— and I’m androphobic—. It’s definitely impossible… Uwaah, but if there happens to be someone in this world okay with such a Ruby, I’ll be counting on you. Jeez, I will have to get married with my eyes closed—.
I had a lot of fun with this cover (Origin #3) because it gave me the opportunity to use negative space in a big way where it dominates the majority of the cover. It also appeals to my lazy side.
What often surprises people is how sometimes elements that you’d think would be simpler to render than human anatomy take more time and finesse. As long as it took me to nail the figure of James, Rose’s dress and the way it falls behind her while slightly catching the wind took considerably longer as did the trail of blood. I need medical attention that I’ve been putting off for a long time…
Allow us to introduce Rags & Bones: New Twists on Timeless Tales, edited by Melissa Marr and Tim Pratt. Out October 22nd, 2013.
WHO: Melissa Marr, Tim Pratt, Carrie Ryan, Charles Vess, Garth Nix, Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Rick Yancey, Margaret Stohl, Kelley Armstrong, Kami Garcia, Saladin Ahmed, Gene Wolf. (Yup!) WHAT: Twelve fresh takes on timeless and twisted tales* + six illustrations from Charles Vess. Have you ever wondered what Neil Gaiman would do with a story like “Sleeping Beauty?” Wonder no longer. WHEN: Once upon a time…or something like that. WHERE: Here, there, and everywhere.
*Sir Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene - Saladin Ahmed W. W. Jacobs’s “The Monkey’s Paw” - Kelley Armstrong Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Carmilla” - Holly Black “Sleeping Beauty” - Neil Gaiman The Brothers Grimm’s “Rumpelstiltskin” - Kami Garcia Kate Chopin’s The Awakening - Melissa Marr Rudyard Kipling’s “The Man Who Would Be King” - Garth Nix Henry James’s “The Jolly Corner” - Tim Pratt E. M. Forster’s “The Machine Stops” - Carrie Ryan Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto - Margaret Stohl William Seabrook’s “The Caged White Werewolf of the Saraban” - Gene Wolfe Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birth-Mark” - Rick Yancey
We certainly made our feelings known back in February with regards to the cover for Altered by Jennifer Rush. And while we didn’t think it could be done, the cover design team has cooked up an even better look for the paperback which comes out in December.
(Plus the new cover looks smolderingly fantastic next to the cover for the sequel, Erased, out in January.)
Over the last twenty-four hours, I watched the fandom go from elation from a sexy EW cover to a near constant attack on the same cover. I have seen the fandom declare, “THIS ISN’T JUST A ROMANCE” TO “THIS IS SOFT CORE PORN”. I have seen people say the cover appeals to the lowest common denominator and that the show/books might be “too smart” for people. I have seen people say that EW should have put something else on the cover to show the history of Culloden. I have seen statements that the pictures are cheap, sexist, and too much like a romance novel. I have seen people insult romance novels and bodice rippers. I have seen misogyny towards Cait and her nudity. Frankly, the things I have seen are nothing short of concerning.
My name is Katie and I am twenty-eight years old. The books came out when I was four and while I was a pretty smart kid…I think the book was a little bit too advanced for my Disney princess tastes. The great thing about literature though is that it is timeless…Shakespeare, Austen, Dickens…they grab our attention to this day, despite the fact they have been dead for a very, very long time. But I digress. I am twenty-eight years old. I am smack dab in the middle of the coveted 18-49 demographic, but more importantly, I’m in the HIGHLY coveted 18-34 demographic. I am an advertiser’s wet dream. I’m unmarried, childless, don’t have a mortgage, and am employed. This all translates to: I HAVE DISPOSABLE INCOME.
(I’m assuming these advertisers don’t understand student loans.)
I am willing to spend my money on Funko dolls. I will buy t-shirts. I will go to Conventions. I will buy digital magazine subscriptions. I will spend my free time on social media, spreading the word about a show. I am part of the age group that has created an internet language to explain how I feel about the show. I am part of the generation that has saved shows with campaigns to networks. My time is my own, my money is my own (mostly), and I will throw myself into a show. I am the dream fan.
The Outlander fandom claims to not want me. It claims I can’t possibly understand the complexity of the books, of what a powerful love is. It shuns me because I am young, because I am sexually carefree, because I watch TV and movies as much as I read books. I join this fandom with the intention of working my experience in fandom (fourteen years worth) to bring attention to the show, to fawn over stars, to behave as every fandom does but I am told I am not wanted.
I get friends to join the fandom. “WATCH THIS SHOW!!!!!!” I send out on social media with a gif of Jamie Fraser smirking. “Why?” My friends reply. “Because THIS” I reply with a pic of Jamie Fraser’s ass. They watch the show, try to join the fandom, and are chased out by people telling them to read the books. They are chased out by people telling them their desires are stupid. That the point of Outlander is the HISTORY and the POLITICAL INTRIGUE. They quietly leave the fandom. But I stay.
I am told I am the lowest common denominator because I like sex. I am told that which usually drives a fandom is cheap or worthless. A cover comes out of the two leads in a passionate and sexy embrace, of a witty frowny face emoji because the hot male lead is wearing pants and I am told that cover is tawdry, sexist, and wrong.
Outlander fandom, you want me. Starz wants me. Forty percent of the viewers last year were men, so that demographic (though they don’t spend as much as women in the 18-49/18-34 demographic) is covered. But the numbers for the coveted age group are down. Is it because we watch TV differently? Maybe. But no show can survive without this demographic, without my demographic. I know this because I’ve been watching TV for a long time, and every single ad is geared towards me. It’s not a secret. It’s fact.
So the marketing is geared towards my age group. We are more sexually liberal, we are comfortable with our sexual desires. So sex catches our eyes, because as women, we firmly believe that we should be able to drool over a hot man as a man is allowed to drool over us. We don’t want our sexual desires muted or shunned anymore. We don’t want to be told we’re the lowest common denominator. We aren’t. We know we aren’t.
The world is changing, fandom is changing and developing. Marketing is geared towards catching our attention and then allowing the show to keep it. Yes, Outlander has history and political intrigue…that will keep my attention. IT is good enough to keep my attention. But what originally grabs my eye is the defiant look in Claire’s eyes as she is wrapped around a hot man. “I like sex,” her look tells me. “I am powerful, I am strong, and this man is at my mercy.”
For once, it is not, “I am at this man’s mercy.”
For once, it’s, “This man is at my mercy.”
Please, allow the 18-34 demographic to come into the fandom. Please allow us to enjoy the things we enjoy without cheapening them, without taking away their value.
For a certain percentage of the population, the cover of Jennifer Rush’sAltered is…well…um…incredibly easy to look at. Kinda makes you go:
We asked Jennifer’s editors to take us to where the magic happened and man oh man did they deliver. If you’re so inclined, see below for five abalicious (for lack of a better word) shots from the Altered cover shoot.
Pondering his character’s backstory.
A little to the left, a little to the right, perfect.
Best. Photo. Shoot. Ever.
Our cover model Max joins the photographer and videographer to review some footage after the shoot. Looking good, guys!
It makes sense. Ellie does work in an ice cream parlor, after all. Plus, the whole thing is about a summer in Maine, an unexpected match, and HAPPY. What’s happier than ice cream? (Hint: nothing.) So, inspired by Ellie and the wide open summer that is so close we can taste it, Team Novl compiled The Ultimate Ice Cream Road Trip.
Please, go forth, read, road trip, and get happy. Don’t forgot to ask for sprinkles.