Monday, March 14, 2016

Amazing Writing Moments: Heartstrikers Fan Art!

Here on Pretentious Title, we talk a lot about the professional, technical, artistic, and financial sides of writing, but while that's all well and good, there's another very important part of being a writer that I have sorely neglected, and that is the all important fandom angle.

Despite our lack of red carpets and endorsement deals, writing is most definitely a glam industry. People dream of being writers just like they dream of being musicians or actors, and the ones who do make it work their butts off to get there. For good reason, too, because things happen for writers that just don't happen for most of humanity, like, for example, fans making amazing fan art for your stories!


Forget red carpets, this is the best thing ever! I originally found these pictures on the amazing Goodreads reviews for Nice Dragons Finish Last and One Good Dragon Deserves Another, and I don't think I stopped smiling for a week. (Don't know what those books are? Check out my Heartstrikers series here!) This art is all by Gergana Hristova. (Check out her site at!), and I LOVE IT. 

I genuinely can not express how thrilled it makes me to see someone else's (far more talented) interpretation of my imaginary friends characters. It makes me fangirl about my own stuff. But how can I not?! I mean, just look at Justin and Julius!

Are they not the best?! And just look at Bob (complete with pigeon!)

How can I not look at these and feel like a rockstar?! I know I go on and on about being a professional writer and making a living, but that's all just practical adult stuff. You know, the part of me that has to pay off a house. When I get art like this, though, made by someone who genuinely enjoyed the story I wrote, THAT's when I feel the really giddy joy that makes me remember why I dreamed of being a writer in the first place.

I mean, just look at Marci and Ghost!

How can I not be delighted? READERS, I CAN NOT NOT. Looking at these makes me squee for years. I mean, check out Bethesda!

And Amelia?! OMG Amelia. (Or should I say, Aaaaaaaa-meila)
Mother/daughter issues much?
Straight up, I had a different mental image in my head when I wrote her, but the moment I saw this, this became my Amelia. That's the power of good fan art. It was so good, so absolutely what I was trying to do, it changed the story cannon in my head. I mean, damn.

And it's not just major characters, either. Check out Ian! And the Cs, Chelsie and Conrad (all of whom will have big roles in book 3)!

And let's not forget our star villainess, Estella!

(deep breaths)

I know, I know, I'm freaking out, but I can't help it! I mean, Gergana, of her own volition, chose and illustrated one of my absolute favorite scenes from One Good Dragon Deserves Another, when Estella confronts Julius in the hallway to draw out Bob.
She even got Bob's bathrobe!! (And Julius's look of unholy terror). Not joke, I legit had heart flutters of happiness when I saw this. All of it, really. It's more cartoony than the covers, but I feel the art really gets the feel of the story and the characters in it, and that makes me happier than words can say.

There are many, many reasons to want to be a writer--fame, money, making a living doing what you love, getting to tell stories all the time--but the best, the best, is stuff like this. When fans read your story and love it so much, they're make their own fanart or fanfic or whatever of your characters and your world, that's amazing. I know it sounds cliche, but my fans truly are the best part of my job, and when I see art or read a gushing review, or see someone I've never met on Twitter talking about my stories like they love them, like they know them inside and out, I feel a happiness no money could ever buy.

Getting to fan out with my fans over these stories that I loved so much, I spent years writing them is one of the true unsung treasures of being a storyteller. It is a joy that is absolutely worth all the work, and I am so so so grateful to all of you for making this possible.

So grateful, in fact, that we decided to something in return!

To thank you all for being so patient waiting for book 3 to come out (which should be this summer!), we commissioned Gergana to draw some custom, high res Julius and Marci art!!But not just any Julius and Marci. We wanted to show Julius as a dragon, something that hasn't been illustrated on the covers yet. Fantastically for us, Gergana was willing, so we worked with her to show the littlest Feathered Serpent in all his glory!

Click the pic to download the full size!

Taaa daaa!!! Isn't he ADORABLE? I loved the feathers and how happy he looks (Enjoy your happiness while it lasts, Julius... BWA HA HA HA ha ha ha AH HA HA HA #evilauthor). Ahem, anyway, this art is for you guys! We're going to be using it on our stuff, of course, but feel free to take it and use it however you want. Make icons! Make backgrounds! Print it out and put it on your wall! Do whatever you want, and then please show me what you did via Social Media (TwitterFacebookTumblrGoogle+) because, in case you haven't noticed, this stuff makes me really happy!!! XD! 

Again, huge thanks go to Gergana Hristova for making all this possible. If you like her stuff as much as I do, please check out her site, because there's tons of awesome there!

As for Heartstrikers book 3, now titled No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished, there's a lot of big news coming! Seriously, you guys are going to LOVE THIS BOOK! I'll be posting stuff here and on Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Google+ as it comes out, so make sure to follow me for all that.

I hope you all enjoyed this post with as much fangirl delight as I had making it!! As always, thank you so so SOOOOOO much for reading my posts and my books. I'll be back on Wednesday with a craft post as always, but until then, enjoy the pretty pictures! 

Yours always,


Paul Weimer said...

Wow, neat! I really like the Estrella in particular.

Kessie said...

I just fangirl SQUEEE'd so hard! I LOVE all the art, but Julius in particular as a dragon! He's so ADORBS! He'd fit right in with the How to Train Your Dragons crowd. :-D

Ken Hughes said...

"I thought purple was your favorite color."

"Not any more."


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Busy Woman said...

Super sweet fan pics!!! I love 'em!!

Christof Bradford said...

That picture only serves to fuel my desire to see the baby photos of 'J' clutch.

Teagan Marie said...

I just finished binge reading the first two books and it makes me love this art even more

Baronger said...

Just finished bingeing the two books, something I haven't one in a while (darn it why does adulting take up so much time.

Love the a-Amelia but really love the two brothers it encapsulates the relationship so well.

Looking forward to more a-Amelia.

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