This might be the pose you’re looking for

If you follow the SF/F blogs and so forth, you’re probably aware of the “discussion” being waged over the depiction of women on our covers. I use the quotes because what could be an important exchange of ideas usually goes to strident name-calling and wild accusations at warp speed. I’ve stopped reading the posts and the comments because they make me angry. I’m starting revisions for FORTUNE’S BLIGHT and I’m already angry enough at myself for a thousand points of sucking to tack anything else on.

It’s hard for me to jump into these forums and yell, “Here’s my cover! Someone’s getting it right!” without looking like a super-icky self-promoter, so I want to take a moment here to raise a cheer to Tor, art director Irene Gallo, editor Stacy Hill, and artist Kekai Kotaki for getting the cover of BLOOD’S PRIDE so very, very right. The depiction of the character is amazingly true to the text, right down to her wardrobe (not at all something to be taken for granted); she’s in a perfectly natural and quite powerful pose; she’s compelling, and I think pretty damned sexy without being objectified.

In fact, if you tried to objectify her, I’m pretty sure she’d cut you. With your own knife.

Of course not everyone likes this cover, which is ABSOLUTELY FINE. People like what they like. No biggee. Really. I know for a fact that there are people out there who have chosen not to read the book because the cover was such a turn-off to them. But if you’re looking for an example of another way to depict women on SF/F covers, I think this is an excellent one. So have at it.

Seriously, though – she will cut you.

4 thoughts on “This might be the pose you’re looking for

  1. Glad to hear you say that: I actually looked up your website just because I saw your book in a store, and loved the cover so much. I know the proverb says not to judge, but I’m only human and will probably end up reading the book for that very shallow reason!

    I’m at least somewhat familiar with the discussion to which you refer, and was curious what was being said about this cover. I’m inclined to agree with your analysis, but being a heterosexual male I tend not to trust my instincts on this. So I am relieved to hear you for one do like it.

    • Your shallowness is not only forgiven, but applauded, sir! I never saw this cover mentioned in any of those discussions, which I think is a pity, but I’m a new author and not on everyone’s radar. I thought I’d talk about it here, since bringing it up on someone else’s blog might appear self-serving.

      I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that you found it in this magical place called a “book store.” The hardbacks don’t hang around in stores very long these days. I’ll tell you, if you ever want to inflict deep spiritual pain on an author, just tell them, “Oh, I was going to buy your book today, but the store didn’t have it.”

  2. Glad I took the time to look you up!

    I read Blood’s Pride a few months ago before I moved to Kansas City, Missouri and I’m glad I did. It felt like it was your first novel (in a good way) and I loved it. Great twists and turns! What caught me was that cover artwork. Was nice to see a female character not wearing confusing/highly sexual clothing. When I read it it truly felt like the picture fit the character.

    Wtb more Mongrel. Thanks for the good read and looking forward to Fortune’s Blight. It helps me with my own style. :)

    • Thanks a lot, Derrell! I’m so glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for taking the chance on a new author, kick-ass cover art aside. :-) Good luck with your own writing!

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