Well, might you ask, what has all of this got to do with the other?
Nothing actually, but it got you reading this hasn't it!
I've been illustrating my contribution to For Rich For Poor entitled tentatively:
POUR PLUS RICHE, POUR PLUS PAUVRE
L’Ermite de Blamain
My story is set in the Regency Times. I think I haven't enjoyed writing a novel more than this one. First of all, it was the first time I've dabbled in anything other than Jane Austen. And it was so much fun. And illustrating these characters was an extension of this, given that graphic novels are the new BIG THING.
The writing of a Regency is quite demanding. And I was told that Regency readers are also very fussy. Given that I am a Jane Austen fan, literature and the modern extension of her work - visual media, once I'd mastered the speech patterns, my whole concentration could fall naturally into creating authentic and believable characters. That is one of the charms of Austen. Her characters are very believable and she creates her world without using overdramatic artifice. She has a subtle way of comedy that avoids Charlie Chaplinesque overdrama.
The illustrations are being drawn in the style of cartoonists of the late 1800's. Charles Dana Gibson is an artist I absolutely adore. And as I gather my thoughts together on this day's blog, it makes quite statement on how exactly you imagine your characters when reading a novel. There is a 'feeling' of them, but you never quite see their faces. We are all used to the concept of seeing a character from our childhood experience in a picture book, but adults reading adult novels will develop that 'feel' rather than 'seeing' as one does in a movie. Of course once we have been given the picture that picture will always live with the character. Example, Colin Firth will forever be Darcy. Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh will forever be Rhett and Scarlett.
When I write I have a personal romance of my own with the characters. I fall in love with my heroes and probably put a lot of me into the one with whom they will fall in love. And, as an artist, thus being very very visual, my ability to draw will give me some added fuel in order not to desert my characters too fast once I have finished the novel.
So Estienne Devereaux, Duke of Blamain, lives on in my imagination.
By the way, in case any of you might be curious.
Blamain is an acronym for the suburb I live in in Sydney, Australia. Google the postcode and you will solve the puzzle. 2041
Damn you Colin Firth. Why couldn't you wait for Estienne. You rushed into playing Darcy so I guess Hugh Grant, you are cordially invited to...