Tea-cup Genie

More work in progress – illustrations for my book Crooks and Straights.

This is of a teacup genie.  It’s not finished yet, but nearly there.  At first I got the face all wrong.  Far too serene for this character.


Second attempt is better, but now he looks a bit too wise:


The teacup was fun to do:



Not finished yet – but it’s looking a lot better now.  Struggling a bit with all the pale shades of grey.  I think his face needs a bit more work…




Slow, slow progress of an illustration

This drawing gave me trouble.  I finally figured out that the composition wasn’t working and after I cropped it, things became better.


I wanted to use shades of grey this time round, rather than just black and white as in my previous book illustrations. First try didn’t go that well:


I went back to the text and found that there’s supposed to be a newspaper on the table under her, so that helped with the background.


It’s not finished yet, but mostly there.  Time to move onto a new drawing.



Geni gets a new face

More new drawings for “Crooks and Straights”.  This is of a geni  –  but I got his face wrong the first time round.  Below is the second attempt.  He’s supposed to be plump and quite friendly.



Gia’s Doll

Started another drawing for “Crooks and Straights”  – this one is of the doll my main character, Gia, makes.



A close-up of her face:



The beginning of a new drawing

The first rough drawing for my book “Crooks and Straights”

This is a door knocker that hangs on my main character’s door.  It’s based on a hamsa hand,  a two-thumbed hand with an eye on its palm, which is a very common good luck sign in many parts of our world.

In my story this door knocker acts as a ward against magic.  I think it’s going to get very much simplified 🙂


It’s Alive! Crooks and Straights exists at last

This is why I’ve not been putting up any new blog posts for so long:


My new book Crooks and Straights!  Ready for the proof-reader.

This is a whole new story, not a sequel to my earlier books.
It’s set in an alternate version of South Africa, where magical creatures live among the rest of us, but are second-class citizens. The growing Purist movement threatens to take over the government, and plan to eradicate all magicals they cannot use for their own purposes.  My heroine, Gia,  has a younger brother Nico, who is not quite normal.  Things go off the rails when Gia accidentally alerts Special Branch (the police force that deal with magical creatures) to the fact that there is something special about Nico…

I’m starting with the illustrations today.

Watch this space!


Nico emerges

Another character sketch.   This is Nico, younger brother of my main character.


Human plus dog equals rat, it seems

I had another go at drawing Brakman, a character from the book I’m writing at the moment.  To make sense of his name, you need to know that “brak” is a derogatory term for a mixed-breed dog.  I tried to draw a more doggy aspect of him first, and mix in some more human features – like the nose and eyes.  Came out looking remarkably like a rat 🙂

Brakman also looks a lot more competent and confident as a rat-dog than as a man.


This one did not come out quite as I planned

A new character sketch for the book I’m writing at the moment. This is Brakman.  He did not really come out as I imagined him.  He should have a sharper face.  But he looks sad and nervous, which is how he should be.


Creature drawings for my new book

I’m outlining my new book – something quite different this time, not part of The Sisters series (The Story Trap, The Broken Path).  I’m doing the world-building, figuring out how the story world works.  I find it helps a lot to draw potential characters or possible creatures.

This one is a kind of fairy that lives in a communal hive very much like wasps do:


This is a household creature,  the kind that will do little jobs for a saucer of milk, but will do mischief too, if you ignore or insult them. A sort of brownie or nisse:


This one is something like a garden hobgoblin.  She’s a lot more patient than the brownie:


And I’m not sure what this is.  A sort of scavenging feral creature?  A sort of ratling?


The Mermaid – she’s finished at last.

After a long break, I finally got round to finishing the Mermaid doll. Added some shells and sea-weed. Now all I have to do is figure out a display case or stand for her.

See the work in progress here:





The Broken Path: Cover reveal and first three chapters

I’m almost ready to publish The Broken Path, sequel to my book The Story Trap. The last stretch always takes the longest, so rather than waiting until everything is done I’m celebrating by showing off the cover and making the first few chapters available. I’ve also dropped the price of The Story Trap to 99c till the end of April.

So. Here it is, the cover for The Broken Path:


Those of you who have read The Story Trap will recognise the water-witch references 🙂

In the new story I brought back some of my favourite Story Trap characters like Miss Mouse and Hare. Esther has not given up the fight, and Pippa has to come to terms with her wounded hand. Some new characters feature too, like Rebecca’s nosy neighbour Clare and her gun-happy boyfriend Ryan.

You can read the first few chapters here.

Do you want to be notified when this book is published?  You can join my new release mailing list

I will not share your information with anyone.  You won’t receive many mails from me – I only send a notification when a new book is launched, and you can unsubscribe whenever you like

Introducing Porcupine

More work in progress illustrations for The Broken Path:

This time, a character called “Porcupine”.  She’s standing in front of the fountain in Company Gardens, late at night.
The first few lines:


Then the rest is painted in using only black and white:


The drawing is nearly done:


Do you want to be notified when this book is published?  You can join my new release mailing list

I will not share your information with anyone.  You won’t receive many mails from me – I only send a notification when a new book is launched, and you can unsubscribe whenever you like

Chapter Claws

I took a break from creating the cover of my new book to work on some of the decorations that will appear under the chapter headings. Here are some options. All derived from crab claws. The first is my favourite at the moment:






Broken Path cover: Work in Progress

I finally got going on the design for the cover of “The Broken Path”.  It’s a challenge, as it needs to work on its own, and look similar enough to the cover of “The Story Trap” so show that it’s a sequel.

Rough sketch:


Interesting things happen en route, I like the fresh look of this hand by itself, and the black version is also interesting:



I’m playing with doing an open version of the hand as well:


And this is what it looks like at the moment. Very unfinished still:


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