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Moannette_CropThis is so cool! Artist David Tenorio did this fantastic illustration, pro bono, of my original character Moannette! You can see more of David’s amazing work on his website davidtenorio.com!

Moannette is a villain who figures prominently in several of the Burusian Tales that I am currently writing, including my upcoming story Out to Pasture. I love his take on my character!

So how did something so awesome happen to the character of an unpublished author when Moannette hasn’t even made her public debut yet? It happened like this:

Over the weekend I was writing (as usual), and for a warm-up on Saturday I polished a written description of Moannette that I had in my notes. I’ve been fleshing her out lately as I finish work work on Out to Pasture and start more solid work on The Orgcrst where she is a key player in the story. I thought it was a nice three paragraph write-up when I was done, so on a whim I tweaked and shared it on a character drawing group on Reddit as an art request/prompt. The group welcomes these types of requests for free art, but only a handful are fulfilled.

There wasn’t any activity on my request and I figured that it would quietly fade away. Then I had the wonderful experience of having a bad Monday morning completely turned around when I saw David’s awesome rendition of Moannette created from my concept and words:

Moannette by David Tenorio. Click picture for larger size.

Moannette by David Tenorio.

It was a very humbling experience  to see the results of a professional artist’s investment of time and talent to give form and life to one of the phantoms from my imagination.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen a character I’ve created illustrated. It’s a new kind of feeling. The closest thing to it that I can point to as similar is that feeling you get, if you’re a writer or artist, when someone is talking to you very enthusiastically about your work. I’m not talking about simple flattery, but someone who obviously has gotten things about about your work that you thought no one else would. In my experience, it’s one of the best feelings in the world.

So who is Moannette? Well, I obviously don’t want to give anything away by dropping spoilers to my unreleased fiction, but here is the (slightly revised) description of her that David used to create his illustration…

Moannette is a villainous wizardess wearing clothing, jewels and adornments that would befit a noblewoman. Although her body is shapely, not an inch of skin is ever seen uncovered on her person. She never removes the eerie mask she wears, or the velvet gloves that cover her dainty hands. Moannette’s true appearance is a total mystery, but she is of average height for human woman and attractively thin.

While Moannette changes out her clothing frequently, and with a remarkable sense of style, an unchanging constant is her mask. She always wears a full face mask of white porcelain bearing a blank expression… although she will paint its lips to coordinate with the color with her outfits. Only Moannette’s intense blue eyes can be seen behind her mask, and drawing their hateful gaze is often the last sight anyone will see. Her head, neck and shoulders are wrapped in a headrail of fine silk, offering only occasional glimpses of her black hair.

Moannette is a master villain and henchwoman serving even more dangerous forces than herself, which is saying a lot. She rarely needs or burdens herself with extensive equipment or dirty work, leaving such tasks to minions that she has hired, summoned or created. Her magical abilities are varied, potent and rightfully feared, but Moannette isn’t afraid to use more mundane tactics like poison and manipulation to reach her goals.

This gift is personally very inspiring to me: In the weeks and months to come, Moannette will be goading and threatening me to finish writing her villainy every time I look up at her picture above my writing desk.

And I will say, “Yes Madame!”

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