Ann-Marie Brown is a Canadian painter working in encaustic and oil. Right now she’s painting out of a studio on the west coast, in the company of bears and rain.
The cover piece — On Thin Ice — for Issue 25 is part of a body of work completed during a six-month residency at the Artsu studios in Helsinki. The early years of Finnish independence were defined by a flight to the edges of ideology, a pattern the artist sees repeating itself in North America. In researching the conflict that ensued, she was interested in what was built from the ashes and curious about what can be learned from the hard-won lessons of that place.
The beautiful red pointe shoe of On Thin Ice offers the issue’s poignant opening act. The dancer en pointe appears weightless, suspended in a moment of grace, inviting us into the stories, themselves balancing the weight of beauty and sorrow.
Every Thursday for the next few months, we’ll be taking a peek back in time to look at authors and stories from past issues. And during the week they’re featured, you, dear reader, can pick up the issue at the author price of 25% off! This Thursday, take in Frost and Snow, the cover painting for Issue 21, Winter 2019.
Melissa Mary Duncan
Fantasy artist and illustrator Melissa Mary Duncan lives in New Westminster, BC, with her husband, author dvs Duncan. An avid historic re-enactor, neo-Edwardian, and wishful thinker, Melissa has a passion for life, learning, and the creative process. She has had numerous solo exhibitions and her art has found homes in private collections from Japan to Great Britain. Her book, Faye—the Art of Melissa Mary Duncan, was released in 2013 and is available for sale through her website . Melissa was our first cover artist. Her paintings The Beer Fairy, Fondly Remembered Magic, and The Storyteller have graced the covers of Pulp Literature and she is the cover artist for Allaigna’s Song: Overture and the forthcoming Allaigna’s Song: Aria from Pulp Literature Press as well. Find more of her beautiful paintings at melissamaryduncan.com.
Congratulations to Melissa Mary Duncan. She is nominated in the Best Artist category for the Aurora awards. This is Melissa’s second nomination.
A Pulp Literature Favourite
We are big fans of Melissa’s work. Managing Editor Jen Landels found Melissawhile we were putting together Issue 1 of Pulp Literature. The Beer Fairy became the first compelling visual for the magazine.
We always find it hard to choose among her bewitching works. Melissa also created the covers for Issue 5, Fondly Remembered Magic, Issue 12, The Story Teller, and soon-to-be-released Allaigna’s Song: Overture,by JM Landels.
Melissa writes: “My inspiration comes from only one source. When I draw or paint the subject may be sparked from a Celtic legend, a tale from the Brother’s Grimm, the lyric from an ancient ballad or the melody of a carol but the finished painting and whatever the viewer finds in it comes from the heart.” More here.
Melissa lives in the historic city of New Westminster, British Columbia with her husband, author dvsduncan. Having a playful inner landscape, she confesses to having a hat addiction, wearing Edwardian clothing, reading in the bath, and watching British dramas whilst drinking lemonade. A proud mother of two and grandmother of three, Melissa remains a student of Celtic, English and Northern European history and mythology.
We love Melissa’s calendar, and her gorgeous, magical, book Faye: The Art of Melissa Mary Duncan. Her new book, Sketches on the Road to Elfland, will be out in time for Christmas. Melissa also has a video coming out soon on the process of her art. Check out her trailer message here.
Amazon reviews of Melissa Mary Duncan ’s work
“LOVELY BOOK fabulous artist!!!! a must own if you love fantasy art.”
“Sometimes whimsical, sometimes haunting, always exquisitely detailed and beautiful, Melissa Mary Duncan’s artwork is full of folkloric, historic, and classical influences, as she shows us glimpses of a world which surely must be right behind the next tree. Each piece has a tale to tell, and every time I look through this book I see something new tucked in a border or hidden in the background which I hadn’t seen before.”
“The pictures are beautiful at first look and extraordinary when you look closer and see all of the nuances she builds into each piece of art. The anecdotal stories in the book are a very special insight into the artist and her daughters which adds a heart-warming personality to each piece.”
I love our cover art. For me, one of the greatest joys of the magazine is finding and choosing paintings to wrap our words in. But I’m always a bit sad when the necessary banners and text cover up some of the beautiful images.
So to celebrate International Women’s day, we offer you a sneak peek of the cover art for Pulp Literature Issue 15, Summer 2017 by the amazing S. Ross Browne. Here is The Huntress, in her full undecorated glory. Enjoy!
We are thrilled and still a bit giddy after the nail-biting hours of the campaign last night! Our funding was successful and we cannot thank enough all the wonderful backers who made Something Novel happen!
Issue 13 is at the printers, and Boon Companion will be soon too. Kris Sayer is hard at work on the cover for Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries and we’ve just seen the first sketch by Melissa Duncan for Allaigna’s Song: Overture. Mel and Jen will be tidying up the documents and we’ll be getting the pre-launch gears rolling for the novels soon.
But today is Friday, and it’s time to relax with a glass of prosecco. Hope your weekend is wonderful!
All right, this is the uber mega reward. For the true art lover who wants to be a patron of the arts by supporting Something Novel on Kickstarter at the $1000 level, you score a beautiful piece of original art by Mel Anastasiou.
Only 1 available!
Two for Joy, by Mel Anastasiou.
“To complete a composition of this size, with a fair amount of complexity, and smile while I work on it late into the night … the secret is to love every tiny line.” – Mel Anastasiou
This signed16″ x 24″ pen and ink composition is drawn on high-quality acid-free paper and is suitable for framing. Plus the lucky backer who pledges for this reward will get all the perks of the Collector’s Delight and a thank-you card from Mel. That includes
All 12 print back issues of Pulp Literature plus a 1-year print subcription.
Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries by Mel Anastasiou
Allaigna’s Song: Overture by JM Landels
The Writer’s Boon Companion by Mel Anastasiou
A complete collection of printable notecards from Mel
The option to swap the Art Lover’s Delight for the Collector’s Delight and have a portrait drawn by Mel.
This is huge support for Pulp Literature Press. $1000.00 covers a quarter of printing and distribution costs for our first two novels, and lets us get the ball rolling for this brand new publishing house.
What does the funding go towards?
The funds we raise through this Kickstarter campaign will pay for creative costs, production, marketing, and distribution to deliver Stella Ryman & The Fairmount Manor Mysteries and Allaigna’s Song: Overture into your hands.
Creative Costs: These include hiring a graphic designer, copy-editor, and proofreader for each book, plus the cost of new cover paintings for Allaigna and Stella by Melissa Mary Duncan and Kris Sayer. Mel and Jen have contributed their texts at no cost to the project and will only get paid through royalties.
Printing & Distribution: Books for the Canadian market will be printed locally at First Choice Books in Victoria BC, while international markets will be served by local print-on-demand services to reduce both shipping times and our carbon footprint.
Reward Fulfillment: This includes costs of rewards outside printing and distribution of the novels.
Marketing: We have allotted $1000 per book for marketing both during the campaign and afterwards to make sure these novels reach the eyes of readers like you around the world.
Kickstarter Fees: 3-5% of the funds go to credit card processing fees, and 5% of the money raised stays with Kickstarter to support the platform and make crowdfunding like this possible.
Did you discover Paradise with last year’s Kickstarter? If not, here’s your second chance! We still have a few copies of Colouring Paradise: a Renaissance-Inspired Colouring Book available on Something Novel. At $10 plus shipping, this book of beautiful full-sized, frameable colouring pages is the perfect gift for the colouring afficionado in your life. Relaxing and inspiring, colouring may be just what you need to de-stress and re-invigorate your creative brain. The reward includes:
A gorgeous print version, plus the pdf to print as many additional pages as you like.
Add $9 to include The Writer’s Boon Companion and any digital issue of Pulp Literature (save a dollar)!
Add $9 to include a print edition of Pulp Literature (save another dollar)!
Here’s what people are saying
“classic timeless and elegant”
“inspired and inspiring”
“possibly the beautiful pictures you’ve ever coloured”
Every time we run a Kickstarter Mel generously offers to do beautiful portraits for a few lucky backers, and this year is no different. This year there are only five Art Lover’s Delight rewards available on the Something Novel page.
Art Lover’s Delight – Only 5 available!
An 8.5 x 11″ pen and ink portrait of yourself or a loved one in Mel’s breathtaking renaissance style
A fun set of limited edtion JJ Lee paper dolls by Kris Sayer created for our first Kickstarter campaign back in 2013!
One of the few remaining print copies of Colouring Paradise.
A one-year print subscription to Pulp Literature.
Both novels: Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries and Allaigna’s Song: Overture.
The Writer’s Boon Companion illustrated 30-day writing journal
All this plus free shipping at the $500 level!
All of Mel’s customers have been delighted with their Renaissance-themed portraits.
As Mel says, “Like the Renaissance painters who are my first inspirations, I try to give good value, and at the $500 level I include intricate backgrounds and favourite themes in an intriguing composition.”
When we decided to run a contest for the cover of Issue 11 we were nervous. What if there were no entries? Or worse, what if the entries we received were not up to the standards of our usual beautiful covers? I have to admit to a little nail biting in the week leading up to our contest closing date.
When they did start to come in I let out a huge sigh of relief, and then I got excited. Not only had artists been reading the chapters of Allaigna’s Song to date, they got it. It was clear from the choices of character and scene that these artists understood and cared for Allaigna, her family, and her world almost as much as I do. For a writer there is no bigger compliment, and I am truly grateful to all the entrants.
As always, it is hard to choose a winner, but choose we must. The winner of the Songbird Cover Painting Contest is Kris Sayer, for her untitled piece depicting Allaigna’s epiphanic moment as she unlocks the magic of turning sound into light. The painting is beautifully composed and skillfully drawn in dark tones and eery lighting. In addition to the technical qualities of the work, Kris has also come closest to reading my mind and capturing Allaigna’s appearance. Brava!
We’re not going to show you the whole painting here — that reveal will have to wait until it shows up on the back cover of Issue 10. But in the meantime here’s a close-up detail to tease you.
Elizabeth Stricker‘s painting ‘Angeley’s Secret’ was chosen as the runner-up. Though the composition technical execution is not as expert as that of winning painting, there is a beautiful tenderness in this quiet but key scene from Issue 4 that won my heart. The Madonna-blue of Angeley’s dress and the pink glow emanating from her hands are simply lovely. Here is the artist’s statement. (Caution: spoilers!)
‘Angeley’s Secret’ … depicts the scene in the story which I felt most poignantly shows the overall theme. Allaigna’s Song follows three generations of the women of a family, their loves, lives, and magic. In this scene, Allaigna is singing to her wounded grandfather. Her nurse Angeley joins her and begins singing also. A pink glow shines from her hands and she moves them up and down his body, healing him. What the reader doesn’t know at the time, is that Angeley is really Allaigna’s grandmother, Irdaign. Chanist, her grandfather, is Irdaign’s great love. In his delirium, it is her, and not his new wife that he calls for.
Circumstances robbed her of the life she could have had with him, raising their daughter — Allaigna’s mother Lauresa — together. Irdaign never got the chance to teach her daughter magic, and had to disguise herself as a nursemaid to find a place back in her life. Now, she has the opportunity to pass her knowledge of magic on to her granddaughter. The love of this family crosses the barriers of circumstances. Missing from this tableaux is Lauresa. Her absence is also significant, as she has missed the opportunity to share in the magical lineage that is being passed (unknown to her) from her mother to her daughter. Angeley (Irdaign) is the only one who knows all of this. In her face, I meant to capture the secret pain that she carries with this knowledge, along with her joy in her granddaughter.
Congratulations to both Kris and Elizabeth, and a huge thank you to all the entrants!