The Life and Times of Angel Evans: Behind the Scenes

More of Angel Evans! Behind the scenes….

Meredith Debonnaire

Hello, and welcome!

I’ve not had a lot of time this month, so rather than a neatly planned out post, I’m simply going to give you a few of the drawings I did of Angel while I was writing. Hopefully, back with a full feature next month.

Illustration of Angel Evans, talking to a smoke demon

This first one is a moment right at the beginning of the story – Angel Evans chatting with a being made of smoke. I really like how this one came out, especially Smoke-Face. Perhaps one day I’ll even give my sketches settings.

Angel Evans running through grass

And this one is from a moment at the end of the story, when we get a glimpse of Angel Evans as a child on the day she ran away from home. I almost never think about what my characters are wearing, so sometimes when I draw them there’s just this moment of “Oh damn, what clothes would they wear?” I…

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Hopeless Creatures

The Hopeless Vendetta

This is a video taken at the start of our gallery exhibition in Lansdown, Stroud, as part of Stroud Book Festival. There are lots of the kinds of small creatures you find in rock pools and on the corners of pages, plus Hopeless Maine arts and crafts, and a tiny domestic scene…

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The Life and Times of Angel Evans: Behind the Scenes

Dragonboats!

Meredith Debonnaire

Welcome back! This month, I’m exploring Dragonboats, Featherboats and worldbuilding.

Dragonboat sketch by Meredith Debonnaire Art by Meredith Debonnaire

So, dragonboats. They are, as you will (I hope) know, mentioned in the story. As are featherboats. And they’re one of those things that’s actually quite important to Angel Evans’ world. As you can see from the sketches above, I imagine dragonboats to resemble viking longships with figureheads. They’re mainly made out of wood, with the scales being added on later (if you imagined them differently, I would love to know how). And it’s the scales that allow them to travel the way that they do. Angel Evans’ native world has a lot of natural magic, including really big currents of it that are known as marivers. Dragonboats travel by tapping into the magic of the marivers and using it to float. They are fast, reliable transport. They tend to be used more for cargo and…

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The Hopeless, Maine arts and crafts movement.

Further sprawling tentacles…

The Hopeless Vendetta

This is a rather grand title for a thing that we are doing. We are combining the philosophy of Wombles ( “Making good use of the things that we find, things that the everyday folk leave behind”) and a cottage industry/arts and crafts movement. It began because we are having a week-long exhibition as part of the upcoming Stroud Book Festival. We thought it would be much more interesting to create a Hopeless, Maine environment than just to have pictures framed and stuck on a wall. (There will be those too, but the things we have done to the frames make them the sort of thing you might actually find on the island in a home) All of the best things we have made so far (I think) have been things that Nimue and I passed back and forth, so it’s great fun to find a new sort of collaborating…

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The Life and Times of Angel Evans: Behind the Scenes

One of our favorite writers on one of our favorite stories!

Meredith Debonnaire

Welcome! This is a new monthly thing that I will be doing, taking you behind the scenes of The Life and Times of Angel Evans. It’s going to vary as to what exactly that means; I might take you behind the scenes to the process of writing, worldbuilding and editing, or I might take you to bits of the world that didn’t make it into the story and characters who I would have loved to give more page space. If there’s anything specific that you’d be interested in seeing, do ask! Also, if you’re reading this and wondering ‘how do I get my hands on this story?’, you can buy The Life and Times of Angel Evans through Amazon or directly from the Booksmugglers (it will cost you about £1.50 or $1.99 USD). You can get it as a Mobi or an Epub file.

Now, onwards! Let’s start by…

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Book Review: Hopeless Maine by Tom and Nimue Brown (this review originally written for Pagan Dawn

Meredith Debonnaire

Hopeless Maine by Tom and NImue Brown

Procession somber; pageant walked, shuffled, lurching to uncertainty.

This review first appeared in Pagan Dawn magazine.

Hopeless is an island that nobody can leave. Let that sink in; it’s a deeply layered bit of worldbuilding, and it’s reflective of the style of this book. Simple on the surface, yet with leviathans beneath.

On the surface, the story is of an orphan trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs: a common enough tale. Except the orphan is Salamandra, who’s not even sure what she is; she has magic, but she’s not witch material and the most likely option after that in Hopeless is monster. The strange and unfriendly world that she’s trying to navigate is full of mist and seabeasts and ghosts and ancient weirdness. She’s also quite happy to be an orphan, thanks.

With Hopeless, Maine Tom and Nimue Brown have created a world with a…

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Putting out the hat

You can be a dustcat!

Druid Life

There’s a moment when you start a busking set, when the empty hat goes out, and you have not yet begun to sing or play, and you don’t know how people are going to react. For me, that pause before beginning has always felt the most exposed.

Yesterday, I put out a hat, and waited nervously to see if anyone would find what I’m doing worth responding to. The first coins in the hat are always a massive morale boost. They affirm that it was worth the exposure. Thus far, Patreon is turning out to feel exactly like busking.

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while will know that I have a lot of issues with how the creative industries work. I struggle personally because it’s hard to make a living as a writer, and doing other things to pay the bills doesn’t leave me with…

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