The Scorpions Mate eBook cover - Resized

So, it’s been a busy couple of weeks for me, and I haven’t had much time to blog, since I’ve been working on the sequel to Into the Dead Fall. (the bonus book I added to The Scorpion’s Mate). I’ve made significant changes to the original story, and reworked a lot of scenes, but I’m happier with where it’s going now.

I have also been waiting to publish this particular blog.

Normally, I like for readers to be able to imagine my characters as they see them, rather than me giving them a canon image to hold in their mind while they read. This is because I often prefer to read this way myself, imagining the characters as I would see them, rather than what the author might have intended ;). This works great with human characters, but gets a little more complicated with aliens, since even the most detailed description can’t always capture what you are intending to convey like a simple image can.

I know I often struggle to picture alien characters when reading the work of other authors, so I’m not the least bit surprised that some of my readers have left feedback that they were having a difficult time picturing Thrax. How I would love to be able to feature him on the cover, but there are limitations to that, since covers are usually created using stock imagery. I could have commissioned a full-color illustration, but there was no telling how long that would take to complete, given how complex Thrax’s appearance is, so instead, I commissioned a character illustration from the artist, Mike Alvear, who has done previous work for me, including my avatar, which is an illustration of Balfor.

Hero Demon 1 crop

Mike sketched the original concept art that I started from ages ago when I first decided to turn my monster into a romance hero. Thrax started off as an antagonist, and he went through many physical and mental changes before he ended up where he is at now. 😉 You can see from the original concept that he was somewhat more alien than he ended up being in the latest character illustration.

Scorpion Space Alien 02
Concept Art by Mike Alvear,

Here is the latest character illustration, just to give readers an idea what Thrax looks like to me, though there are certain changes that may have made their way into the book that are not pictured on the illustration, mostly because it is simply too complex an image that I didn’t want it to be too busy. And of course, some things are being left to the imagination. 😉

20180409 - Scorpion Small

I want to note that in the illustration, his pincers are extended, so you can’t see his upper hands beneath them :D. I’ve still left the more human-like part of his face concealed, because I really want the reader to see that part of the hero in their own mind’s eye and not how I might picture him.

Many thanks to Mike Alvear for drawing these illustrations to help put an image behind my vision. I’m always amazed at how close he can get to what I’m picturing, though I imagine that some of my descriptions cause raised eyebrows, lol.

Let me know what you think. If you read the book, The Scorpion’s Mate, is this how you pictured Thrax? Or did you have something totally different in mind? I will be including this image in an updated version of the book, so that readers will have a reference to go off of.


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  1. Fantastic illustrations and kudos to the artist! Now I must admit that I pictured Thrax as being even more alien looking. I really need to read the story again and pay closer attention to your description of him. Perhaps “more” alien looking isn’t what I mean … I think I imagined Thrax retaining more of an insectoid/scorpion look in his body (oops). After reading some of the reviews that stressed how alien looking he was, I’m starting to think that my imagination should NOT be allowed out in polite society!

    I think the kneeling, movement drawing is superb and I’m more than happy to adjust my mental image to fit this form!! Looking forward to the sequels for both books and I sincerely hope you’ve overcome any travails that were shadowing you. You just keep writing and we’ll all keep reading 😀😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Cindy. I can’t wait to tell Mike how much people like his drawings.

      The early concept art was very alien, and I may have mentioned that more than once, lol. That could be why you pictured him as even more alien than he ended up being.

      I actually expected even this much to be too much for some readers, so I’m very pleasantly surprised by the reception this story received.

      I hesitated to put the images out because I didn’t want to ruin whatever picture the readers might have in their head of him, and these drawing may not be perfectly accurate because of the amount of detail that would make the drawing too busy. Eventually, I decided to go ahead and show how I imagined him to help those who were struggling to picture him. 😁

      I hear you on that imagination, lol. You have no idea how much I have to rein in my imagination when it comes to creating these alien heroes. Early concept art of Thrax was very insectoid, but I didn’t purchase the rights to post it or publish it, and I’m not sure I would, as I don’t want to change how readers view him too much. 😁

      Things are going much better for me. I will keep writing, and I thank you so much for all your support and feedback.


  2. I hope Mike gets many, many more compliments on his drawings than what will be posted here. 😁

    I started thinking a little more about your comment re: ruining a picture your readers had formed in their heads about the way Thrax looks. And this thought led me to the Book Group sites we both comment on. How many people on those sites spend hours on Pinterest looking for conceptual drawings that fit the characters from various books? Oftentimes the authors, themselves, post drawings that inspired the aliens (both sentient and animal) that they write about.

    Personally, I get a kick out of seeing what you envisioned in that fertile imagination of yours! Please feel free to mold my visual concept however you’d like – especially if Mike is doing the action drawing. I’ve noticed that, when I’m reading, my mind will still revert back to the image I build when immersed in the story. From where I’m standing, it makes it more fun to have both your version and mine 😉 !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You make a good point. I have already commissioned more art for future books that I will probably add to them before I publish, instead of just keeping them for my own inspiration. Thank you for giving me your perspective on this. 😀


    1. You’re welcome! I’m so glad to hear that you loved the story, and even happier that my sharing the illustration of Thrax helped you better visualize him. 😁 Thank you so much for stopping in and providing feedback!


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