“The world before us is a postcard, and I imagine the story we are writing on it.”
― Mary E. Pearson
An aesthetic is a form of visual inspiration. And when you’re writing a story, it’s also helpful if your imagination has a focal point—something to make sure you don’t get carried away with too many new ideas. Putting together a collection of images about the central themes and characters can be a great way to make sure you stay on course. Also, it’s a lot of fun ☺.
I’m past the halfway point in writing the fourth Beyond Androva book, and that’s when I would normally create a new aesthetic. But it’s also the beginning of December—time for Christmas decorations and holiday-themed reading choices. So for today’s blog post, I decided to include some seasonal aesthetic content too.
There are also a couple of Christmas stories in previous blog posts featuring the Legacy of Androva characters. The first one takes place at the end of Seeking Magic, and you can find it here. The second one is an epilogue to the series, and I posted it here.
A is for Averine
I’m really enjoying the challenge of writing Averine’s story. When I first started, I thought she had everything figured out in terms of who she was and what she was doing. That’s the way I tried to write her, but it didn’t go so well. Eventually, I realised my impressions of Averine were based almost entirely on what Kellan believed, and his perspective was incomplete. Averine’s reality turned out to be a lot more complicated! Which makes sense, I guess, especially after what her father did. And that’s without the additional complications created by a new villain and a dangerous magical bond.
Here’s the aesthetic. Most of the images are related to alchemy, Averine’s chosen profession, or Phidiom, the new territory she visits during the story.
B is for Blenheim
I visited Blenheim Palace last weekend to see The Kingdom of the Snow Queen. Blenheim is a famous stately home in Oxfordshire, built over three hundred years ago as a gift from Queen Anne to the first Duke of Marlborough. These days, it’s open to the public and famous for its Christmas activities.
I was surprised that the combination of extravagant fairy-tale decorations and a centuries-old palace worked so well. I don’t think my photos do it justice! And the storytelling journey was perfect, starting with a giant Christmas tree resting on top of the evil magic mirror, and ending with the Snow Queen herself.
Of course, I had to choose a Snow Queen retelling for this year’s holiday reading. I decided on Queen of Snow, by Laura Burton and Jessie Cal.
Welcome to the Chanted Forest, where Fairytales are real... but not as you know them.
After losing his grandfather, Jack feels lost, unsure of what his future holds.
Until he sees the reflection of a beautiful young woman inside his grandfather’s mirror. A mirror he never knew existed.
She beckons to him, and he’s pulled through a portal to the Chanted Kingdom where fairytale characters are real.
Princess Aria’s family was killed by the Evil Queen, and after spending a year running for her life and hiding with Robin and his band of misfits, she’s so close to completing the Mirror of Reason, which she plans to use as a portal to leave the Chanted Kingdom forever.
All she needs is to catch a young man named Jack in exchange for a mirror shard. Things get complicated as Aria’s feelings for Jack, as well as her ice powers, start to grow stronger. Soon, she finds that using her powers to save everyone she loves, will come at a great cost.
C is for Cat (or Christmas Cat)
The final aesthetic is just for fun. My cat is a big fan of Christmas because she thinks the tree and the decorations make perfect cat toys. Four years ago, she actually climbed the tree and knocked it over, but fortunately she learned quickly and hasn’t repeated the experience!
Thank you very much for visiting my blog today, and I wish you happy holidays and happy holiday reading 💕.