Background: I commissioned several international artists to draw characters from BEACON and CATALYST based upon a few paragraphs of text. I chose a diverse array of styles for this assignment. From comic book to abstract, children’s fairy tale, and hyper-realistic, I wanted each of them to be able to express themselves in their signature styles.
"He was squatting down with his back to one of the houses, his feet on the sidewalk, in the shadows of the streetlight. It looked like he had the same clothes on every time. Light blue jeans, knees torn out, black hoodie with the hood up, black sneakers. Nothing remarkable there. Standard street garb. Once she finally looked him fully in the face, it took most of her self-control to stay motionless and school her face to stay neutral. His eyes drew her in immediately. She couldn’t have told you in that moment if they were red or gray, they seemed to flit back and forth between the two colors like fog swirling in a headlight. She wanted to trace the line of his jaw beneath her fingertips, feeling the course texture of his beard and the heat from his skin below it. It was an impulse so outside of her and everything she was that it scared her. He rose from his knees, slowly. Jo went from looking down at him to looking up at him. He slowly removed the hood from his head. His long, red hair spilled out. Oh, he’s lovely, she thought. Like a Ginger Jesus. Cain is a vampire who enjoys killing and drinking the blood of the worst sinners: rapists, murderers, child molesters, and torturers. He believes he is Cain from the Bible, cursed to walk the earth and kill bad people forever. Only Jo and his victims can see him. To everyone else, he is invisible. Vampires in this book series are electromagnetic creatures, there can only be one per territory. They have never met another vampires because their magnetic fields repel each other, like two similar ends of a magnet."
Cain is the bad boy you love to cheer on. He's the lead vampire protagonist in both BEACON and CATALYST. The reader perceives Cain mostly from Jo's perspective.
Diana Nemesu, the water color children's artist, captures Cain's sense of openness and desire for love and friendship. This is a quality that Cain does not reveal until he decides not to kill Jo and befriends her instead. This Cain invites you to hug him.
Qzoh captures his wild beauty, wicked heart, and the immortal detachment that comes with being a vampire who has never spoken to another except to kill him or her. Jo wants to touch him instantly, fighting a fierce and inexplicable attraction.
Ben Kinkead captures the brooding nature of the judgment that Cain delivers to his victims. Cain isn't troubled by his purpose, he welcomes the opportunity to ruthlessly murder the worst of sinners. But he weighs their punishment carefully before doling it out.
Naveed Anjum perfectly shows Cain's day-to-day life, a lone creature prowling the streets in the night. When Jo first meets Cain, she cannot even see his face.
Which is your favorite? Tell me in the comments!
Next week: Jo and Cain
November Ellison's new book, Beacon, is a fresh take on the vampire genre by explaining vampires as electromagnetic entities. The book is critically acclaimed for the high-concept interpretation of the vampire romance category, driven by an incredibly complex and intriguing Christian female protagonist.