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“Revision is like wrestling with a demon, for almost anyone can write; but only writers know how to rewrite. It is this ability alone that turns the amateur into a professional.” ~William Knott
When my editor told me that she’d like to see Octavia and the Lady on the cover of The Clockwork Crown, I thought it was a wonderful idea. I do miss seeing Alonzo again–and I described such a wonderful outfit for him in the book, too–but the series is really Octavia’s story. That’s especially true in Crown. This is where Octavia grows up. She has to confront everything that terrifies her.
I exchanged a number of emails with artist Gene Mollica. There is a lot of give and take in this kind of thing. My biggest request was that Octavia wear the green coat again. I mean, I loved the coat on the Clockwork Dagger cover so much that I commissioned one of my own.
Then I needed to describe the Lady. I sent along some descriptions from the books but also some reference images. The whole concept of the Lady and her religion is inspired by the Super Nintendo game Secret of Mana. That was the first place I encountered the world tree mythology when I was a teenager. Nintendo Power published an issue with the Secret of Mana cover art as the centerfold, and I had that Hiro Isono artwork pinned on my bedroom wall for years.
The Lady is a tree whose branches scrape the clouds and whose roots moor the world. A canopy of normal-sized trees is around her roots, like grass is around a typical tree. Her bark is mottled with algae and growths and cascading waterfalls, and creatures of all kinds reside in her shadow. Hiro Isono’s illustrations provided the foundation for my imagination.
Therefore, when I saw the cover for Clockwork Crown, I was blown away. Octavia looks great, but the Lady…! It brought tears to my eyes. I mean, look between these illustrations and Gene Mollica’s end result. He created a real-life version of the Lady, inspired by the Mana Tree that I stared at for so many years there on my bedroom wall.Read More
This super-easy pie comes together in minutes and is all things fluffy, chocolately, and delicious.
I love to bake, but when company’s coming and I’m already cooking meals AND juggling writing deadlines, a fancy cake or pie ain’t gonna happen. No-bake is the way to go. That way I can even make it the day before and I know it will keep just fine–and even improve in flavor.
This pie is really easy to tweak. I added mini Oreos, but you can throw any kind of cookie or candy bar in there… or keep it smooth and add nothing at all.
One concern I had was that this would taste like cheesecake. My family isn’t into cheesecake. The cream cheese here adds a lot of texture and richness, but the clear flavor is that of chocolate. Which meant… shhh… people didn’t know the cream cheese was in there.
It’ll be our secret.
Modified from German Sweet Chocolate Pie at Let’s Dish.
A simple, no-bake chocolate pie that’s easily customized to your liking.
Heat chocolate and 2 tablespoons of the milk in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and cream cheese. Add the rest of the milk, and the cooled chocolate mixture. Beat until smooth.
Fold in whipped topping and until the colors are blended. Add in the cookie chunks. Spoon into the premade cookie crust.
Freeze the pie until firm, about 4 hours, or in the fridge overnight. Thaw at room temperature for a short while before serving, if need be. If desired, garnish with more Cool Whip, or chocolate or caramel drizzle. Store in the fridge.
OM NOM NOM!
“Most books on witchcraft will tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft were written by men.” ~Neil Gaiman