Thoughtful Thursday: Art for a good cause

Lauren ZurchinToday we welcome Lauren Zurchin, professional photographer and the managing book editor for Lytherus. We invited Lauren to tell us about a new Kickstarter project she’s working on. We thought you might be interested… and, of course, Lauren has a question for you…

Last spring I started making some custom costumes for fantasy-themed photos and got the great idea to make fantasy authors the subjects of these photos. Then I decided to create a 2014 calendar with proceeds going to First Book and Worldbuilders. So I gathered an amazing team of fantasy authors who were interested in this project: Holly Black, Gail Carriger, Cassandra Clare, Lauren Kate, Gregory Maguire, The Merry Sisters of Fate — a trio of authors consisting of Tessa Gratton, Maggie Stiefvater, and Brenna Yovanoff, Brandon Mull, Lauren Oliver, Christopher Paolini, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Tad Williams.

Calendar Example

As the idea started to come together I realized that the cost of making costumes for fourteen authors, and the costs of travel to actually go and shoot all of these photos, was more than I could afford. So I decided to use Kickstarter to cover the cost. We recently hit the goal, so now I’m working toward the stretch goal, which will allow me to take these photos to another level with special details and props. And as a treat for the backers, the authors will sign items related to the project for Kickstarter rewards, things that are extremely limited in number and, once gone, will never happen again.

This is an amazing project that will bring a lot of good to the world, plus some good art. Please consider backing the Kickstarter and spreading the word. You can learn more about the project at my website. Thanks!

Now, my Thoughtful Thursday question for you:  If I decide to do a 2015 calendar, which fantasy authors would you want to see in it, and what should they be dressed as? You can make this serious or funny. One commenter gets a computer wallpaper of the author of their choice from the 2014 calendar.


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KAT HOOPER is a professor at the University of North Florida where she teaches neuroscience, psychology, and research methods courses. She occasionally gets paid to review scientific textbooks, but reviewing speculative fiction is much more fun. Kat lives with her husband and their children in Jacksonville Florida.

View all posts by Kat Hooper

6 comments

  1. The Kickstarter page doesn’t specify if the authors are in costumes related to their own works or if they are all going to be generic type fantasy subjects? The reason I mention this is because I like authors mostly for their works, not for their own personal aesthetics so I would prefer to see them interpret a role from one of their worlds rather than be a generic dragonslayer, troll or wizard.

    So, if the above is the case, for 2015 I would like to see, perhaps Terry Pratchett as Vetinari or Neil Gaiman as one of the ghosts from The Graveyard Book. If I’m incorrect and the authors in question are filling roles from the fantasy pantheon, I could imagine seeing Robin McKinley as a mischievous fae or Jim Butcher as a barbarian warrior and Ilona and Gordon Andrews as two wizards working together.

  2. A couple of authors I’d like to see in the calendar: Blake Charlton and John Scalzi.

  3. Interesting idea! If we’re talking about authors portraying their own characters, I would go with:
    - Kate Elliott as Margrave Judith from the Crown of Stars series (not sure she’d thank me for that one!)
    - Terry Brooks as Ben Holiday from the Magic Kingdom of Landover books.
    - Terry Pratchett as Mustrum Ridcully from the Discworld books

  4. Oh, and don’t leave out Jim Hines portraying the Libriomancer! He even has practic in posing for book cover photo shoots.

  5. Kevin B /

    Jim Hines would indeed be fun.

    Neil Gaiman as Dream/Morpheus would be cool too or just Neil Gaiman as anything.

    You could probably do interesting things with N.K. Jemisin and her characters.

  6. April, you win! Please contact Kat with your email address and your wallpaper choice.

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