I have an amazing niece. To be fair, all our women of her generation, whether born into the family or introduced by love matches, are pretty remarkable. There are a few of them – about twenty-one at last count.
One or more of them is an engineer, forensic archaeologist or pharmacist; human relations manager, counsellor, service deliverer or administrator; world-renowned dancer or entrepreneur; military or police; teacher, nurse or artist. We even have one who designs the most extraordinary celebratory cakes with an added passion for getting behind the wheel of her racing car.
I posed the problem of a logo for my new self-publishing press to one of these exceptional people.
Throughout the whole COVID thing, she’s been living and working in a country far away from family in Australia, making contact only through technology. I followed her on Insta, as a good aunt would, and was blown away by her imagination and creativity. She uses the handle, kabocha_no_neko_art. Her work is different and exciting and fed into my logo plans.
The idea of establishing a press name for my self-pub came from members of informative Facebook groups like Indie Royalty and the Romance Writers of Australia community group (thank you!!) I’m happy to be a traditionally-published author, but there’s always a book or two that won’t fit into a publisher’s profile. I wanted to be ready.
Because I also have an interest in crystals, I searched for one encapsulating passion and romance. There were several. I chose red aventurine and bought a couple of ornaments, an elephant and an angel, to act as my daily reminders to get things moving. I suggested my niece might do a line drawing incorporating both, and did she remember I write romance? Adding an allusion to love would be good too.
What she produced was a forward-facing elephant ready to stampede across the globe, with an angel, as protector and guide, hiding in plain sight on the elephant’s back in the form of a pair of wings—shaped as a heart. How neat is that?
“Return to Calypso Station” is the first book published using Red Aventurine Press. It’s currently available on Kindle with the paperback becoming available on August 2. Australian readers can contact me directly if they’d like a paperback copy.