Even before the release of Unseaming last October, folks were expressing to me their enthusiasm for (or terror of, or repulsion by, or some combination thereof) horror photographer Danielle Tunstall's arresting cover image. The buzz only grew once the book came out.
(Fact is, though I don't think I could ever have dreamed up a better piece of art to match "The Button Bin" and "The Quiltmaker," the stories that form the core of my collection, once I knew Danielle's piece would be the book's cover I also knew that the original title, The Button Bin and Other Horrors, would never do. The title had to enhance, not undermine, that image. Thus came Unseaming.)
This is why the delightful shock that Danielle's cover for Unseaming is a finalist for the 2015 Chesley Award for best paperback cover just goes to show that sometimes great work from someone outside the system does indeed get the recognition it deserves. The Chesley Awards are given each year at WorldCon by the members of the Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists, making them the illustrators' equivalent of the Nebula Awards. Danielle is not a member; frankly, was unfamiliar with the group and the award prior to the announcement yesterday.
I had the pleasure of breaking the news to her yesterday afternoon (evening where she lives.) She reports that her daughter Estelle (seen here on the cover of Mythic Delirium 0.1) is suitably impressed.
In celebration, Danielle is offering new prints of her award-nominated cover art for sale on eBay. Please do check that out here.
There's a fascinating story behind this image. The model for the cover, Alexandra Johnson, was a fan of Danielle's who won a free photo shoot. Their meeting evolved into a full-blown collaboration once they began to work together. You can see a number of the photographs Danielle has taken of Alex here.
Alexandra, a brave model, has scoliosis. She and Danielle worked together on a series of images depicting the condition's psychological toll, which is where the photograph that became my book cover came from. I'm pleased that they've continued to work together, because there's clearly a gleefully sinister synergy between them.
And I couldn't be prouder that the series ends (at least in Danielle's blog entry) with an image of the Unseaming cover.
Finally, my thanks, once again, to Elizabeth Campbell of Antimatter Press, who made all of this possible.