- by Pati Nagle
In 1997, when I received my contributor’s copy of Elf Magic, an anthology that included my short story “Kind Hunter,” I was delighted with the cover illustration by John Howe. It matched my main character perfectly, and I came to think of it as having been drawn from my story. (Note, I don’t know if Mr. Howe even read the anthology, so this is merely my assumption.)
Recently I was looking through some photographs of a vacation we took near Ruidoso, New Mexico, some years ago. My husband pointed out the similarity between this photo of me sitting on an interesting tree and the Elf Magic cover.
Wow! Could Mr. Howe have somehow received a psychic impression of this image, and used it in his design? Granted, I don’t have a bow, and the tree doesn’t have a face (unless you count Ginger, hanging out under the curved trunk, as a woodland spirit). Even so, the two images are intriguingly similar.
“Kind Hunter” was my first take on the idea that eventually inspired my new fantasy series about the Ælven and their estranged and tormented kindred, the alben. (The story has a contemporary setting; the novels are its ancient history.) The series will debut in March 2009 with The Betrayal, but you can read “Kind Hunter” now at my website, http://patinagle.com.