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March 27, 2014

12 Years A Time-Travelling Slave

Here’s a new backlist project I was asked to do by the lovely Yeti Lambregts, Senior Designer at Headline.

I’d never heard of Octavia E. Butler, but quickly realised why her most successful book, Kindred, is on the reading list of all American schools. It’s an intensely vivid account of a woman living in the 1970s who involuntarily time travels to 19th century Maryland. The catch is, she’s African-American and she finds herself at the height of slavery in the US. It’s just as vivid as 12 Years A Slave, read it – you’ll be gob-smacked.

The covers got really interesting when I had to stretch a styling for this lead book, over fantasy and science fiction works by Octavia, all working with the same themes of human power and rooted in slavery. They got evermore strange and wonderful, aliens and other planets, the works. I stuck with something simple, graphic, that would straddle adult and YA, mainstream fiction and sci-fi. Judging by the response on Twitter, it’s going down really well. I really hope the books are a success.

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