Of Cats and Dragons

Carol E. Leever Camilla Ochlan

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On Being Twins

Published: Oct 27, 2018 02:02:04 pm
Carol E. Leever
Summers Fall Cover

Of course I'm referring to Tormy and Tyrin, not myself with that title. If you have read the books you are aware of the fact that Tormy and Tyrin are twins, and quite 'identicallynessness'. That means they're both orange -- or something like that.

While reading, I think it's fairly obvious which cat is which (Tyrin is the one who curses). But I can see where the confusion might come in when looking at the two cats. They're utterly indistinguishable.

You may have noticed that we put up a new cover for Summer's Fall. I was diagnosed with cancer the day our first book (Night's Gift) came out, and by the time Summer's Fall was released I was too sick to do much of anything. I had already painted the covers for both Radiation and Night's Gift, but I hadn't started on the covers for the other 3 books. We had also largely written most of the first five books by then as well.

By the time the second and third books came out I was far too sick to do any painting. I was still able to help Camilla with the editing; she'd fly up to stay with me and read out loud to me while we went over things like punctuation and grammar. But I just didn't have the energy to paint. We had to look elsewhere for artists.

Summer's Fall was always a cover I wanted to do myself, and once I was given a short break from Chemotherapy and started to feel a bit better, I started painting again. It had been a year since I'd even tried, so it was nice to go back.

With Summer's Fall I really wanted to try my hand at a Sundragon. Dragons in general are hard -- those scales were a nightmare to create. I hope to get better at it the more I try (that means more dragons hopefully!). And of course we both wanted a cat on the cover.

Initially I had the dragon breathing fire, but the gold dragon, orange cat, and yellow fire was just too much gold on gold on gold. The cat sort of disappeared, and it also a looked a bit like the poor thing was burning. So no flames -- I have another version of the dragon by himself breathing fire if you're interested.

But curiously we had a lot of people asking: which cat is that? Tormy or Tyrin?

I rather thought it was obvious, but then I know the secret to telling the two of them apart. Obviously you can't tell by their size (actually on the cover the cat is in the foreground and is not sized proportionally to the dragon -- so you REALLY can't tell). You have to zoom in on the picture to figure it out. I paint these pictures in high resolution (probably too high) so the details are there if you want to look (I need to figure out how to simplify the painting process. I put TOO much detail in the images.)

cat noses

Simply put, Tormy has freckles on his nose. So, yes, that is Tormy on the cover. And the dragon is Lord Amar -- you can tell the dragons apart by the secondary color on the underside of their scales. Lord Amar's secondary color is sapphire blue.

Incidentally, the original Tormy (our beautiful Maine Coon from our college days) had freckles on his nose as well. But only on one half of his nose -- the other side was completely clear. It always made him look slightly lopsided, but that's our Tormy -- sweet, innocent, and slightly lopsided.