Today, I am welcoming author Jan Sikes to Roberta Writes to talk about her new novel, JAGGED FEATHERS. Welcome Jan!
Thank you, Robbie, for inviting me to your blog site today to talk about my new book, JAGGED FEATHERS! I appreciate your generosity.
I remember a few years ago, as I scrolled through Pinterest, I found some artwork that was literally breathtaking. I knew when I found it I wanted to use it someday in a story. So, when I created my character, Nakina Bird, I gave her the artistic gift of painting on feathers. I had to research some of the basics in order to write it, but what a fascinating and delicate medium. Here are a few examples. If you’d like, visit Pinterest and take a look at some of the amazing feather art.
When Vann Noble discovered an assortment of feathers and paint supplies in the bottom of Nakina’s backpack, he was more than a little curious. Any type of art interested him, but especially art that used things occurring in nature.
She (Nakina) spread clean paper, assembled her paints and brushes, then reached for the feather. “The first thing you have to do is prime the feather or set your base, and I do that with a spray fixative.”
Vann pulled up a stool beside her. She smoothed the feather with her slender fingers, almost as if she were combing it. He found himself wondering what those fingers would feel like on his skin. Dammit! He had to keep his thoughts focused and quit acting like a touch-deprived fool. “So, shaping is important?”
“Yes. Then once you have it exactly how you want it, spray both sides with the fixative.” She reached for a spray can, and the movement caused her thigh to brush against his.
“Do you have to wait for it to dry?” He fought to ignore the touch.
“On a feather, it dries almost instantly. Do you by chance have any masking tape?”
“I’m sure I do somewhere.” He pushed up from the stool and rummaged through drawers on a side cabinet. “Here you go.” He placed the tape in the palm of her hand, and his fingertips lightly brushed her soft skin. His breath quickened.
She carefully tore off three small pieces and attached them to the back side of the feather, then pressed it down onto the paper. “This just helps stabilize and strengthen the spine. You can’t imagine how many quills I broke when I was first learning.”
He rested his elbows on the table while she squirted small dots of acrylic paint onto the paper. Using short brush strokes, she outlined the profile of a dog. “You’re going to paint Champion!”
She smiled. “It was appropriate for this feather. It seems the piece you’re working on and this feather are symbolic. So it needs Champion on it too. The most important thing is to always paint in the direction the feather lies.”
“Uh huh. That makes sense.”
Her face relaxed, and a half-smile graced her lips. The soothing, rhythmical strokes of the brush spread through Vann, and for the first time in hours his mind quieted and peace washed over him.
Champion came alive one brushstroke at a time on the inky surface of the raven’s feather.
Nakina was right. This piece was symbolic in every way. It might be one that he’d keep for himself.
What was it she had said about a raven’s feather? It represented creation and knowledge. Those were both important to survival in life.
He found incomparable comfort in creating art, and it was vividly apparent that Nakina did as well.
Her long, slender fingers moved with grace over the delicate medium. He followed her movement, taking in each detail. Her face softened, and the furrow between her brow smoothed.
When she laid down her brush, an uncanny likeness of Champion occupied the surface of the feather.
Vann let out a low whistle. “That’s amazing.”
At the whistle, Champion jumped to his feet and trotted over.
Nakina loosened the masking tape and lifted the feather from the paper. She held it up in the sunlight. “Thanks. Do you think it looks like him?”
“What do you think old boy?” Vann patted Champion’s back.
The dog let out a short bark.
Nakina laughed. “Looks like he approves.”
“So do I. That is truly fascinating and something I’ll try my hand at someday.”
Have you ever seen feather art before? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. If I were an artist, I would certainly try it.
Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master’s scars. If only the white rune’s magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.
On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann’s cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.
A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks. Will these two not only survive, but find an unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?
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AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK