It’s interesting that every summer, a major milestone occurs in the Auraverse. This summer is no different. I thought I’d share these moments with you.
Aura Lockhaven is born. Well, so she wasn’t yet Aura Lockhaven. She was just a barbarian pinup girl. This is how she looked that summer.
She was just a lark I did in 3D art, and not very well. Perhaps it isn’t noticeable but her eyes aren’t green here (green eyes are Aura’s trademark). But as I looked at this image, I wondered what would cause a woman to dance naked in a forest of fire. Thirty minutes later, I had the answer. She was Aura Lockhaven, and she was an enchantress.
Aura began as the central character in a four chapter graphic novel. I planned for her to romp around England naked and have sex on every page. This is the cover to that first graphic novel, so long ago.
You can tell she evolved, even if just a little.
I stopped working on the graphic novel that month; in the middle of chapter thirteen! Halfway through chapter one, Aura seized control of the story. She had a fascinating tale to tell and demanded to tell it. So, I let her. The story ceased being merely prurient, and became that of an uncertain girl, traumatized and full of self-doubt, becoming a confident woman of destiny. And kicking some baddie ass along the way. By then, the mere four chapters had grown to 3,000 separate renders. But, I was in graduate school and gearing up for my final year. I could either work on my hobby, or go to school. Guess who won?
This is how Aura looked when I stopped work on the graphic novel.
That summer, all I had left was my thesis. With my classes finished, I knew it was time to get serious about writing. But what? Well, it just so happened that I had a great story sitting in my computer. I returned to work on Aura … as a written novel. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words are 3,000 pictures worth? I’m still writing! And remember, I never finished the graphic novel!
This is how she looked when I transformed those renders into words.
When I graduated in December, 2012, I had a novel and a half finished. I also plunged into a malaise from which I could not escape. Between no longer having an externally imposed discipline, and my own brain chemistry backfiring on me, it took me six months to ever think about writing again. By August, I finally could again, thanks to my naturopathic doctor. In the meantime, something happened. Victoria 6 appeared.
The previous incarnations of Aura were based on the Victoria 4 3D figure by DAZ3D. The new Victoria 6 has twice as many polygons, so she looks more like a real woman — a series of round cylinders instead of a bunch of flat planes. Not only did I think Victoria 6 looked more realistic, but making clothes for her was a breeze. I decided to overhaul Aura from the soles of her feet up. I made her look like I described her in the books, with a more English face. She ended up looking more her age. I made her jewelry, staff, and sandals to match my own descriptions. I wanted to make her bikini, but that durn bra kept fighting me (how many men can say they were bested by boobs when fitting a bikini to a woman?). Well, lazy animal that I am, I noticed that the new dynamic bikini was a corseted affair and looked close enough to how I wrote it for Aura. And a cape is a cape. A few purchased items won’t hurt. So, this is how Aura Lockhaven looks today, on the threshold of my return to writing her adventures.
I am especially proud of her dragon-headed toric. Trish wants her sandals!
As for the summer of 2014, I hope to post the cover to the novel that you will see in your local bookstore. I hope that it is painted by a professional illustrator! We shall see.