\those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably seen this already, but for those who haven’t, I achieved one of my all-time writing dreams over Christmas – someone drawing a picture of characters from one of my books. Technically, I think the dream was around spontaneous fanart, but I’ll 100% settle for the fact that my husband commissioned something for me. The picture is below, and I genuinely could not be more delighted by it.


The picture shows Julien and Marianne, the main characters from The Dictator’s Wife (ie. eponymous wife and eponymous dictator) standing outside their stronghold at Somerset House after Marianne’s return from five years with the enemy. My two favourite things about it (apart from “its existence” and “everything about it”) is firstly, that in the background you can see the giant posters of the two of them with their slogans underneath:

“It was the larger-than-life portraits covering the front of Somerset House that caught my attention.

The painting on the left showed a striking man in replica nineteenth-century military uniform. Honour the First Lord demanded the words inscribed above the image.

The text above the right-hand painting was more mournful: Remember the Eternal Blessed First Lady. The woman depicted in the image appeared as fragile and innocent as a rococo shepherdess, but my co-conspirators considered her a she-devil in life and their most high-profile victim in death.”

Secondly, that they are wearing specific outfits from a scene in the book, which dates it to First Lady Day.

“I had to admit that the sky-blue, A-line dress struck a nice balance between authoritative and attractive.

I burrowed into his chest. I doubted the stylists had put him through quite the same rigours as me, though he was freshly shaven and his hair had been neatly trimmed and gelled. Besides, his ceremonial eighteenth-century military uniform cost more than my beautiful silk dress any day.”

I’m definitely intending to get My Love is Vengeance and Cavaliers ones done at some point. For anyone looking for something similar, the artist’s website is here: http://taratjah.tumblr.com/commissions.

As well as the commissioning option, for anyone interested in YA fantasy, she has some amazing drawings of characters and scenes from some of my favourite books.