March 2016 final proof small

I’m back to posting the stories behind the ‘Beyond Words’ author calendar, and I’m picking back up with Scott Westerfeld! But, as always, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you to grab a copy of the calendar; the proceeds go to charity, so it’s for a great cause!

Scott Westerfeld is the author of a plethora of beloved books, including the Uglies series, the Leviathan series (in my top 5 favorite YA series of all time!), the awesomely creative Afterworlds, and the recent list-hitter Zeroes (written with Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti). If you’re into the YA books scene at all you should be well-familiar with his stuff. If you’re not, start with Leviathan, it’s freaking amazing. :)

Scott’s was one of the images I saw from the beginning of this calendar. I wanted a magical tree growing all sorts of keys and a locked door on the trunk that leads to an infinite number of places. It’s got a bit of a steampunk vibe, something Scott also enjoyed, so it was a good fit for him from the start.

This image was shot back to back with Garth Nix’s photo on a lovely autumn day in New York City. Here we are strolling from one shoot to the next:

Authors in Black.

I had to do this photo in stages. The first stage was shooting Scott in his pose, and I found a lovely weird tree in Central Park in NYC that completely captured the whimsical vibe I wanted.

photo (1)
Getting ready for the shoot. Taken by Garth Nix.
My friend Jeffrey prepping the tree for the shoot.
Scott looking dapper. Taken by Garth Nix.
photo (2)
Behind the scenes! Taken by Garth Nix.

Next I shot stock of the keys which I later layered on top of his image to achieve the final look.


This is one of many stock key images I shot. I wasn’t sure what would work until I was sitting down with Photoshop, so I just tried to cover all my bases in one go.

From there it was just a matter of making sure all the pieces were put together correctly.

Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 10.40.37 PM

The final product definitely carries the fun magic I love about this project. This was a really fun one to create.

March 2016 final proof small

I’m going to be posting two blogs a week to make sure they’re all out before Christmas. Stay tuned for the next one, Melissa de la Cruz!  And don’t forget to grab a copy of the calendar (remember, all proceeds go to charity!).

Did you miss the previous calendar stories? Be sure to check out the creation of Robin Hobb’s,  Leigh Bardugo’sTony DiTerlizzi’sKami Garcia’s and Garth Nix’s images!

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  • Lise

    I would love a copy of the calendar, but unfortunately the shipping costs are as much as the calendar itself. And 40 dollar is a bit too much :(

    • I’m sorry to hear that. I am not in charge of the shipping, but it does seem to cost that much because of the size and not wanting to bend it. :(