See that pretty fleur-de-lis?

As I am the daughter of a cowboy, it’s a bit of a chuckle that my first proper blog post will be about branding.

By that, I don’t mean applying a hot iron to my cool but tough writerly hide. Branding is a marketing term for creating a connection between artist and audience. It can be visual (a logo), physical (matching covers in a book series) or perceptual (Agatha Christie, queen of mystery authors.)

All of that is good info for self-promotion and platform building, but I am a little all over the place artistically. I wanted an esoteric symbol, an image that would link me to my work, but wouldn’t box me into one style or genre.

 Also, I wanted something distinctive for my letterhead and business cards.

It took me about 10 seconds to find a fitting artistic symbol, not because I am lazy or easy to please, but because I am lucky. Ask me about myself and my work, and some of the first words out of my mouth will be “French,” “Louisiana,” “family stories,” and “Cajun country.”

Hence the fleur-de-lis.

A year ago, Louisiana formally adopted the “lily flower” as an official symbol of the state. After Katrina, it was an emblem of grassroots support for hope and recovery in New Orleans. The fleur-de-lis also appears on the official flag of Acadiana. Historically, it is a symbol of heraldry, first used by King Clovis I of France, who embraced the concept of the divine right of kings.

All of which matches well with me. I like flowers. I am French. My Acadian ancestors survived the Grand Derangement from Canada to Louisiana. I survived hurricanes in my childhood. I love New Orleans. I am not blessed with royal blood, but I do like to think I have divine right over my writing.

Plus, it’s awfully pretty, isn’t it?



10 thoughts on “See that pretty fleur-de-lis?

  1. JM Reinbold says:

    I like your fleur de lis symbol/logo! It is very pretty. Good post, too. Got me thinking about what my own symbol / logo might be …

    Divine right over your writing. I like that. I have a blog icon a friend gave me — it’s a picture of Rosie the Riveter saying “Hell, yes, I wrote that!”

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  2. nancy martin says:

    Great branding symbol! It fits you perfectly!

    My own branding began with the covers for the Blackbird Sisters mysteries.–The stylish drawing of the girl in pastel colors seemed to appeal to readers. (And the books look so pretty when they’re arranged together.) Then another publisher began to use *exactly* the same girl (by the same artist) on the covers for another author.–Even down to her hair color. I was really annoyed. Nothing to be done about it, though. I felt as though I’d been cloned–not in a good way.

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  3. Sherry Dare says:

    I have always loved the fleur-de-lis. Like you I have Cajun roots. My mother is from Lake Charles, LA.

    I’d always heard that the fleur-de-lis was representative of the holy trinity.And I love your idea of having divine right over your writing!

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  4. Ramona DeFelice Long says:

    Joanne, I’m curious about your symbol ideas. I predict a long, rambling conversation about it in our near future.

    Nancy, perhaps yours is an example of that imitation and flattery thing?

    Sherry, comment ca va, cher? I’m from the other side of the state (Lafourche) but we can still be writer cousins. Thanks for stopping by!

    I have also heard that the three petals of the fleur-de-lis represent the Holy Trinity. At the risk of sounding sacreligious, I am trying to apply it to writing. Maybe the three petals represent first draft, revised draft, final draft? Character, plot, setting? Obviously, I am still working on this notion.

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    • JM Reinbold says:

      Ramona, I like the idea of the three petals of the fleur-de-lis representing a first draft, a revised draft and a final draft. That’s how I want my novel to go — first (done), revised (in progress), final (my goal). Looking at it that way, I can handle it. Thanks!

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  5. Krista Davis says:

    Welcome to blogging, Ramona.

    I’m a huge believer in branding for books. Though I’ll admit that beginning each title with “The Diva” can be a challenge!

    I love your fleur-de-lis — so very elegant.

    ~Krista

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  6. Kaye George says:

    I had to post to see what pretty little symbol I would get! Plus to tell you I love the lily flower and you telling of your Cajun, Louisiana roots. I agree branding is important. I have several in mind for the day I’m published. Maybe I’ll decide by then.

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  7. Justynn Tyme says:

    Thats great when ou find a symbol that matches you as an artist and not by art which does limit you.

    Maybe you could further indentify it to you by changing the color a bit. so its not just fleur-de-lis but ramona longs fleur-de-lis! cock it to onside maybe.

    i just use my face, now thats lazy ha ha ha.

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