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?