Updated: Aug 17
There is a hateful meme circulating the internet that uses licensed artwork from The Lightning Conjurer series to make a racist statement implying women of color do not deserve to be cast in a role they earned, as the color of their skin doesn't adhere to the trolls' Aryan beauty standards.
Let me say clearly: I own the rights to the image on the left and those misusing it have neither asked nor received my permission to use it. If they had, I would have politely told them to stuff a stick up their butts.
The original artwork, entitled Lost Ashes, was created by renowned artist Selene Regener, who champions love and beauty in all aspects of her life. She and I collaborated to create a modern cover for the first book of The Lightning Conjurer series. As part of our agreement, I purchased the rights to the modified and original artwork.
In layman's terms, that means any and all past, present, and future iterations of Lost Ashes belong to me.
Now, I will sometimes see our artwork used on Pinterest and other hobby sites, where I have chosen to turn a blind a eye as it poses no harm to me or anyone else. However, in this case, I have been doing everything I can to have the meme taken down. If you happen to see this meme floating around Facebook or elsewhere, please consider reporting it as stolen intellectual property by taking the following steps:
For anyone who has been hurt or offended by this image, I would like to extend my deepest apologies. Selene's art and my books have always championed beauty, strength, and diversity among ALL people. It was never our intention to have our work pervaded in such a hateful way. Back in prehistoric times, it made sense for our brains to quickly distinguish/separate the other cavemen of the world into good vs bad, us vs them, like vs unlike. But in an advanced and diverse society, I have to wonder why some people cling so deeply to their obsolete reptilian brain stems. If you are one of those reptiles who have come to this page to spread more hate or vitriol, I'd like to tell you loud and clear: you are not welcome here.