The Girl On The Cover Of FISH

FISH is our third book, and easily the most personal for me. While Cthulhurotica let me explore my adoration for Lovecraft’s Mythos universe in a fun (and decidedly more diverse) way, and IN SITU let me bring my academic life into my work here, FISH has always been about my love for my family. Over the next few weeks I’ll talk more about the inspiration for the stories and the structure of the anthology, as well as the inspiration for doing it in the first place, but to begin with I’ll answer the question I get asked most – who is the model for the girl on the cover?

This girl. Isn’t she beautiful?

When Galen Dara and I were talking about cover ideas it was obvious that we were going to have a fish on it. I mean, right? We talked about stylized koi and tattoo-like designs … Galen’s an amazing artist, and I knew whatever we picked would be great. But this had to be right, for all of the reasons I made the book in the first place. It had to be lovely, it had to be a little strange, but hopeful, and ultimately wonderful. Full of wonder.

Early sketch, by Galen Dara

Somewhere in between emails and sketches we decided on a girl, under water, but not drowned, not drowning, a girl with a smile … and a fish. To me, there was only one girl that could be right, and Galen happily took my photo references and got to work. I think I look like her, though I’m not the girl on the cover. We have the same nose, and lips, but I’ve never worn glasses like that. Here are a couple of the pictures I sent Galen:

Our cover model at 19, on her honeymoon (picture taken on a ferry).

At 20, with her first daughter – me.

The girl on the cover of FISH is my mother. Like I said, there was only person it could be.

– Carrie Cuinn

PS. Our Kickstarter to fund FISH and other projects is going strong but still needs more backers. Go here to read more and pledge.

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  1. Aha, Thanks for sharing, the both of you. I had no idea it came from a photo.

    And I think its very cool its your Mom, Carrie:)

    • Oh yes, I definitely asked first (before using her on the cover and before sharing the story). She was more amused than anything, to begin with, but she thinks Galen did an amazing job.

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