In today’s self-publishing market, many times authors must also be their own copy editors, cover designers and artists and self-promoters. Very few people are everything: one of my biggest drawbacks is that I am not an artist and I am forced to rely on others to supply the artwork (and sometimes photography) needed for the cover I want. I was fortunate with my cover designs for my previous self-published works (here and here) which were based on actual photographs and then photo-manipulated, but I am stymied with my current project, because my requirements for my new story ‘Sympathetic Succubus’ are pretty specific: I want a succubus. which is not difficult, in a suit, looking very professional, very sardonic and a little resigned and annoyed because of what is happening in the story, which is proving very difficult. That is why I wrote up this description so I have something to point people toward.
Suzette Merryweather is a succubus. She is also an FBI agent. That makes finding artwork that depicts someone like her very difficult. Suzette was one of the very few people who Changed that day when the power that can best be described as magic entered the world. When she Changed, as did every other Changer, their appearance changed to become more‑or‑less stereotypical for whatever type of Changer they became. The type of Changer was determined by several factors: Suzette became a Changer in part because she was an escort and exotic dancer as well as in the final year of her Masters of Social Work degree. She was already beautiful and sensual and empathic, and all of these features were enhanced and exaggerated when she Changed.
The following is part of my “story bible” for my series “Changers and Changes” regarding succubi in general:
All succubi are sensually exciting and sexually enticing, despite their demonic appearance. All succubi share largely the same features: dusky red skin tones with black hair, eyelashes, horns, hooves and wings. Their horns curl back from their temples across their hair, which typically streams down their back almost to their waist. Their ears are pointed and varied, ranging from pointing straight out to curving back along the skull. The “whites” of their eyes are florescent yellow while their irises are solid red and pupils are solid black. Their black leathery wings are clawed at the joints and extend about twice their arm’s reach outstretched, giving them limited flight capacity, mainly gliding; they also can metaphysically fold them against their back to hide them under coats or jackets. Their tail is prehensile but physically weak. Their feet are always bare: their toes merged to form a split cloven hoof, with a soft pad underneath the ball of the foot and a spur at the heel resembling a high heel.
Succubus magic also allows them to wear any kind or size of clothing, even if it normally wouldn’t fit them, and it always looks stunning on them no matter the type or condition. Because of the generic appearance of succubi, many distinguish themselves by elaborate hair arrangements, including beads, braids and bleaching, and horn and ear jewelry and accessories.
Specifically, Suzette has a statistically average height and weight yet a strikingly remarkable appearance. She is slightly above average in height at 5’ 9”, largely because the composition of her cloven hooves make it look like she is walking in high heels, and has an exceptional build: she cannot conceal1 her hourglass figure and full breasts.
Suzette has a very Latin appearance, which she inherited from her mother and grandmother: deep‑set eyes underneath arching eyebrows, broad mouth, thin lips, perfect white (and only slightly pointed) teeth, sharp chin and prominent cheekbones. She dimples when she smiles (which is often) and she has this way of cocking her head slightly, raising her eyebrows and smiling knowingly at people that at the same time disturbs them and excites them. She wears her glossy black hair brushed straight back down past her shoulder blades. Her horns are about two inches across but only an inch thick at the start: they start at the hairline above her eyes and curl outward and down (like ram’s horns) beside her temples twice around before ending in a blunt point. Her horns are ridged concentrically but not overly so. As with all succubi, her ears are pointed: hers curve upward and back against her skull, and have prominent pierced earlobes.
Suzette possesses an ingrained elegant sense of style. She wants to look professional, because she has to project the image of a dedicated FBI agent despite her succubus appearance and nature. That means suits and jackets and skirts or slacks, (comparably) low‑key jewelry and no hair arrangements. She prefers a black pinstriped jacket and not-quite-knee‑length skirt, a wide black leather belt with a round silver ring buckle and a ruffled, high‑collared red satin blouse that always seems to come unbuttoned midway across her breasts at odd moments.2 She wears a silver reproduction of a Greek medallion of the Furies as a broach on her left breast, a heavy twisted silver chain as a necklace, a plain solid silver bracelet on each wrist, several silver rings with a variety of semiprecious settings and a plain silver chain ankle bracelet on her right ankle. She does not wear a watch, because her succubus magic grants her impeccable timing. She wears intricate concentric silver hoop earrings, but only when she is not expecting to be working a bust.3 Unlike most other succubi, she wears little makeup, primarily smokey eyeshadow.
Any personal items she needs such as her FBI identification, keys, drivers license, credit cards and money are snugly carried in a small red alligator leather clutch that appears in her hands when needed and disappears when not, more succubus magic.
- In fact, her succubus magic often takes independent actions to further blatantly display her obvious charms.
- Again, her succubus magic in action.
- Note that wearing such a large quantity of silver is a blatant demonstration of her commitment to the law: silver can be used to bind succubus magic. It can also be seen as a mocking denunciation of such limitations.