‘painted’ — draft two complete!

And my second draft of ‘Painted’ is finished!

‘Painted’ is the first of my new project, The Forever Series, a series of novellas about magic, monsters, near-infinite worlds, cursed immortals, and an epic love story. When it’s finished, it’ll be released as a free ebook online. (The sequels we’ll be selling for a dollar apiece.)

We’ve got work to do still, but in the meantime, here’s my work-in-progress painting for the cover.

cover art preview!

Blue Crystal, proposed cover

This is the very rough sketch of the future cover, commissioned from the wonderful Nykolai. Go see her gallery. (Rough idea for) The back:

In a sunless ice-world where cities are built underground, Vastii is a corrupt, dirty metropolis ripe with gangs, mercenaries, rebellion, and scheming politicians. To suppress an uprising in the west, the king took his own niece, Lady Wyrren Jadis, as a political hostage. Officially, her presence will ensure her father’s loyalty to a king that he never cared for. The king never mentioned that he intends to use Wyrren to accuse her father of murder.

Forced into a strange city with only a few companions, the king’s niece is seen as an easy way to the king’s ear or a weapon against the monarchy. But Lady Wyrren loves freedom more than comfort, and is prepared to do whatever it takes to fight for it.

Anyone think this is noteworthy enough to pick up at a bookstore and flip through a few pages?

the artist

A full week after I promised myself that I would finish the chapter, write a synopsis, and send them to the artist, I’ve finally done it. She’s still interested, but a little busy right now and should send her thoughts and some rough sketch ideas to me in the next month.

*does the happy artist-dance*

cover art

A few weeks ago, I started talking to an artist I admire about commissioning a cover for my book. She seemed interested, and it was agreed upon that I’d send her some pieces of my book and talk about what I’d like to see.

So I went over some of the first chapters of my story, and I realized that parts needed to be rewritten. The imagery wasn’t that great in places, and I’d changed my mind about how a few pieces looked. Then I wondered what sort of thing really would make a great cover. Rylan battling his tiger in the arena? The balcony on the arena facade, which is carved to look like a hand of a god outstretched over the Pit? Or perhaps something simplistic– Wyrren walking through walls as if it were made of water (which isn’t accurate, but it would look neat). Two of these three scenes haven’t been written yet in the current draft. So I’ve delayed, and haven’t gotten anything over, though I did make it clear to her right away that I’d need some time together things together, and that at present the time frame wasn’t an issue.

Nonetheless, it’s rude behavior on my part. People shouldn’t just do what they say. They should do what they say in a timely manner. I’ll fix that this weekend, and send her the first two chapters, the description of the fight in the arena, a synopsis of the plot, and a few suggestions for what I think would be a decent cover. I’ll also offer to give her more if she needs it, ask if she has any other ideas, and suggest that she send me a few quick concept sketches if she’s still interested.

Her work is absolutely beautiful. You’re going to love what she does with this.

(A quick note: I know that often times authors aren’t allowed to do anything with cover art. I’ve done some research into it, and I’ve found that it can go both ways. Some publishers want control over the look of your book, others will let you have your way if you push them. I’m hoping for the latter, but even if the idea is completely rejected, I’ve decided that I still really want this. Even if it’s only for myself.)