Artist Search

You may have seen the post on Facebook recently where I announced that the artist for the first two books in my series is unavailable to continue with the third. I will eventually need to change all the covers to something more “action scene” oriented, but I have always wanted the first runs to be more artistic. These magnificent scenes played out in my head as the world came to life within my imagination. 

Jonathan Lebel did amazing work taking my stick figures and descriptions and turning them into beautiful imagery. 

The first is a scene from early in Hidden Memory when Annalla is still within the traken forest. She has her borrowed blade and boots, with her wings wrapped around her. 

The second is from Hidden Sanctuary when Annalla arrives at the river crossing. This is just before the events unfold (you know which events I’m referring to if you have read this one). 

Onto the Third

I want to continue in this same vein for the third and fourth before I look at shifting the style of all four, so the hunt is on for a new artist who can capture the same grandeur of my fantastical world. The cover of Hidden Promise will be an image of their arrival in the sanctuary, flying through and providing a glimpse of how and where the people live. 

My terrible sketch and description have gone to one artist, and I have reached out to a few others, so I hope to have a cover to show you in the April newsletter. It might be out a little later than my usual mid-month Saturday, but I hope it will be worth the wait. 

As for the cover of the fourth, you will have to wait until next year for more information on that one!

Have a great weekend!

Hidden Sanctuary Cover Reveal!

The time you have all been waiting for has arrived! Okay, maybe it is just me, but I’m going to share it and pretend everyone else has been biting their nails in anticipation. If you can’t wait even a moment longer, you can scroll down to see the new cover, but I first wanted to share some exciting news. 

WA Renaissance Faire

The organizers have accepted my application for a booth at this summer’s Renaissance Faire! I will be there for the second and third weekends of the fair, August 13/14 and August 20/21. With Hidden Sanctuary set to release on August 16th, I am scrambling to make the necessary changes with enough time for author copies to arrive in time for inclusion at the booths. If all goes well, I will be able to sell some advance copies that first weekend!

August 13/14th is the “Fairytales & Fantasy Adventures” weekend, aligning perfectly with the story told in the Hidden Series. Then, on August 20/21, the theme is “Across the Multiverse,” for those who want to dress up in more of a geek chic than fantasy nerd. Either way, I will be there all four days selling books and signing them all!

Hidden Sanctuary

Thank you to Jonathan Lebel for another piece of beautiful artwork. He, once again, took a stick figure sketch from me and turned it into this beautiful landscape with inspiration from the stunning Cascade range we have here in Washington State. 

After the entire series is released, I will probably look at changing up the covers to something more action-oriented and target-market, but I love the art of these images. These original covers will be for me, and I can appeal to the market later. 

*Spoiler alert* This blurb below includes spoilers for Hidden Memory

Larron’s hope fades as he discovers it is not only his people facing the brink of destruction. As the council tries to save what they can, a young mage approaches Annalla with a tempting, if crazy, proposition. He knows a story, an old family tale, and it might hold the answer to finding the fairy.

Join Larron and Annalla as they work with new allies to continue their desperate quest against a cruel dictator bent on destruction in Hidden Sanctuary!

Cover Art Reveal

The art for my first book is complete! Another step on the journey to publication. There will be additional iterations along the way, as I will need changes for physical books and might need adjustments for the final uploads to digital publication, but I’m checking this off for now.

To share a little about the process, I previously mentioned I reached out to three artists and was waiting on timelines and quotes. After selecting artist Jonathan Lebel, we started communicating more about what I was looking for in the image. I wanted a figure with a sword in a forest, with the forest showing subtle signs of going through a drought. The forest would be more of the focus than the figure.

I helpfully provided a detailed example of what I imagined it would look like.

First cut, I had to change the figure a bit, as the wings needed to be larger to fit with the story. Now she is wrapped up in them fully like a wrap dress or chainmail. We also went back and forth on font a few times, as this was about the book and not the art, so we needed the title to pop out at you. The first font selected also looked more like a romance novel, so we ended up changing that out.

The original flowy font had my test group (friends) thinking romance novel.

I researched other novel covers. The layout, the font(s) used, and the colors are all very important, as a cover is part of the book advertising. If I had to highlight only one lesson learned from this process, it would be to do more research about covers up front to determine more than only what I want the image to look like. The positioning and fonts used are just as important, and I will have more specific preferences for them at the start when I do this again.

I ended up going to Font Squirrel and searching for the Cinzel fonts for my cover. This is a font available for free download and use at &Discover. I described the font as striking with elegance when I was sharing it with my test group. The change was amazing and I loved how it fit the theme I was going for much better than before.

A big thank you to artist Jonathan Lebel for working with me on this cover. You can see his work on ArtStation at this link, and I’m sure it will not be difficult to spot the images that had me reaching out to him. He also provided the butterfly wings you now see at the top of my website pages. Should you happen to pick up my book once it is out, you can read all about those wings. More goals for 2021!