Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 141 – Oh that dreamy man of mine!

Not to worry, I have not switched teams, and my wife’s place as the object of my desire is secure. But, I do have my man, now. My man for the cover of my book I mean.

So, after a bit of a delay, we are making progress again as Cris Ortega has finished up the face and hair of my protagonist, Altin Meade. We had to do some chatting back and forth regarding the details of his robes, which is interesting really, because as I go through this process, I realize that some of the things that are perfectly fine in the book don’t work perfectly well together in a picture.

The character wears gray wizards’ robes for most of the story. But, putting him in gray robes is not particularly compelling when standing him next to a character (Orli) who is in mostly black, while both are standing in front of a gray stone wall with a black star-filled background. (I actually yawned six times just trying to write that sentence).

SO, Cris, being the consummate pro, is trying to save me from myself, and made some suggestions. She put in some stuff, and we are kicking around ideas on how to make that part of the cover more snappy—part of that includes deviating from “the facts” a bit.

When I started this project, I expected to stick to the facts. I figured the cover image would be exactly representational of some scene or something in the book, with no deviation from the story. But as I’ve gone through this, not only have I seen that doesn’t work very well aesthetically, it really makes ZERO sense from a marketing standpoint. So, if I literally allow the artist to take some artistic license, not only is that reasonable and more fun for the illustrator, it is just a plain good idea for me too.  So, as the project unfolds, I find myself having more and more fun watching it evolve into something from which new ideas can feed (and just wait till you guys finally see how awesome Orli looks).

That said, I still want this damn book out already. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Although, I guess at this rate, I’ll be in perfect timing to have this thing be a Christmas gift idea. I will have to write lots of articles on HubPages and Squidoo and those platforms and try to stuff lots of keywords and backlinks into them to get fantasy fans the world over to buy my story. How fun would that be? So, for now, I’m letting the fate of my story unfold itself as the universe wills it to be. Or luck. Or … whatever.

Anyway, to the right is the full view of Altin (this is all there is to see for the most part, he's behind the dragon and Orli), and keep in mind, the robes are barely sketched out and lightly colored in, so that’s why you don’t get to see much more (for the most part). Cris and I are still tossing ideas around on how they really should look, so when you see the final project, he could be wearing pink pajamas or shiny bronze armor for all I know. But he is a looker isn’t he? Look at that face. I used to be young and handsome and, well, bedecked with a full head of hair. Oh well. My wife loves me, so, there you go. I guess that’s why she gets so many characters named after her in my books (even if one of them did get eaten by a giant worm in one a long time ago).

(Oh, and on another note, if you haven’t read any of my Shadesbreath humor/satire on Hubpages, and you are looking for a chuckle, go have a look. Lots of illustrated goofy stuff like my last blog entry (like most of the illustrated posts on here, really) that might make you laugh: )


  1. I think it's a little creepy, because he kinda looks like a touched up pretty boy version of your son....kind of... very nice!

  2. Gosh, I thought that WAS you. ;)

    Seriously, now you (kind of) know what it's like to be 9 months pregnant. Kind of.

  3. Feels more like I'm 11 months pregnant with fat, boulder-fisted octuplets gang-punching me in the uterus as a bladder infection rages, a 300 pound gorilla bounces on my stomach, and someone is playing the sound of running water on a stereo... all shortly after quaffing at least fifteen light beers.

  4. Not what I was expecting. Exquisite, but different from what I'd pictured. Ah, well. He certainly is beautiful (if I'm allowed to use that word to describe your male hero without emasculating his creator).

    I'm not as anxious as you are for the book to come out, but I am certainly getting excited.



  5. Hi John,

    He's gorgeous, but he looks really young. About 17? How old is he in your novel?

    I can't wait to see the finished cover!

  6. He starts out 20. I wonder if maybe he looks too young.

  7. "Feels more like I'm 11 months pregnant with fat, boulder-fisted octuplets gang-punching me in the uterus . . . "

    And don't be surprised if, when the book finally comes out, you suffer from a little post-partum depression. A lot of us do . . .

  8. You mean I'm going to want to shake my book violently, maybe drive it into a lake? Yikes! (I might actually be able to see that happening. This whole process has extended itself beyond my intended--and allotted--time frame... I will be very, very glad to have it launched. It's starting to be like a kid that's grown up and should be out on its own but it's still hanging around eating my food and snarling at any suggestion of getting a job (much less mowing the lawn or opening up a laundry machine).