Greetings blog readers! I’m sorry it’s been so long since we’ve given an update, but our cover for our newest novel Path of the Magi was in a state of flux for nearly a year. As result, our book was delayed and part of me grew so disenchanted with the whole experience I had began to wonder whether this cover would ever be completed. I’m happy to say that we are back on track and the cover has been completed. Nevertheless, my schedule was crazy the last month, so I didn’t get a chance to share until now, so this blog will come in two stages to bring you all up to speed.
Now Ben Wootten poured more work into the cover over a series of months. Ben did a fantastic job on designing the Drakor, the dragon men, who live in the volcanic mountains of Doruggdoom. The details on the dragon priest and Drakoran soldiers are all top-notch. The rear cover looks out of this world good and the redesign on the tower cities is masterful. The dragon men live in tower cities that cap the mountain peaks, making these tall looming fortresses nearly impregnable. Every year other races are hunted down and carried off in nets to be put to work as slaves in the mines of Doruggdoom. This design truly encapsulate the dread and doom a person might feel when gazing upon the tower cities from a distance.
We were truly excited for all these additions and we waited eagerly the next draft. Then came the bad news about two months ago. Ben Wootten sincerely apologized, but after struggling with the front of the cover he was turning the project back over to us unfinished. Ben was tied up with film projects and was traveling to various movie sets, making it difficult for him to complete the cover. In addition, he had to take some personal time off as well due to some sort of crisis that presented further barriers to him completing the project.
Now before we all go blaming Ben Wootten for this, I will say to his credit that he took the cover this far and did not charge us a penny. That said, we were left with a incomplete and unusable cover. The rear looks like awesome sauce, but the front is a big problem. The front cover is of course the most imporant part of the drawing for a novel and as you can see here it’s missing some very important details. Edronius has no wrist, Festan has no face and poor Davril didn’t even get a head! Oh dear.
I spent another few months scouring Deviantart.com and talked to many other big named artists. Of course, they were either booked up or wanted to start over from scratch and our book was being delayed with every conversation. After much looking I was able to locate another artist, Ilich Henriquez, out of Germany who’s art style was similar to Ben Wootten’s own. Ilich has done some commissions for Fantasy Flightgames. One of my favorite pieces he did for them is right here. Two of my other favorite pieces were his Drizzt fan art, which sold me on his abilities and are put on display in these two shining examples: sample one and two. Now Ben Wootten was kind of enough to send us the layered file so Illich picked up where Ben left off. Here’s the first draft of Illich’s edits and I am quite happy with the results.
Finally our heroes are starting to take shape!!! Davril and Edroinius look stellar! Festan looks great too and Ilich is finalizing even more great details on our brave hereos. Very well done faces and great hair! I feel funny in saying that, but Ilich has truly got a talent for hair, which only seems to accentuate the characters and the sense of conflict in the piece. I can’t wait to see where Illich takes the cover from here.
Ilich also added some nice details to the Drakor, the dragon men. The dragon priest looks even scarier sporting a even larger wyvern skull mask and the Drakoran warriors’ armor is shinnier and even more spikey. We decided to move some objects around, so readers could get a better look at the tower city and added an even larger horde of Drakor hovering around the gloomy superstructures. And finally Ilich detailed the rock and background with more to come. Illich also said he’s still playing with lighting and particle effects, so expect a few more improvements in later drafts.
This progress has got me so pumped again I’m jumping back on the promotion wagon. Given how long we waited before, I had to hold back on updates and advertising because our book release was so up in the air. Stay tuned for part two of this blog entry and samples, samples coming within the next few weeks, since I have finally gotten some time to sit down and blog.Sssssp…Kindle Users may want to check Amazon for a special early release version of Path of the Magi.
Thanks so much for taking the cover to the next level, Ilich!