Here we go Dragon-Seekers, a moment I am sure you are all excited for … *drum roll* the next COVER REVEAL in the Dragon Callings series!
2018 is here, and you know what that means? (yeah, silly question, I know) The up-coming release of Book 4 of the series! And not only do you get to see the official book cover, but the official book title, too!
I’m so excited for you to see this!
Continuing with the cover theme of the transitioning sky (night for KIN SEEKER, dawn for THE BEACON THRONES, and midday for DUAL DESTINY), THE SWORD OF STARS descends into afternoon. Also in the DC cover tradition is the spotlighting of a character featured in the book. This character is someone we’ve all met before, and I am pretty sure many of you will be excited to see him again. 😀
Out of all the covers so far, KIN SEEKER was probably the most challenging (being the first of many things: the first official cover I’ve done, the first time utilising certain digital art methods and layers, the first time creating a full layout of dragon scales, and the first time really thinking hard from a design point-of-view how to effectively harmonize all the elements into an appealing visual).
But THE SWORD OF STARS rates higher in level of difficulty and complexity, for numerous reasons. The original sketch, for instance, was a slightly different pose, but that ended up not fitting correctly into the dimensions of the book cover. Blagh! Tweak, tweak, and more tweaking. Then, the tattoo … a tricky beast considering the angle as well as having to take into account the undulations of the arm muscles. The background was fun, but again, a fair few layers and opacities to get everything looking good.
The most difficult element? … the sword. By far! I’ve never attempting a semi-transparent crystalline object before, and to top it off, it had to be a symmetrical object … at an angle!
Hahaha, oh the pain we put ourselves through for the sake of good art.
But in the end, it was worth the dozens upon dozens of hours of brainstorming, research, and artistic endeavouring. I so happy with the final result. And I hope you are, too.
Oh, and let’s not forget the official Book Blurb (Paperback version):
“This is an awakening. It is time for me to stop watching the future unfold, and start shaping it.”
The first two Beacon Throne guardians have been awakened. The third lies far away to the east, beckoning Laeka’Draeon and his companions onward in their race to stop a second Manna Eruption from destroying Valadae.
But with every achieved triumph the danger grows, not only from the enemies of the old wars, but from within Laeka’Draeon’s own company.
And from across the spans of Valadae, the centaur prophet Belzor Ven’Ho rises to the call of destiny and, along with his closest companions, takes up arms in a bid to aid in Laeka’Draeon’s quest by breaking the enemy’s hold over the northern kingdoms.
The forces that have shaped the young dragon’s journey so far are set to converge, and the effects will be felt across all of Valadae.
I have locked in April 28th as the official release date for THE SWORD OF STARS. That weekend I will have a booth at the Gold Coast Supanova Convention, so I decided it would be an awesome opportunity to have the launch of Book 4 coincide with the event (since I know a lot of Dragon-Seekers attend the cons and have purchased my books from there). No date yet for pre-orders, but I will let everyone know as soon as I’ve set it up!
So, what do I need to work on between now and then?
- Send book 4 to the editor
- Go through polishes and scrubs suggested by editor
- Give book 4 to proofreaders for final rounds
- Work on Promo-styled posters for Book 4 (the Enemies & Allies styled posters)
- Format Book 4 into paperback and eBook editions
- Continue adding to the Dragon Calling Wiki
- Add Book 4 into Goodreads, and also assign both the paperback and eBook editions ISBNs on the Thorpe Bowker website
- Organize to have pre-ordering available
- Work on paperback layouts and send book through to printers
- Give copies of book to Distributor + QLD Library & Australian National library
- Continue promoting and adding to the Dragon Plushie Project
So yes, my draft of Book 4 is done. My cover for book 4 is done. But there’s still a lot of work to do before the book is launched; I’m sure I’ve missed a couple of key things on that list … but I’ll remember them sooner of later.
And yes, I have finally gotten around to updating the Dragon Calling wiki. It’s still quite small, but at least it has more content now (before it only had 10 pages; now it has 24), and I will continue to add to it as time goes on. Feel free to check it out if you want!
And for a final thought: