You may have noticed that we are in the process of revamping our original covers, to add a little more 'punk' to the steampunk designs. This is one of the things you hear most from authors when they talk about getting further into their writing careers; to take a second look at their covers and see if they can spruce them up to better represent the story within. And although I truly love our series covers, it's the difference between seeing a wonderful sketch of a landscape & seeing a watercolor version of the same scene. They are both beautiful interpretations, but one may emphasize the majesty of the scene whereas the other points out the smaller items that weave into the scene as a whole.
I recently reconnected with an old friend of mine from college (Hi, Davey!) who is an amazing graphic artist & who is helping us with our new covers. My photoshop skills are dreadfully lacking; I can blur things a bit and remove redeye, but if I try and do any serious work on a picture it ends up looking like I dropped it in water, then decided to dry it off by lighting it on fire. My mother, an artist who has amazing drawing skills and can paint details on her art pieces so finite they require a brush with a single hair (seriously, how do they even make brushes that tiny?!?) never had a desire to transfer her skills into a digital medium. It took long enough to get her to stop using an electric typewriter and start using a computer. (I can still remember trying to explain to her that hitting the 'PRINT' button multiple times will *not* make the computer print faster, it will make it print multiple copies). But, Davey is a graphics wizard and we are thrilled with the covers he's provided us so far.
For the latest cover he's working on (Book 3 of the Western Star series), he showed us a series of options for the title, varying shades of bronze and shadows. Invariably we will each pick a different version/color then debate for the next 30-45 minutes about which color shows up better, which would look better when seen as a thumbnail, what shadow stands out the best, etc. This is both one of the best and one of the most challenging parts of working with a writing partner; sometimes the vision in my head and the vision in her head aren't the same thing. I think it's a benefit to the reader, since one person may catch plot holes or inconsistencies that the other missed, but when you just want to pick a sky color or decide on cobblestones/no cobblestones for the streets, it can get a bit tense.
The new cover for Western Star: Two Moon Twister should be up within the week, and it is fantastic! (spoiler: we went with no cobblestones). Then there is one more title (Dragons Over Two Moon) that will round out the series. If there is any interest, we might consider putting out the original covers on posters or bookmarks as a 'retro' version. Stay tuned and we will talk to you soon!