Sunday, 15 June 2014

A Cover for Master of the Planes and links to short stories

I took a bit of a break from writing Master of the Planes (I'm at the 120,000 word point, so I reckoned I might have earned a break).  Instead I worked with the wonderful designer Paganus, who I met through the 99designs website to come up with the cover for the book.  As you can see it is a splendid design, beautifully rendered and a great encouragement to me to get on apace with the writing of it

One thing I am conscious of in my books is I have explicitly tried to have several significant female leading characters.  In particular there are four female characters who top the tables in terms of "time on camera" and numbers of scenes written from their points of view.

I wanted that pre-eminence to be reflected in the covers of the books.

  • Niarmit, the eponymous Lady of the Helm, took pride of place on the cover of book one.
  • Dema strutted her stuff on the cover of Wrath of the Medusa.
  • That left two more women to share the limelight on the last book.

I know that some readers dislike seeing characters faces drawn on  book covers.  They feel it spoils their imagining of how the characters look when they see someone else's depiction of them.  However, I felt that the mysterious hooded man or hooded woman concept had been rather done to death and I have to say, Paganus has captured the latest two exactly as I imagined them.

I hope the cover will pique some people's curiosity.  I am straining to get book 3 finished by August, with probably editing and release date by October.  But it is already nearly as long as Lady of the Helm and I am still embroiled in part three of five.  

In the meantime I have continued to use the inspiring fantasy-faction short story competitions to come up with prequel short stories for the characters of the bloodline trilogy.  As set out below.

"The Battle of Bledrag Field," where Matteus and Niarmit stood against the invaders,

 "A New Start," where Kaylan met Niarmit

"Desperation,"  a pivotal moment in Chirard's kinslaying wars 

"The Little Wizard's Folly," Dema and Odestus meet some new exiles

"The Dark Lord Returns," There are other worlds that Maelgrum has enslaved

"It is Taboo,"  A Dema origins story

There are also a couple of other short stories that are not Bloodline Trilogy related

"The Road to Arrow," a fanfic homage to the moral free id that is Mark Lawrence's Jorg Honorius Ancrath (Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns, Emperor of Thorns)

"Witness Lynn" - a futuristic story featuring a woman called Lynn who cannot lie

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