Galactic Mage Book Two – Cover Art Underway

by | Apr 20, 2012 | Blog | 4 comments

So, because I am the luckiest bastard on the planet when it comes to cover artists extraordinaire (took me three stabs to spell that, oh you cursed squiggly red line you!), I can now officially announce that cover art is underway for Rift in the Races (book 2 of The Galactic Mage series).

I’ve had the concept for the cover pretty well chewed on, thought through, mulled over, sketched out, and any other verb-preposition combos you can think of that speak to that sort of thing for quite some time, so when Cris Ortega contacted me and told me she was ready to fire up book two cover art, I squealed like a little girl and rapidly sent off my sketches.

I suppose I should be more cool than that, be (pretend I am) all laid back. It’s probably better marketing strategy to tell you something different, something like:

Of course I yawned when I got Miss Ortega’s note and then swirled the cognac in my huge crystal snifter while saying something delightfully droll to the two enormous Irish Wolfhounds reclining loyally at the foot of my over-stuffed leather throne chair. Then I laughed, “Hah-hah,” in that throaty way fancy highbrow artists do when sitting before a crackling fire and enjoying the lofty airs of being too cool to get excited about this stuff anymore.

If I were trying to cultivate my authorial coolness factor, I would say that. However, I am not there yet, so I still love this stuff, and I’m still stoked to have an artist of Cris Ortega’s caliber working on my book cover again!

In addition, and to further destroy any remnant flickers of the imagination regarding my epic vanity and artistic hoity-toity-ness, here is the sketch I sent to her the other day. Now, before I post it, I would like to say, remember I am not trying to make it pretty; I’m simply trying to convey an idea. So, before you laugh (or choke on your own spit at how horrible it is), just keep that in mind. I am not her. So, here goes:

Ain’t that a beauty?

Hey, it works. She knows what I mean.

Anyway, so with that, and a few exchanges by email about characters, clothing, setting, weather, and some other stuff, she’s got the cover design underway for the sequel to The Galactic Mage. I can’t wait to see what she comes back with. It’s amazing to work with her.

Just for kicks, and for those of you who weren’t along for the original ride, here’s the sketch I sent for the first book cover (and, as you can see, my sketches were about as good then too):

Here are few pieces that she sent back as concepts. The second one was based on an alternative idea that was in the emails we exchanged.

Pretty cool, eh? And of course you’ve seen what the final cover looks like. It’s amazing to see what a real artist can do, isn’t it? Seriously one of the most enjoyable parts of all of this has been working on the cover with Cris Ortega. She is simply one of the most gifted artists out there. Go have a look at her site if you haven’t scrolled through her work before, it’s awesome (Cris Ortega’s website HERE). She gets booked up a year in advance these days. I can’t express how cool it is to get my cover on the list. Needless to say, I’m nearly insane with anticipation to see how it all comes out.

… Er, I mean, I say,

‘Tis but a nothing, an inconsequence all this fuss. Today, next week. It’s all so tedious and droll. Come Bathsheba, come Alexandria, let us away to the parlor for some tea and crumpets with the, uh, … with someone impressive who is waiting for fictitious me in my, parlor.

I guess I need to ask my wife where our parlor is.


  1. Michele Benner

    Hey, you be all hoity-toity about it if you want and I’ll do the girlish squealing. Her stuff really is phenomenal!

    • John

      Well, Michele, if we both scream like little girls, maybe we’ll break some crystal goblets. Won’t that be fun?

      • Michele Benner

        I think it might. But, you’re really gonna look silly doing that…lol You’re not self-conscious are you?

        • John

          Not conspicuously so, or at least I try not to be. Besides, little-girl screaming is perfectly acceptable for an artist in the presence of extreme good fortune or spiders. It’s actually in the writer’s handbook where it says it’s okay.