Look at the lovely cover art! It compliments the first two books in the series nicely. Take a look. If you’d like to enter the giveaway for books one and two: VILLAIN KEEPER and QUEST MAKER you can do so HERE.
VILLAIN KEEPER is on the long list for the SIBA Poppy’s Pants Jr. award (named this year in honor of Pat Conroy). It’s the cat’s meow to be in such great company! http://sibaweb.com/siba-book-award
Last Friday, I visited The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC – just a few miles from the house where I grew up. Actually, I remember going to the bookshop as a kid – as well as the ice cream parlor on the corner. There is something magical about seeing the bookstore and the ice cream parlor still there. (I borrowed the pic from The Country Bookshop website and the shop is just as charming as it looks. More so, in the spring when the trees are budding and blooming. If you find yourself near Southern Pines, NC, definitely stop by.)
Also, look at the great white board dragon sign I had waiting for me.
On this trip, I spoke about my books and writing at two schools – Westmoore and West End, and had an afternoon event at the bookshop. What a great time I had! And look at all the books I got to give out to students.
I had a lot of fun. At Westmoore it was hat day, so if you squint you can see lots of hats going on in the pic. I wish I had known. I would have loved a good reason to wear a hat!
It’s really nice to share my book with readers, and sharing about it near where I grew up is certainly special.
Today, I started thinking about some of the cool things in my finished, bound book that I hadn’t expected. One is the chapter art. The book is out in the world, and you can read a free preview here by clicking on the aptly titled ‘free preview’ button, and see higher quality images of the art. The pictures in the post are pics I took with my android phone.
My favorite of the interior art is the dragon who guards over the Contents and the Acknowledgements. The dragon is also guarding over this post. He’s (She’s?) got a banner, wings, claws, and a serpent’s tongue. A dragon in my books talks forgotten languages (as does one of my main characters) so I really like that the tongue is prominent in the illustration.
In my books, there are mentions of other legendary creatures or ‘Elderkind’ as well. Each is illustrated at the beginning of different chapters. It is sort of weird and wonderful to have someone make illustrations for my novel. It’s someone else’s interpretation of my ideas, and, luckily, that someone is much better at design and drawing than me. (Eric Deschamps is the cover artist!)
In Chapter one, the legendary Winterbird is shown. The Winterbird protects the mountainous Winterlands. If you notice, there is a crest behind the bird. To me, it looks symbolic of both wings and mountains.There is also a nice banner with the chapter title, and a coat-of-arms with the chapter number.
I like the Chapter two art also. The tree represents a legendary creature called the Walking Oak who is associated with spring. Interesting note – I thought about naming my book A LAND WITHOUT DRAGONS. Then I realized there are dragons in both lands noted in my book, and, well, it just didn’t seem to work. However, since I liked the name I used it where I could.
Chapter titles are entertaining to create. There isn’t as much pressure as there is with naming the book or series, and it’s just a lot of fun to brainstorm ideas. It was my editor who suggested coming up with titles, and I’m glad she did.
Below is the art for chapters three and four. I like how the four chapters have some differences yet a recurring theme. In this case chapter three shows the Sunsnake (associated with summer) and chapter four shows the Bloodwolf (associated with fall).
If you notice, each creature has it’s own shield behind it. To me, the Sunsnake’s looks like an abstract sun. The Bloodwolf looks like a abstract falling leaf. It’s fits their respective seasons.
It’s hard to see the details in these picture but the shield is flanked by a pen and pencil as opposed to two swords. Below, is a photo of the hardcover (sans dust jacket) where you can really see those details. I have a pen just like that. (Also, I suggest looking at it sideways, since I posted it sideways.
The page numbers also are printed on shields. It makes for a nice theme.
On February 7th, 2015, I’m having my first event ever at Spellbound Children’s Bookshop in Asheville, NC. There will be reading, crafts, and possibly battles with foam swords. It should be wonderful. Come and visit and possibly whack a friend with a foam sword.
HarperChildren’s is giving away five free copies of VILLAIN KEEPER. Enter between now and Dec 29th!