Featured Site of the Week
This week we’ll be looking at the professional web page of Aidana WillowRaven, a cover and illustration artist. For the purposes of this promotion, I have selected one of her covers that well illustrates her skills with composition, script, and color. I worked with Aidana some years ago on a cover for Beyond the Rails II. In the end, I decided to go with a CreateSpace template, and maybe that was the wrong decision, but that’s a story for another time; in any case, there’s no sense looking backward.
Let me put this out there first: Aidana is a saint to work with. She was open and helpful in every regard, offering suggestions when my artistic visions didn’t coincide with the technical requirements of her trade, and even offering some insights about details of the Kestrel’s construction. Her prices are right around the midpoint of what you’ll find out there, she offers a list of discounts from complexity-of-design to a veteran’s discount, her work is top-drawer, and when you hire her, as I pointed out, you get much more than just an artist. And even though I decided not to use her cover, she still provided me with the Blimprider Publications logo that you’ll find at the top of this blog, and on the back of the Beyond the Rails books.
This is obviously a post for my writing friends, and also musicians and scholars. When you find yourself in need of a cover for a book, album, or any similar enterprise, an illustration, a map, or anything graphic in nature, a stop at WillowRaven Cover Art, Illustration & Design is a must!
View From the Blimp
The BIG news this week, and what I held the presses for, is the release of my new book, The Stone Seekers. This is my first foray into fantasy, and is what I’m calling a work of “cozy sword & sorcery.” That’s the cover to the left, and the blurb follows below:
The Settlements clung precariously to a hostile shore where the very ground opposed them. The people, fleeing a vicious tyrant, had crossed an ocean to get here, and had nowhere else to go. They bore with them a parting gift from a powerful mage, the Wellstone, an artifact that could locate clean water among the vile poisons their new land offered. When it is stolen in a raid by creatures of the surrounding forest, there is no choice but to go in pursuit. But with who? The entire combined militia of all the towns haven’t the power to overcome the forest denizens, so a skilled tracker and a savage warrior are sent to achieve through stealth what cannot be accomplished by force. What possible chance could two people have?
The cover is one of over 15,000 photographs displayed on Richard Schulte’s Cool San Diego Sights blog. Richard takes pictures of San Diego County, a widely diverse region with everything from snowy mountains to surf-washed shores. Some of these pictures are of famous landmarks, but many others are of cozy nooks and out-of-the-way sights like fountains, parks, and unusual buildings. The picture on my cover was taken from a hiking trail in our nearby Laguna Mountains. The site looks remarkably like the river crossing in Chapter Five, and is used with the kind permission of the photographer. Richard is friendly and approachable, not at all unreasonable, and Cool San Diego Sights is definitely a must to visit if you need a picture for a project.
The Stone Seekers is available on amazon.com in print or e-book. Not sure whether it’s for you? Three chapters are available as a sample at the tab above, so dig in, check it out, and see whether it’s a read you might get into.
Now I’m off to pitch into Stingaree!
Update, next morning: I think I might be wiser to keep the Beyond the Rails universe current, so my thought after a night’s sleep is to get serious about assembling the first chronicle of The Darklighters.