I’ve been excited about the book cover from the moment I knew I was working with Godmachine. Like a cliche hipster novelist, I was sitting in my usual coffee shop/writer’s retreat when I got it and immediately grinned and shouted “fuck yeah!” – to the very disapproving glares of a dozen soccer moms. I know there’s so much work that goes on behind the scenes that I can’t comprehend. There’s hours of work: sketching, resketching, working, reworking, color tests, agonizing over details I’ll probably never even notice. And yet he makes it look easy, as I see work after brilliant work of his. I hope for him it’s all worth it, because it most definitely is for me. Without further ado, the cover for Sons of Light and Darkness:
After going over the initial sketches and giving Godmachine some feedback, he took the concept and ran with it. Considering I wanted to work with him because I loved his style and the subject matter of his work I wanted him to have free reign over the design. He then came back with this sketch, considerably more detailed than the first, with a few ideas he wanted to play with and get my opinion on.
They say don’t judge a book by its cover. There’s a reason this is a common adage – because we all judge books (and everything else) by their cover. When I was a teenager I would go into the record store and buy albums solely because they had cool art. Iron Maiden has made an entire career off of this. Indie books tend to have horrible covers. This isn’t necessarily a reflection of what’s on the inside, but it’s not doing the book any favors. Just because I’m an indie author doesn’t mean my books have to look it. That’s why I set out to find an artist with great skill and tons of style. That’s why I ended up working with Godmachine.
Unlike the first book, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted on the cover of Sons of Light and Darkness. I didn’t have a clue two years ago when I first starting writing Sons, and if asked for the first time now that it’s all done I still wouldn’t have a clue. Instead of trying to force something to fit my needs, Godmachine asked some simple questions and I provided him a synopsis and some scenes from the book that I thought might be good visual starting points. After mulling it over he came back to me with the following set of sketches. Now keep in mind these are only meant to be the roughest of brainstormings. But knowing how much talent Godmachine has, and being familiar with much of his other work I could already see something kick-ass coming to the surface.
I wanted to take a moment to introduce the artist who is doing the cover art for the next book, Sons of Light and Darkness. As with the first book I’ve gotten extremely lucky and have been able to work with an amazing artist whose work I’ve admired for several years – he goes by the name Godmachine. Hailing from Wales in the UK, Godmachine has had his own solo show at Flood Gallery in London, and group shows across the UK and US (and probably elsewhere). He’s done work for bands such as the Melvins, Faith No More, Carnifex, and Bullet for my Valentine. His work has appeared on the shirts of Disturbia Clothing. If you’ve seen USA’s original show Colony then you’ve likely seen his propaganda posters plastered on the walls of Los Angeles. Included here is a small selection of some of Godmachine’s most recent work. And finally, he just announced his work on a new series of Tarot-themed Dunny figures for art toy giants Kid Robot called Arcane Divinations. If you’d like to see more, check out his store.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be revealing more about the process that took me from not having a clue what I wanted on the cover of my book to Godmachine taking the barest hints of an idea and turning it into something badass and amazing.
I haven’t had as much free time lately as I’d like since I was in deep editing mode, but in the last week or so I’ve found a little time to blitz through a few games.
When we last left off I was days away from jumping into the first DLC release for Fallout 4. Since then a total of 3 expansions have come out – Far Harbor having just come out a few days ago. First off I’d just like to say that the first two expansions were a bit disappointing. Automatron was too short with too little reward, and Wasteland Workshop added virtually nothing I’m interested in. I don’t do much with my settlements, so having more couches or random shit for nameless settlers to stand around doesn’t interest me. I just fired up Far Harbor last night and it seems pretty promising. It seems to be a relatively large chunk of land with a pretty interesting story so far. Bethesda claims it’s the largest landmass for an add-on, but a few other people seem to think Shivering Isles for Oblivion added more content even if it was less acreage. I’ll have more to say whenever I get around to another installment. Now to the bulk of my story – adventure games.
I have a day job that pays the bills, so a lot of my free time is taken up by writing. Writing is work, but it also feels vital to me. Vital to my sanity. But it’s not a pleasure thing, a stress reliever, or even what I would really consider fun – at least not all the time. I love writing and I need to write, but when it comes to pleasure my passions are really traveling and video games. Traveling is a recent passion (the bulk of which I chronicle here), but I’ve been a gamer since I was about 8 years old. I don’t play quite as much as I used to, but there’s still nothing like plunging into and losing myself in a great game. I got started at the end of the text days of Colossal Cave and the beginnings of the graphical adventure games of Kings Quest and the slew of games put out by Sierra in the following years. Back in those days there wasn’t much multi- involved in playing. With the exception of Multi-User Dungeons (MUDs) on BBSs, everything was pretty much single player. Sure the arcades had 2-player fighters or top down shooters, but even in arcades I preferred to play solo. To me the social aspect of gaming was in sharing experiences and totally raping someone’s high score.
Took a little longer than planned, but my short story is finally ready for public consumption. In the next few days the story will go on sale for $0.99 but for you, my dear readers, I’m offering it first and free. All you need to do is sign up to my mailing list (that rarely gets sent out) and you can download the story for your entertainment. Sign up here.
Not a lot to report at the moment. I have short story that is a bit behind schedule but pending some last minute changes and a quick edit it should be available shortly. I will be offering it for free here on my site before it goes live on Amazon. I do have the cover to show off, however.
In other news I will be on vacation for 2 weeks starting tomorrow. I will be taking my first trip to Ireland. I won’t post too much, if anything, about the trip on here since it’s probably not relevant. However, I do have a blog dedicated to my various travels if you are interested. You can keep up on my adventures at my travel blog Roadtrip Walkabout.
That’s it for now. Until the next time, stay awesome.
I will be signing copies of my book, Necessary Evil and the Greater Good, in Greenville, SC on Nov. 1st. Check my Facebook page for details.
Just a quick heads up to let you know that the ebook version of Necessary Evil and the Greater Good is on sale for $0.99 all weekend. Pick it up at Amazon.