Flesh Embodied Cover Reveal and Release Date!

Flesh Embodied dark fantasy book cover
The cover of Flesh Embodied. Oil on linen. 2021.

The long wait for Sufferborn book 3 is coming to an end!

I spent the entire year of 2021 writing “Flesh Embodied” and the entire year of 2022 editing/publishing it. The work has leaked into 2023, but that’s just because this book is HUGE—and in more ways than one! I think all of you fans will be delighted! As important as this book is to the series, it’s not even over yet. Sufferborn will most likely be, in total, 6 books long, putting “Flesh Embodied” right at the center of the action. You are NOT going to want to miss this!

March 20th 2023.

Are you ready for it?

Calling all Sufferborn fans! If you’ve read and enjoyed “Sufferborn” and “Unwilling Deity” and would like to read “Flesh Embodied” as an ARC (advanced reader copy) reader then please send me a message through the contact tab above. I would be glad to hook you up with a free copy for your honest review. I’ll be excited to hear your thoughts on it. 🙂

A Real Elf Sighting: My Family’s Christmas Story

Manassas, Virginia, 1970, Christmas Eve. In a small house in the country, an eight-year-old girl is standing at the glass door with her cousin of ten. The adults are doing their regular, boring banter in the background. The girl and her parents had just arrived yesterday from their Florida homestead, returned to the land of their kin for Christmas. All day, the girl and her cousin had been running around the yard as kids do, yelling, playing, excited to be reunited again, and even more excited for Christmas to get here. Now they’re a little fatigued, but restlessly awaiting Santa Claus.

It’s dark outside, but the porch light illuminates the old car parked on the gravel driveway. Beyond that is a vast dark field with an unseen forest behind it. The girl rests her forehead against the cool glass, her cousin at her shoulder. They giggle now and again, sharing their own sparse banter, separate from the adults.

And then something moves outside. Someone’s out there! The girl frowns and focuses. The person outside is…sneaking, placing his feet toe-first so as not to make any sound on the gravel. One foot over the other, very carefully, hands poised for balance. He is dressed oddly in weathered greenish clothing with a sort of folded hat on his head and…pointed ears? He doesn’t notice the two children watching him, as he makes his way along behind the car, until he gets to the car’s hood.

Finally seeing the two kids in the doorway, the “person” gives a shocked expression, grabs his hat, and drops down behind the car.

This instance happens in a snap. The girl and her cousin both give a start, whip their heads to look at each other, sharing open-mouthed astonishment, and both of them shoot out the door to the outside to catch this…elf!

Straight through the door, they don’t have far to run to get to the other side of the car. It didn’t matter though. The elf was gone.

“Mom! Mom!” the girl shouts as she and her cousin rush back inside to alert the adults of the mystery. “We saw an elf! We saw an elf!”

Her mother gives a smile. “You did? Wow!” Her reaction is obviously fake. The adults take a minute to humor the children before going back to their conversation. The girl and her cousin check all around the house, under the car, and into the darker shadows out skirting the porchlight. They never find the elf or any clue he was ever there. They are truly shaken up. To them, it means that Santa can’t be far, and they don’t want to ruin their turn to get their present delivery that night. So her cousin marches straight home, as he lives just over the hill, yelling, “I’m going home now, Santa! I’m going right to bed!” The girl can hear his echoing voice as he goes, and she too hurries off to bed.

The story I just told you is true. The girl in the story is my mother with her real-life cousin. The adults, the house, the car, the whole setting—and the elf—all of it is a true story. And it really happened on Christmas Eve.

I have no reason to lie about this and neither does my mom. I believe her, and not just because I too love elves, but because she swears it to this day that she did not make it up.

She saw an elf.

In the next few paragraphs, I will go over why I think the story can be taken seriously.

As the author of the Sufferborn series, a story about a girl who falls in love with an elf as an epic plot takes shape around them, I guess I get my love of elves honest. However, I can tell you that I don’t love Christmas half as much as my mom does. Her love of Christmas never wavered, it’s what brings her joy to this day, and maybe that’s all because she finds it so easy to believe, because she actually saw something. I, personally, was born in the middle of the 1980’s when the fantasy genre was popular. For some reason, I’ve always been drawn to that genre and never wavered in that love interest. I love fantasy, she loves Christmas.

So does this mean Santa Claus exists and that elves are connected to Christmas? It doesn’t have to, and I’m not here to convince you that it does. Maybe the elf’s appearance on Christmas Eve was a coincidence. I mostly want to present the case that elves just might be real. I believe if elves exist, they exist, it doesn’t have to be related to Christmas. If you think it is then that’s fine, I wouldn’t want to argue about that. I try to entertain more realistic scenarios to fit around this story, like Dorhen perhaps: an elf who wanders around the wilderness. But I also find it fun to believe in the Santa Claus myth.

I’ve heard this story retold all my life, and since I’ve been an adult, I’ve asked questions to try to either debunk or maybe get a more realistic picture of the supposed elf in the story. There’s a few points to go over which you might find interesting.

The first point is that my mom and her cousin both saw the elf at the same time, and they immediately confirmed what they saw by sharing that initial look of shock with each other. It wasn’t that one saw something and said, “Hey, I saw an elf!” and then somehow convinced the other that they saw it too. Not at all. Both of their “reports” of the sighting happened instantaneously, and was followed up by both of them bolting out the door, without a single word shared, to check around the car.

The next point of interest would be that they both remember seeing the elf wearing a different color. My mom remembers green and her cousin remembers red. I like to think that he wore both colors combined, which could cause their mixed impressions. Nonetheless, detectives know very well that witnesses to an incident will all remember details differently. The fact that they each remember the elf wearing different colors is a point toward it being a real sighting.

The elf’s clothing was NOT a costume. My mom informs me that this was not a shopping mall-style costume. It was neither shiny nor pretty. It was worn and weathered. Going back to the color factor in the above paragraph, I would lean toward the outfit being mostly green so that the elf could better blend into the forest—since he obviously didn’t want to be seen anyway. That would be a more realistic detail, in my opinion, and adding the fact that the clothes were weathered sounds like a real elf wandering around the forest to me.

My brain wants to paint the image of his clothing being Medieval style, probably because that tends to be what we get with Christmas imagery. Elf outfits in Christmas art usually involve leggings, a tunic, and a stocking cap. Alternately, we get the same thing in my favorite genre: fantasy. So I’ve tried to prompt memories out of her of what type of clothes he was actually wearing. She can’t really drum it up, but I feel like her description of the hat might align with Medieval. The fact that he was tiptoeing was a big one though! The elf didn’t want to make any noise on the driveway gravel, so naturally he’d go toe-first. I once saw a video (which has since vanished off of Youtube, otherwise I wanted to link to it, sorry everyone!) which pointed out that Medieval people might’ve walked toe-first in their soft leather or cloth shoes anyway. It occurs to me that if the elf was wearing 20th century clothing, my mom would’ve easily confirmed it. But she can’t. If the elf was indeed wearing Medieval clothing, what does that mean? Does it mean he can time travel? Does it mean he never aged and has been living since that time period? I have no idea. But it’s just so darn intriguing, isn’t it?

She confirms that the elf DID have pointed ears.

She confirms the elf was male.

She confirms the elf was of average human height, especially since he stood taller than the car and had to duck behind it to get out of sight. However, he wasn’t super tall; we’ll call him average—definitely on the lower end of five feet tall. Therefore, I’m no longer inclined to believe that “real” elves must be short or tiny.

I’ll add that in the late 60’s, early 70’s, Manassas, VA was very country, with lush forests and fields. In 1970, its population was 9,164 (in contrast, it’s 42,772 today). My mom describes the area in which her family lived to have plenty of farmland. And as I saw last year on my trip to my grandmother’s funeral, it has a huge Civil War battlefield landmark all around with plenty of preserved natural landscape. A pretty good place for an elf to wander around, I’d say.

The ages of these kids were either 8 and 10, or 10 and 12. My mom seems to go back and forth on what their ages were at the time. Regardless, she stresses every time she talks about this, that the age range is a pretty good one from which to retain memories. I remember very well being 8 years old. I remember the movies I saw and how I felt about them. I remember what was on tv, my best friend who lived next door, the adventures we’d have in the wild blackberry patch, and what I got for my birthday! And, of course, I remember the following ages in that range!

It wasn’t some kind of uncle prank. There were no family members coming out from around the side of the house laughing, and no one ever came forward later. Once that elf disappeared, he was gone. That was the end of it. If it was a prank, don’t you think my mom or cousin would’ve heard the prankster chuckling about it later on?

That’s about all I know about this bizarre incident. The sighting happened so fast for my mom, but the image is burned into her memory. She’s quite adamant about this. After many years, her cousin began to deny that he saw anything. It’s too crazy to believe. “We imagined it, I’m sure,” he’d say whenever she’d bring it up in their adulthood. But my mom would counter, “How can two people imagine the same thing at the same time?” She retains her childlike Christmas spirit and refuses to give up on this experience, and I don’t think she should. It’s a really cool story and one for the ages. It’s not my story, but it’s still a link to the world beyond our own which I’m constantly looking for and writing about. I wish it were my story, to be honest. I also believe in ghosts and stuff, but I would so much rather see an elf!

I hope my sharing her story has brought you a little bit of joy or hope this season. Don’t take life so seriously and don’t let the world bring you down. It’s ok to believe in elves and other beings of the fantastic!

And it’s ok to believe in Santa Claus too. Merry Christmas!

(This post is approved by my mom)


12/21/22. In the above image, I generated the background using AI, describing an old car at night, and picked the one I liked best for this illustration. When my mom checked out this post, she was amazed to see that the car looks just like the one that was in her grandmother’s driveway. How weird is THAT?

I’m Thinking of Discontinuing Maps in Sufferborn Books

I’m guessing half of you readers opened up the first Sufferborn book and said, “Look, a map,” and then you flipped on to the story without paying any more attention (I’m that kind of reader too ;)), and the other half said, “Uhg! What is she thinking with this map? Doesn’t she know that maps in fantasy novels should be perfect with clear and present routes going this way, that way, and every way? I need to be able to plan my trip across Kaihals! Why can’t I see the windows on the hundreds of tiny houses?” Well, the answer to that question is I’m not thinking about it.

Though I like to tout my love of making art, I am not a cartographer. Is a cartographer even an artist? Or some kind of engineer/designer/mathematical-architect type illustrator? I don’t know. And I wouldn’t know, because I’m an oil painter, I hate math, and I don’t like thinking in incredibly technical ways. I think in enough technical ways when planning out my epic fantasy series and publishing it. By the time I get out of revision and into the design aspect of publishing a book, my brain is coming out of the deep fryer: greasy, sluggish, thickly breaded like takoyaki (why do I do this to myself DX?), and then it’s time to get back into the emotional, artsy, frolicking in the blissful, flowery, fields of imagination and creativity phase: the illustrations. Except there’s that darn map.

Perhaps crafting a map is a good idea when it comes to long-term series development. In that case it doesn’t have to be pretty, because I’d be using it and adding to it over the years, going back to it, and making sure I’m not tripping over the “facts” established throughout the multiple series I’m planning for this world. And this is where I’m coming to the number one factor in my decision.

Even though I had spent twenty years developing the Sufferborn world before publishing book 1, it’s still very much in development. Lots of things change as you make your way through creation mode. Once it’s published, it’s set in stone. Therefore, what I have written in Sufferborn and Unwilling Deity cannot be changed. Everything outside of the places we’ve visited in those books (even right there outside the surrounding wall of Alkeer) is still up in the air. I can literally fill anything into those blank areas. Those blank areas will remain for an indefinite amount of time, waiting to be filled, as I continue on to future books/series. So, I would rather not publish a claim I might wish to change later. Does that make sense?

If you go back and look in book 1, you’ll see the Darklands side of the map empty. Although I definitely knew what was up there at that point, I chose not to reveal it, because it still wasn’t too late to change something if needed.

The other reason not to bother with a map is that this is really not my forte in art. We all have media we love, media we hate, media we dabble in, and media that just didn’t stick, and the ink pen medium is one of the latter, along with the act of drawing the certain lines and symbols that make a map. I am not good at it, but it also doesn’t draw me (no pun intended), so there’s also no real practice under my belt or an interest in practicing.

In short, map making isn’t for me.

“But J.C., don’t you think you should hire someone to do the map?”


Like I said above, the Sufferborn universe is very deep in development, and I’ll need as much “blank space” as possible to make any and all of my future series work. It simply feels impossible for me to sync all my notes with the artist and receive a satisfying product. Also, thinking of doing that feels like the worst migraine of my life, more than just me drawing the map myself.

“So is that it? No maps? Ever?”

To that I’ll also say no. Give it time. I just bought a very nice drawing tablet and might get really good with it, resulting in a new, freeing ability to whip out some maps someday. By then, certain areas of Kaihals should be complete and ready to represent in a visual medium. I imagine it could be a good idea to draw the maps zoomed way in so that it only covers places we’ve seen in Sufferborn so far, instead of showing the whole continent on one 8 X 5.25 page. Look and see if one pops up in distant future editions of the Sufferborn books. For right now, if you see the map disappear out of current books, don’t be surprised.

To those who will miss the map, I am sorry. At least there’s a bunch of copies floating around that have the map, maybe they’ll be collectors’ items someday. For now, for me, for my mental health and stamina, this is probably the best decision. I would much rather focus my energy on making beautiful linocut illustrations of scenes from the books.

Take care!

3D Printed Sufferborn Figurine by J.C. Hartcarver and Mixed Dimensions

How’s everybody doing on this fine day in 2021? I just wanted to take a moment to show you how I like to waste my time—haha! Just kidding, I don’t actually consider it a waste. I just love doing crafty things. It’s what gives my life meaning and purpose. Truly, I live from project to project. That’s how I like it. And I’m always thinking of crazy new ways to get paint all over my hands. This time I made a figurine. Check it out…

This is Wikshen (my favorite Sufferborn character. Shhh, don’t tell the others). If you haven’t noticed already, Sufferborn is kinda about him, to be honest. He’s more than a novel character to me, though, he’s an artistic outlet. If I’m trying out a new medium—of any type—you can count on seeing Wikshen appear in that medium. Anyway, about this figurine…

The very first step was sculpting him in the Daz Studio software. I just LOVE that software! I sculpted him using various morphing tools I had to buy to get the job done. I guess you can say he was expensive even to digitally sculpt. And then I used the GamePrint plugin to send my sculpture to the printing company, Mixed Dimensions, to get my sculpture created in real life 3D. It was not cheap, I must say, hahah! This was a high-end pricy little project. He stands at about 9 inches tall and his skin color was printed as well. I only added a few painted elements of my own to enhance his eyes and add his side brand and arm bands, and etc. Some parts of his clothing didn’t print in the color I needed, so I went over those with my own black paint. Consider this post to be a glowing review of all of those services I mentioned: Daz Studio, GamePrint plugin for Daz Studio, and Mixed Dimensions—all highly recommended!

What I actually submitted for printing was an incomplete figure. He had no hair and only wore his underwear. Notice his hair and “battleshift” are both made from organic materials. I wanted this figurine to be partially a hands-on art project for my own personal joy and satisfaction. I had to create the base he is standing on—not because I wanted to, but because I had no idea how the printing process would play out—if I would get a complimentary base or not. It turned out that I was not given a base by default. He arrived as a loose figure who couldn’t stand on his own (poor fella!), so I went to all the trouble to pick out a wooden oval thing from the craft store, stain it, sculpt the rocks and soil using a two-part apoxie, paint it, and added moss for a realistic terrain effect. The finished product turned out better than expected.

And that hair! Thanks to my history of enthusing in the world of Asian ball-jointed dolls, and honing my process for creating wigs, I was able to craft this for the figurine. This part I knew would be a better option than printing his hair from the resin material he’s made of. If I had done that, the figure probably would’ve cost $100 more than it did! I did run through the shopping cart process a few times to figure out my options. So making the hair saved me money, and it looks 100 times better too. I was able to use hand-dyed suri alpaca hair that was left over from a past wig I made (because I totally made a ball-jointed doll of him in the past!). This also makes his hair removeable so I can replace it in case of damage or whatever.

Look at that dirty bastard! The last thing I applied was his battleshift which is made from a scrap of linen I had kicking around. Did I also mention I’m a seamstress? Well, I didn’t actually sew this together, I “sculpted” this garment by cutting and gluing pieces directly onto the figure, so this one is not removeable. His battleshift hides the wire that I used to stabilize the figure to the base, using nothing short of caulk to secure him down, which includes under his feet.

I’m not going to say this project was “simple” or “easy” but it probably wasn’t an expert-level project either. I was able to alleviate my chores a bit by ordering a color printed sculpture instead of primed. The tasks I did take on required a bit of planning and know-how. For instance, I also had to invent a way to let the figure stand safely on his own without facing the risk of falling and breaking off one of those gorgeous, tiny fingers while I worked on him. To do this, I glued a Styrofoam “brick” to a flat piece of cardboard, carved foot holes into the Styrofoam and, voila, he had a temporary stand to prop him up while I crafted his wig.

I have a few mixed feelings about continuing this as a hobby. 1. Yes, of course I want to do another one! He looks lonely without his Kalea to stand there being impressed (or horrified) by his antics, heehee! 2. But it was such an “extra” thing for me to juggle. It took a long time to finish just because each session was spread out across weeks and weeks. I could only work on it a little bit at a time each weekend, sometimes skipping weekends. 3. It’s an expensive hobby…But who am I kidding? I LOVE doing arts and crafts and don’t mind spending money on a project! 4. Um…there isn’t really a fourth feeling. I enjoyed doing this but it’s not very convenient. I’ll just play it by ear. Maybe you’ll see a Kalea figurine in the next year, who knows? Until then I have a Book 3 to finish and a computer to build. Yep, I’m still working on that computer. It will make my future of using Daz Studio a bright one.

Thank you for reading this! If you catch me at a convention in the future, I will most likely have this little guy on my table to make it look cool. He’s a one of a kind.

God Bless!

P.S. I did a little filming as I worked on this project, so you can expect a creation video on Youtube soon…just gotta get that new computer running (*sigh*).

Growing Pains and Sufferborn Book 3

As it is close to the middle of the year, I feel it’s appropriate to give you all an update to the progress of Sufferborn book 3.

I’m expecting its release to be around early 2022—but please don’t think that sounds bad, it’s really not. For the past two years in a row, I’ve managed to release book 1, Sufferborn, and then book 2, Unwilling Deity, in the fall of each year. There is a certain rhythm I intend to keep for my book releases, and as a result, the starting and ending points of each book creation will land a little later in the year, each year (for example, Sufferborn came out in October of 2019 and Unwilling Deity came out in November 2020). After taking my annual “between books break” in 2020, I started writing book 3 (title to be announced) on January 1, 2021. So far, it is taking a bit longer to write this one than the previous two, and I think that is due to my trying to juggle it with various different things like marketing and such. But I am hopeful that the book’s first draft will be finished soon and I will proceed with its publishing tasks.

However! There is one thing in this year that could possibly delay book 3’s release, backing it up a little farther into 2022: I am building my first high-powered workstation computer.

Let’s put an emphasis on “possibly,” because I’m not entirely sure if my pc building venture will actually delay the book. I am having to work more hours at my day job to come up with the money, and my new workstation will not be cheap. As long as I can keep up my discipline and wake up extra early every morning, I shouldn’t lose any writing time. But the cost of pc building will have to be juggled with the cost of publishing (and this year I have to buy another 10 pack of ISBN numbers. Yay :[ ).

The thing about pc building is that in order to make a workstation, and not a gaming pc, I need better/faster components and lots of memory. I want to do this right, so my pc will work faster, longer, and allow me to do complex operations like 3d rendering. I’m EXTREMEMLY excited about what I will be able to do with my new pc—the art I will make—the new software and media I will try! Right now, I’m working on a pc that has a 4-core AMD processor and was the cheapest pc in Best Buy 6 or 7 years ago. I am planning to put a 24-core threadripper CPU into my new computer, so I’m expecting the difference to be like night and day.

As far as pc building goes, there are circumstantial complications for this year: a shortage of graphics cards and insanely high inflation for them in both retail and on the second hand market. As far as getting a graphics card goes, I’m biding my time as I have to save for all my other expensive pc parts, but it’s still a worry. In 2021, building a pc costs more money than ever before. Between it and my busy life, I’m estimating Sufferborn book 3 may release in February 2022. That’s my best guess-timation, but I will follow up if I foresee any developments.

I might also show a few pics of my new workstation pc when it’s complete. I think my Sufferborn art, book covers, and marketing graphics are about to get a LOT better. Art is my favorite part of life. It’s half the reason why I’m in this business. ❤

Reflecting on Book Creation in 2020

Well, we made it. 2020 is almost over, lets be joyful. I spent the entire year writing and publishing the second book in the Sufferborn series: Unwilling Deity. Sorry for my lack of a post back around November 26, when it came out. I’ve been living in a whirlwind! But yes, the book is out now, and I’ve often pondered that this one was created in 2020. I wonder if I’ll always remember that.

Unwilling Deity is a pretty wild book, I must say—at least as far as my history of writing. I shocked myself with the things I worked up the nerve to put on paper. I tore down some boundaries, hopped to the outside of my comfort zone, and set loose the wildest side of my imagination. I guess Kalea experiences a similar whirlwind within the book. It’s almost like she goes through her own “2020.”

As usual, creating the book took total dedication and diligence, but as I sit here, on December 29, 2020, I feel relaxed and at ease. I might just be getting the hang of this book thing. Heck! I even already have book 3 outlined! I’m supposed to be on a 2-month vacation away from writing, but found it feasible to go ahead and do the outline, working for only a few hours each day until it was done. It’s not 100% done yet, I still have to arrange my scene summaries in proper order, but the hard part of that is behind me. On January 1st, the next book will begin.

Creating the book in 2020 wasn’t terribly hard, of course, even as far as taking my cover paintings to be professionally photographed. The process had its usual stresses, but all in all, I feel positive that book creation might become much easier soon. I’ve done two novels now, and am about to write the third. As a hard-working person, I feel after 2 years, that I can handle it better now, physically and emotionally. I’ll let you know if it unfolds otherwise, hahah!

Before I go, I’ll tell you a few things which might be necessary. Unwilling Deity turned out 40,000 words longer than Sufferborn, and that resulted in an increase in its printing cost—which means I had to raise the price to 17.99 USD for paperback. In order to make up for that price increase, I added two additional illustrations to the lineup. So where Sufferborn had four illustrations in its paperback form, Unwilling Deity has six! I think that’s pretty cool, and I do think that it looks good this way, so therefore I’d like to use this amount of illustrations for the rest of the series. I do wish I could write the next book slightly shorter, for my convenience and yours, but alas, my book 3 outline has several more entries than even Unwilling Deity had. This is an epic series, after all, and by nature epics tend to get thicker with each installment.

Also, Sufferborn, book 1, will get a new cover! It already has a new blurb on Amazon, and a new front cover is coming soon. I’ll talk more about this cover change soon. I’m currently working on the painting, and enjoying the process, as usual.

Hope you had a good 2020. Happy New year!

Sufferborn on Amazon

Unwilling Deity on Amazon

Happy Book Birthday Sufferborn!

Has it been a year already??? Holy crud.

Guys, I don’t know what to say. This book is special on so many levels. It’s the project I devoted my life to–literally, every life decision I made centered around this. At age 13 I started coming up with the characters and adventures that would eventually blossom into a book called Sufferborn. At age 34 I published it. I couldn’t be more proud, and now I am overwhelmed because I’m about to publish book 2 Unwilling Deity (Preorder here!). Where did the year go?! And in the near future of January 1st, 2021 I’ll begin writing book 3.

Sufferborn, though, is amazing, I must say. It truly is the fruit of my life-long labor. It’s epic. Lots of characters, lots of attention paid to those characters’ development as well as the development of their cultures–particularly the elven culture. It’s sweet, it’s sad, it’s magical, it’s brutal. It’s tragic. The first book is only the beginning of a much bigger story. If you haven’t tried Sufferborn yet, what are you waiting for? It’s only 99c until Black Friday 2020!

Here’s to the birthday of my first novel! Cheers!

The Suffering Continues

Well, not really, I feel pretty good these days. So how about an update on this fine spring day? As I write this, I am two days away from doing a little “first review” of the book I recently finished: Unwilling Deity, book 2 of the Sufferborn series. It has been simmering in its dark corner of my PC for the last four weeks since its completion. The next step is a quick read-through and then I’m sending it off to the editor for a formal critique! Am I nervous? Meh. I’m psyched about the book, and I hope you will like it too!

First thing you might be thinking: what the hell is going on with this dark-ass picture? This, for your curiosity, is a little sneak peak of the new book—a character I had not planned to create, who wasn’t in the outline, and just sort of walked on and insisted I give her a part in the book. How could I say no? It was a pretty wild idea and I was liking it! So I said, “Welcome aboard, mysterious lady with horns and Cheshire Cat smile!” You’ll also notice the new art style. If you’ve been following me on Facebook and/or Instagram, you might’ve heard that I’ve been dabbling in the art medium of 3D rendering. Ok, not dabbling, I have been obsessed with it! Working with 3D character models has been something I’ve kept in the back of my mind for several years now, since I first saw the Poser software for sale on Amazon. I hemmed and hawed at the price and the possibility that my computer wasn’t fast and powerful enough for such a thing. Then a few weeks ago, I saw some other author’s Daz Studio render on Instagram. To make a long story short, Daz was free to download and I had nothing to lose by testing it out. Now I’m hooked. But don’t worry, because this isn’t the downfall of my paintings, it’s the dawn of my own paintings’ renaissance. I’m going to use Daz to create precise references I will use to paint better pictures. Fantasy art is all about painting something that doesn’t exist, and creating realistic art requires painting from real references. Daz will combine these two elements for me. No longer will I have to pick out an art model and stretch reality to make him or her look like my book character!

So that’s what I’m up to these days.

After finishing writing the book, I’ve taken this month of March to dive in and do some deep study with Daz Studio, using it to create cover mock-ups of potential paintings BEFORE ever lifting a brush to canvas. Aside from my upcoming sweep-through of the manuscript, the book cover is next, and I’m loving the creative process! This is what I live for.

Sufferborn fans, hang tight, Unwilling Deity is coming. I’m doing great and making fast, steady progress. If you enjoyed all the sex and violence in book 1, book 2 throws gasoline on that heat!

Valentine’s Day Special

Love is in the air and Kalea is about to find out how much Dorhen means to her.

On February 9th through the 15th, 2020, you can read Sufferborn for FREE with the purchase of any Sufferborn tshirt from The Print Kingdom on Etsy! The ebook comes in PDF format and is readable on any device.

This is also the perfect chance to grab the brand NEW shirt style featuring an illustration from Sufferborn’s hardback format, titled, “Kalea dreams sweetly of Dorhen.”

Click HERE to visit The Print Kingdom! Hurry before it’s too late!

Please note: The free ebook version does NOT contain any illustrations and there will be a watermark on every page.

An Important Note

Recently, I’ve felt compelled to compose this Author’s Note, which you will see in various places:

Sufferborn is not your everyday fantasy-romance. It is not a light read. This series is intended for readers looking for deep, complex, and EPIC concepts (think Elizabeth Haydon’s Symphony of Ages or Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, which I had read in the past and taken influence from). My most savvy reviewers have confirmed that Sufferborn reads like “classic fantasy.” I would include “romance” as a sub-genre because the romantic relationship between the two main characters, Kalea and Dorhen, is the overall foundation and motivation for the story to continue, as well as the defining factor this series will require to wrap up. I classify this story’s genre as “Epic Romantic Fantasy.” There is more than one subplot. This story is long. This story is dark. You’ve been warned.