Sufferborn’s New Look!

Finally, it’s here! I am proud to present the brand new cover for Sufferborn (book 1)! It was a long journey, short if you consider the time frame, but a fairly smooth transition. The worst part about it has been my anxiety: what should the new cover look like? Which idea to go with? How long will it take to paint? How long will it take for the final oil glaze to dry? How long will it take to get it professionally scanned? And can I get a ride to the photoimaging company downtown Nashville?

The thing is, I needed to get it all completed before February in order to use the new cover for an ad I had already bought. Though all of those concerns ran smoothly, it was the waiting that hurt the most. When you have a big project (and OMG, yes, making a good, hand-painted book cover is a HUGE project), you just want it to be over and done right now—hahaha, know what I mean? But patience and diligence pays off. Even if it takes a long time, practicing patience and diligence will get you the narrower time frame—procrastination will draw it out for additional months and even years.

So the painting. In my haste to create and get it done, I have been completely uninspired about what to name it. Though I usually love naming paintings, this one I couldn’t quite take the time to care about what it was called—lmao! I slapped the title “Sufferborn Trio” onto the back for the benefit of identification when dropping it off at the photoimaging company and called it a day. Dusted my hands off.

Sufferborn Trio, is a great one, I think. In my opinion, it’s a fine replacement for the original cover, titled “Open Heart.” Sufferborn Trio is no less complex and expertly done. I did my best to be as expressive as possible, keeping loose, while at the same time digging in hard to create the BEST possible piece I could within my personal skill boundaries.

Take notice of the two characters at the sides, Daghahen and Lamrhath, the insidious twins who will become quite the epic pillars of drama as time passes. Looking at my references, I knew that the two characters on the sides had to be foggy and recede so that the central figure, Dorhen, can clearly stand out. I had two steps for making that possible: step 1 was to paint them thinly and “coldly,” and step 2 was to go over their whole figures, after they dried, with a whitish glaze. A glaze is when you add a tiny speck of paint to a large glob of pigment-free linseed oil. Because I need my book cover paintings to dry fast, I used liquin original instead of oil for this. I especially used a lot of thin, expressive strokes for Daghahen (at left) to create his elderly appearance. A lot of his blue underpainting shows through. Lamrhath (at right) was painted similarly, but with more careful, thoughtful strokes and coverage. His colored layers are still thin, allowing the underpainting to show through, but all of him is still extremely thin and even, dare I say, underdeveloped. That’s how they both turned out looking faint and cold. It also kept my painting time short and simple, a win-win.

Dorhen, on the other hand, got all my love—as he always does. His face contains the thickest layers of paint on the whole piece, followed by the rest of his exposed skin. Any piece of clothing that appears dark, I take the liberty to keep thin and easily executed, which is something that I’ve picked up in the last decade of painting.

But I won’t bore you anymore with painting techniques. In effort to make this new cover communicate the book’s genre more clearly (dark/epic fantasy), I chose these three characters. These three are present in the prologue of Sufferborn. The twins are the root of the problems that concern the main characters, Dorhen and Kalea. And this scene depicts a moment at the middle of the book when all the elements come together to create the “real” dilemma in the Sufferborn series. This should be a fitting cover indeed.

There you have it! A brand new book cover. Hope you enjoy the book and its new look! If you are a person who misses the old cover, subscribe to this blog on the sidebar for news on when I have posters available. If you would like to get your hands on a copy with the old cover, click the “contact” tab at the top of this site to ask me directly for one. I have a few kicking around and might be able to hook you up (and I’m happy to add autographs)!

Check out Sufferborn on Amazon!

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