Monday, December 31, 2012

Cover Reveal: Seal of Trust

So I've been working with the remarkable Tom Edwards for a little while now on a new cover and I thought I should share. Now, I know some people might be asking about the last cover I revealed for "The Doomsday Door". while I can say that I've finished my draft and early revision stages of that book, which was meant to be my debut, I must also say that it's a long way from being coherent and concise enough for an editor or alpha reader to delve into.
A symptom of a bigger, newb related problem? Inability to finish a project or to power through the tough parts of a novel? Perhaps, but in this case I don't think so, while I will freely admit that has been an issue with previous work I've started.   
Doomsday Door right now is a complex issue, maybe unnecessarily so, and during practically every minute I worked on it this year I struggled to not think about the story behind this post and the new cover: Seal Of Trust.
Seal Of Trust (SOT) takes place in a distant future on a colonized world where a peaceful people have been enduring a long standing occupation from a hostile, fascist government. Our main character is a one time fearless and idealistic young man raised in a peaceful and beautiful world who met the enemy, one he had always fantasized about fighting in glorious battles as a youth, only to come away a scarred and broken survivor when his planet actually needed defending. Many years later he's a quiet and humble servant to the tyrants who've all but destroyed his people and his home world.
Here's the current blurb if you're interested:
The colony world of Garma had only known tyranny and oppressive rule by the fascist, militarized government known as the Faction for decades. An isolated settlement, the peaceful people of Garma had no hope when heavy war cruisers orbited their world, bombarded their small defense force and landed a mechanized army that had never met its equal.  
The invasion ended almost as soon as it began and the occupation followed.
Many years later, Garman born Desmond Ranier is known as a Red Seal, his years of loyal and obedient service to the Faction proven with a coveted marker grafted to his hand, its color signifying the highest possible level of trust granted. Because of this Desmond enjoys responsibility and privilege few Garman people know as a utility shuttle pilot. After living so much of his life under brutal Faction rule he has accepted his place; aiding in the ongoing subjugation of his own people and the continued desecration of the only home he’s ever known.
Until he sees a beautiful face from his past, a prisoner on his shuttle bound for a horrid fate in the internment camps. A woman who reminds Desmond of a life before the invasion, one he had forced himself to forget in order to survive the living nightmare his home world had become.
She reminds him of who he once was. And what he once believed in fighting for.  
In short, Doomsday Door was becoming incredibly difficult to mold and shape into what I know it can be and this shorter, much clearer story (in my head anyway) was haunting me day and night. So, on the shelf  DD went and we're full speed ahead with SOT. What I can say is that I'm very excited about what will now be my debut and that I'm much closer to "hitting the button" now with SOT than I was at any time working on "Doomsday" We'll see how it works out.
As for the cover:
I'd wanted to work with Tom Edwards for some time now after seeing his work on other indie Sci-Fi books and having some email contact with him. If you've never heard of him I suggest you click on the links below and take a look at his work over on his site or on DeviantArt. He's a brilliant young designer in the UK and I predict that you'll see his amazing work on the covers of best selling video games and novels in the not too distant future.  he was extremely effecient, reliable and professioanl throughout the whole process, which went a little like this:
I sent him an initial sketch (more of a scribble really, frustrated graphite artists here as well) and he took it from there through a number of digitally painted renditions. We went back and forth tweaking and tuning until we agreed on the final version you see above. I'm thrilled to death with the finished product and will show it on Kindle Boards to get some broad based feedback.
Here's the links I mentioned to learn more about the amazing Tom Edwards. If you're writign Fantasy or Sci-Fi work I don't think you could do much better than to have him work on your cover projects:
More on SOT to come in the near future.
Feels good to post after a long hiatus, due to real life, and I want to wish a Happy New year to everyone as well.
Good times.