Cover Illustration is Done!

I truly hope I wasn’t too much of a pain to work with but after a few rounds of revisions the beautiful painting by Marc Simonetti depicting Hollow Worlds is done!  I’ve also experimented with some other text treatments and I’m going to do away with the “black bar” on the bottom and incorporate the title and my name superimposed over the actual image.  With the adjustments Marc made and the changes in layout / font a lot of the “fantasy” feel is being shifted to the science-fiction realm.

Also mark is putting together a video on the creating of the graphic and I’ll be adding it here as well as including it as part of the kickstarter campaign.



More on covers

Marc has continued to work on the cover design.  It’s color scheme “turned a little red” in the next version so I did some modifications of my own to “tone it down”.  I had a few more adjustments to be made.  One of the things that became apparently really quickly, is I didn’t want to cover up his art with my  title or author name.  So I’m thinking of going with something like…



The only problem…while beautiful I’m not sure it has the right “vibe” for the novel.  The problem is this looks like a fantasy, and as a cross-genre piece there is some of that…but really it’s more of a science fiction action thriller and this cover doesn’t  mesh with that.  So, too soon to know exactly what way to go.  But further adjustments to marketing copy and cover are probably warranted.

Making of a cover

Yesterday, I got an email from Mark Simonetti that he was about to start on the actual cover and he was live-streaming his work on it. Of course I tuned it…it was fascinating to watch.  I’ve done my own covers in the past, and was a pretty good creative director and graphic design person back when I ran my own agency, but Marc is a true artist that puts me to shame.  What I’m most amazed by is how he skips around from place to place and his mastery of scale, lighting and perspective is nothing short of outstanding. I really enjoyed watching it…and at some point you too will be able to see it as he’ll make a condensed “fast forward” version at some point.

When looking around his site, I found a saved live stream that showed the creation of the “rough sketch”.  Again it was mesmerizing – and I watched all hour and a half  of it.  You can too, or skip around to see how the piece progresses.  Here is a link.

I also took a few screen shots so people could see it in various stages.


Turning bad news into an opportunity

Yesterday I received word from my agent that Orbit passed on Hollow World.  My editor at Orbit reports she loved the book, and the writing in general, but science fiction doesn’t sell unless it’s a space opera. Hollow World isn’t a space opera, but it’s a good book—a damn good book.

What does this mean?

Well, this happened to me once before. I wrote what I felt was a great book. My agent agreed, but said there was no market for it so she wouldn’t even try submitting. I accepted this, put the manuscript in the attic and pegging the needle on my tolerance for frustration, gave up my dream of ever being an author.

I gave up for twelve years.

I’m not doing that again.

Just because this book doesn’t fit in a perfect niche—into a predetermined genre form, shouldn’t matter. I believe people love good stories about good characters set in a vividly depicted world, and that genres are only a helpful search tool—and I intend to prove it. I’ve had too many publishers tell me my work has no market. Everyone passed the first time on Riyria, too.

This site is being created to chronicle my return to self-publishing to ensure that Hollow World gets it chance to find readers who will love it as much as I.