By now, this being my third go around on a novel project since my big “purge” two years ago, I know the process: Outline, draft, edit, send to my editor, edit again, shop around to agents and publishers, then layout for self publishing if there are no bites.
Generally, it’s while I’m shopping a manuscript around that I’ll contact my cover artist about art for my books. I generally don’t want to engage her until I’m sure I’ll be self-publishing given lack of interest from agents, but this time I wanted to reach out to her earlier.
I sat down with her today and gave her a rundown of the full story (which is only half drafted at this point, but fully outlined) and gave her a summary she can use to begin character designs and illustrations for each of the 7 chapters I have organized the story’s installments into. Since she’ll be doing more art, I wanted to give her more time.
Up above is her quick design of Drawful. Given my notes on the character being less of a fighter, and far more clever than pugnacious, she used her character design know how to create a dragon on the fly that instantly has the personality I envision for Drawful.
Naturally, we talked about all the other characters, including Drawful’s adversary, Fallon of the Terible Fire and Much Meanness, and I’m excited to see what she comes up with for the cover and the interior illustrations. Obviously, these will be included in the much cleaner and edited final version of the book when it’s published later this year, so even though the full story is going up on this site, I promise that the complete book will be a much grander, richer affair.
On another note, it may seem that this move today is in some ways my giving up before I even shop Drawful around, but that’s not the case at all- the contrary in fact. This friend did the cover art for my first two books, and I’m excited to work with her on the the third, and I’ll be trying to work with her on four, five and six if I can.
When I’m shopping Drawful around later this summer, I’ll be doing so with the art as part of the package. By now, with a third book on the way with her art as part of it, Melissa’s art is a part of my brand as well, and I plan on putting it front and center as part of my pitch to agents and publishers. I’ll be shopping a completed work around. Whether they want a part of it or not, I can’t wait to put another book I’m proud of (thanks in part to its pending art), out there for you all to read.
I’ll have more thoughts on Drawful and its inspiration soon, but for now, I’m excited for the art and need to get on with drafting the last half of the book. We move forward.