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Fiddling with Graphic Figures

Mirrortac in Hopocus

My Mirrortac.

Would you believe that I have been living with my favourite created character, the erfin Mirrortac, for 28 years!? My original impression of the protagonist of this three volume series (Vol 3 still cooking!) has been of a heavily furred being with cat-like ears and a extensively ‘bearded’ face. Here is one of my rather amateur drawings of that look.  Notice he has no neck to speak of and he does not have a tail. While he may have some cat-like features, I have strayed away from making him and his erfin kin into cat-people. This view of the erfins and Mirrortac remained the same for a number of years as I redrafted The Wizard’s Sword and finally started work on Three Stones of Destiny.

Friend Heidi Counsell designed her image of Mirrortac fighting the Snerk.

Heidi Counsell’s Mirrortac.

I wanted a design for the cover of TWS that was more professional than my efforts, so I engaged a local graphic artist, Heidi Counsell, to do up some designs featuring Mirrortac fighting a serpent (Snerk). Her interpretation was a little different, and she had added a tail initially. I had her remove the tail and went with this version that appears on the cover of my print version.

Mirrortac

The anime form.

Later my daughter produced an anime version that departed further from the no-neck Mirrortac, but I found I could live with it and accepted that there could be various interpretations of the character.

The-Wizards-Sword-Logo2When I wanted to publish Three Stones of Destiny, I engaged Irish graphic artist Michael Lenehan to create yet another version for the ebook. The print book cover focused on the antagonist Yidu but Michael had created auxiliary versions of Mirrortac that I used elsewhere.

My Daz Studio version.

My Daz Studio version.

Lately, I have been dabbling with Daz Studio to create morphs that approximate the character, and the nearest I could get with what I have in the software, was this latest offering. I would prefer to see more fur and less human, but am restricted by what I can afford and what the software offers. It is a good software system that enables people to create animations. I have made a small animation but am still learning to simply create still figures and settings. This figure was created from a human form that allowed morphing and reforming.

Book 2 cover art

This is the cover art for the upcoming book.

This is the cover art for the upcoming book.

I have worked with Irish artist Michael Lenehan in creating this cover art for THREE STONES OF DESTINY. The figure of the man standing over a pedestal represents the antagonist in this story, the master alien Yidu, who is standing over the Werdstone, which is a crystal stone of great power. The object above his head is actually a composite of the Three Stones of Destiny. I won’t explain any more here as you will need to read the story. Michael produced this web version, but the final art had to be tweaked by my publisher Equilibrium Books who will be releasing the print book and Kindle Amazon ebook about February/March 2013. Actually, the main difference is in the title positioning, font and the separation of the last part of my surname, plus widening the art to fit the book size.

EQUILIBRIUM BOOKS is a POD publisher based in Western Australia, and better suits my needs and budget. If you want to check them out, visit their website at http://www.equilibriumbooks.com/publish.htm where they outline what they can do for authors and their requirements. I have dealt with them before when publishing my first book, but foolishly went on to seek a US POD publisher that cost a lot more and now is part of the infamous Author Solutions stable. My thinking at the time was to seek a larger audience, and the American publisher was recommended through a friend who had used them successfully. Lesson learnt. I must admit they did a great job on the printing and presentation, but their costs and follow-ups for marketing and promotion deals were horrendous (See previous post about Simon and Schuster now joining the same crew).

I found my cover artist MICHAEL LENEHAN through LinkedIn and am impressed with his work. Anyone who would like to check out his art can see it at DeviantArt at http://mick2006.deviantart.com/ and can be contacted by email on micklenehan2002@yahoo.co.uk .

It is probably a good idea to read the first book THE WIZARD’S SWORD to prepare you for book 2. You will find all the links on this site, but the main ones for print and ebook are  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Paul+Vander+Loos and at

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66762 . The ebook is available in all formats, including Kindle.

Stones is assembling …

The three stones as they are when joined together.

SOUNDS like a grammar mistake, doesn’t it. But it isn’t. I’m talking about my second novel in the Nine Worlds series entitled Three Stones of Destiny. Maybe, I should have put some quote marks around ‘Stones’ but I left it to tease you, or perhaps irk. Anyway, enough of that. I have engaged  talented UK graphic cover designer Michael Lenehan to work on the cover for ‘Stones’.  And I may even let him have at redesigning the cover of book 1, which was the work of a local and also talented graphic designer, Heidi Counsel. Heidi’s work is excellent but I am now looking for a different ‘look’ that I hope will appeal to fantasy readers.

If I had to sum up this second book (which I will for promotions), it continues the journey of main character Mirrortac who is sent on a second mission of equal importance to his first. This time his own people are being misled by a demi-god man who poses as their god and wants to use three stones of power to enslave the peoples of three planets. It is such a difficult task that Mirrortac’s own children, the triplets Ezof, Treetam and Mitac, are engaged to help him after he loses all his memory after being sent to through a portal to another planet governed by vicious warriors and rent by volcanoes and earthquakes.

Once the cover art is ready, and I’m satisfied with the draft, it will be published with Create Space as an ebook and print book. If you haven’t already read book one, The Wizard’s Sword, grab it now at  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66762 . I hope Three Stones of Destiny will be out before Christmas.

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