Writing in the fantasy genre most of my stories play like movies in my head as I write. Even in my down time I'll often drift off in a daydream, playing with scenes until it's their turn to be added to the story.
As a visual person I like to have those images recorded in my notes and series bible, so one of the tasks I work on as I type out my story is finding photos of settings, clothing, weapons, buildings, models or actors who resemble the world and the heroes and heroines I envisage. I can spend hours searching for just the right picture, particularly with my heroes/heroines - until I find the picture that resonates the most.
|A village in Italy aka The Gannec Fortress from ALLEGIANCE SWORN|
After I've finished writing the book, usually the next task is putting together a portfolio of ideas for the art director at Berkley. My editor takes the photos and written descriptions to a meeting with Berkley's art director and they brainstorm a "look" for the cover of the book. This is made into a brief that is then sent to the cover artist (Gene Mollica is the man responsible for the covers in my Light Blade series) and he does his magic.
|Example of armour I included in my portfolio|
The process from start to finish is particularly exciting. I love putting together the portfolio, of showing my editor and the art director the world I see in my head, and then waiting in anticipation as the brief is put together then eventually Gene sending back the finished product. When the cover comes through to my inbox it's an exciting time and I spend several minutes to'ing and fro'ing, hesitating to open the email, knowing months of work of a team of people lie within.
|Chris H. inspired Arek, my hero from ALLEGIANCE SWORN|
So far I've been blown away with what Gene and the art director have envisaged for each of the Light Blade covers. The heroes and heroines have matched what I spent ages seeing in my head. Their clothes and the landscapes are spot on. And it makes the time I spend surfing the internet for images worth it.
|Arek & Imhara|
But some might call this procrastination, yet I think it deserves the more honorable title of RESEARCH - what do you think? :-)
Do you form impressions of heroes from the books you read? Is there one actor/model you’d love to see play one of your favourite fictional character if the book was made into a movie? Share you thoughts and go into the giveaway for an ALLEGIANCE SWORN tote bag. Don’t forget to leave an email address so we can contact you!
Book #3 of the Light Blade series
SHE’S THE ENEMY HE CAN’T RESIST.
There is no mercy in the demon realm. No escape. In this place of desperation and conflict, anyone who is not purebred is virtually powerless. Until a demon leader seeks to unify the races…
With the alliance of the humans and the half-blood Na’Chi forged, the demon Na’Reish prepare for war by seizing human blood-slaves. Captured during a rescue mission-gone-wrong, Light Blade warrior Arek Barial finds himself claimed by a Na’Reishi female who offers him an unexpected choice.
Raised in the elite ranks of a society she abhors, Imhara Kaal lives a dangerous double life as a Na’Reish Clan-leader and an advocate for a caste-free life that honors the Old Ways. Openly rebelling against the Na’Reish would mean her death, unless she can find an emissary willing to present her petition to the human Blade council.
But Arek isn’t about to blindly follow a demon—despite the intense attraction growing between them. And while hatred for the Na’Reish is all he has ever known, Arek must learn to trust Imhara, or risk the destruction of all three races…