Raveler Update: The Cover!

Posted by John Brown on August 28th, 2014

Back in July, I contacted the talented Victor Minguez again to do this cover. I sent him a creative brief with three scenes that I thought would work well. Victor read the passages, then came back with some sketches.

One of the scenes was of Sugar, battling howlers in the world of soul. Two parts of the reference I gave were the following. The first suggested an interesting lace pattern that fit my image of Sugar’s skenning. The second was a dead ringer for a howler. It’s actually “Lion,” made of used tires and steel by Yong Ho Ji. Okay I found it on Pinterest. But it’s absolutely gorgeous. I really thought this scene with Sugar would be the one.

Skenning   Howlers

Victor’s sketch is below. You can see the howlers in the foreground about to attack.


The second and third scenes were of Argoth facing down Mokad’s Guardian and Matiga and her fell-maidens in the final battle. The fell-maidens are women you don’t want to mess with. Some of the reference included these. BTW, if you’re interested in other images I’ve captured, feel free to browse my Pinterest collections.

Matiga Matiga2 Matiga3Matiga4

This is the sketch he came back with. His notes explained that the enemy line would be reflected in the sword.


I love the idea of Sugar and those howlers. I can see the image in my mind, and it’s awesome. But we felt this would make a more appealing cover. Maybe someday we’ll pay for someone to do that Sugar illustration just for the heck of it.

The next step was to do a value study. This was the first.

I wanted to see what a couple of variations might look like.

RavelerValuesCloseUpView  RavelerValuesMoreFaceSketch

Ultimately, I thought all three of these were powerful. The first two really draw attention to her eyes and give a great focal point and hierarchy. In fact, I still go back and forth even now. But I did like seeing more of her face. I think anyone of them could have been great, but we ended up going with the third. A little magic from the artist, and Shazam!


There are a lot of things to love about this. Victor’s gorgeous backlighting and halo effects. The part of the story told in the reflection in the sword. And the fact that this woman is not some fluff bunny, running around in ridiculous bikini wear. She’s even got a bit of sneer or growl going on. My friends, this is a freaking fell-maiden. I also like that Victor etched an important symbol into the armor.

Here’s the illustration in the cover.




Curse, Raveler, Comic Con

Posted by John Brown on August 27th, 2014

CURSE_FinalCoverSpreadWebI’ve been busting my chops these last three weeks. CURSE is finished. RAVELER will be finished tonight. I will be putting them both on sale at smoking hot prices for those that have signed up for the newsletter in the next few days.

This is also perfect timing for the Salt Lake City Comic Con. I’ll be there, participating on panels, chatting with readers, and selling copies of my books at a table in the Artist’s Alley (White, booth 40). I’ve invited two other awesome authors to join me at the table–Cheree Alsop and Eric James Stone. This is going to be a great event. If you’re going, please drop by at the table to say hello. I’ll have more on Comic Con in a post in a few days.

Tags: , ,

Curse Update: Cover

Posted by John Brown on August 9th, 2014




The proof has been shipped. When that arrives, we’ll review it to make sure everything looks good, and then it’s release time.

The artwork is proceeding along for RAVELER as well. The target for that is mid August. As soon as it’s finished, we’ll be ready to release that book as well.

Just for kicks, here’s the SERVANT spread.



Curse Update: All we’re waiting for is the cover

Posted by John Brown on July 29th, 2014

Yup. Interior formatted and finished. CurseV2FinalV1As soon as we put together the cover, I will announce to the early bird sale for my newsletter subscribers. 

Now, do you remember the illustration to the side? Back in April I told you to look at it and see if you could find the issue. I will now direct you to Talen’s leg. Click on the image to see it full size. In a post this week, I will explain just what this is all about.


Curse Update: Copy edits and art

Posted by John Brown on July 19th, 2014

CurseV2FinalV1The copy edits for CURSE and RAVELER are finished. The artist has also begun working on the cover for RAVELER.

The next task is to review and add anything necessary to make the ending of CURSE and the beginning of RAVELER work in their new roles.

And then it’s pub time. Getting very close now, folks.


Tags: ,

Do you wish books had ratings for sex, violence, and language? If so I want to chat with you.

Posted by John Brown on July 15th, 2014

MarshmallowMateysBack in 2011 I wrote a post titled “Since when did young adult fiction become the cure for cancer?”  It was a response to all the YASaves hysteria. The main point of my amazing post (grin) was that the people complaining about some YA content wanted not to ban books, but to simply have a way to more easily evaluate if they wanted to buy a particular book in the first place.

They want to avoid purchasing what they thought was a box of Marshmallow Mateys only to open it and find a bunch of bicycle sprockets.

Last year I decided to work on a solution. I have some ideas. But before I get ahead of myself and build something, I want to really understand if it’s a problem worth solving. I want to chat with others who do care about content to see what aspects of this are important to them and what they’re doing now to find this information.

So, if you wish books had ratings for sex, violence, and language, then I want to talk to you. It will take about 20 minutes. If you’re open to chatting, leave a comment, or click Contact above and fill in the form.

Because I live up in the middle of nowhere, we’ll have to chat via a web meeting. But never fear: I’ll host that. All you’ll have to do is show up and answer my questions :)


Posted in Blather