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Category: Structures of Earth

Sigil for Torch & Scroll

Posted in Artwork, and Structures of Earth

Torch and Scroll Sigil
My first series, The Hounds of Annwn, uses a sigil that represents Antler Sigilthe entire series: the red deer antlers of Cernunnos. You see it inside the books, on the title pages and at the end, as a sort of frame for the stories.

Now Jake Bullock, my cover artist, has come up with a sigil representing the dying wizard guild for my new series, The Affinities of Magic. Each guild has a specialty and an emblem.

The guild that specializes in overall research, sort of the R&D arm of the guilds, is in terrible shape and has almost died out. Its once-proud symbol, Torch & Scroll, bears the nickname Ashes & Dust. The guild hall itself has been shut down and the few folk left are huddled in the servants' quarters.

But there are some who are determined to raise this guild from the dust and ashes and to revolutionize the understanding and practice of magic. Stay tuned for their stories…

You can see more of Jake's work here.

Cover Artist Audition Sketch – Rich Whyte

Posted in Artwork, Structures of Earth, and The Affinities of Magic

CoverSketch-RichWhyte-karen1Here's the second candidate for cover art for The Affinities of Magic from artist Richard Whyte. He's taken a different approach to the academy building.

Both Jake Bullock and Rich Whyte are British, and I'm amused that, given encouragement to use any period in any region, or to make up something out of whole cloth, they each defaulted to more or less Victorian England. (Apparently you can take the Brit out of England but you can't…)

Is this the influence of steampunk, do you suppose?

I find that the sketch by Jake Bullock seems to capture more of the flavor of “fantasy” and more of the notion of the academy building as a “main character” in its own right, where Rich Whyte's has more of the flavor of a period mystery or of the aforementioned steampunk. Covers are very important for genre fiction — they should immediately suggest the appropriate genre, and I think Jake Bullock's is doing a better job of that.

What do you think?

You can find more of Rich's work here.

Cover artist audition sketch – Jake Bullock

Posted in Artwork, Structures of Earth, and The Affinities of Magic

Cover-Sketch-Crop-Jake-BullockI've asked two cover artist candidates to do a preliminary cover sketch for The Affinities of Magic, and a third is considering. I thought my readers would enjoy looking over my shoulder at the process of picking a cover artist for a series, and I'd be delighted to hear your thoughts.

Artist Jake Bullock has just sent me his preliminary sketch and I wanted to share that with you.

The cover for all the novels will feature an old wizard guild house, fallen into bad times along with its clan. Because of one brilliant young student and his systematic discoveries, the guild house will be gradually revived into an academy for a new school of magic. In each new novel you can see visible improvements, both to the building and to its surroundings.

The series background concerns a world that is moving from the biological equivalent of alchemy to chemistry, that is, from a mystical practice to a science-based one. Every story, short or long, will include a natural biological entity that produces an insight into how things really work, and that will be featured in a small vignette on the cover.

For long works, that vignette will be on the back cover. For short works, the back cover scene and its vignette will function as the front cover (short works don't appear in print and only need front covers).

You can find more of Jake's work here.Cover-Sketch-Jake-Bullock