Posts Tagged ‘Art’

Cover Launch: INK & SIGIL by Kevin Hearne

From New York Times bestselling author Kevin Hearne comes the start of a hugely entertaining new series set in the world of the Iron Druid Chronicles – about an eccentric master of magic solving an uncanny mystery in Scotland . . .

We’ll be publishing Ink & Sigil by Kevin Hearne in August 2020, and are delighted to show you the stunning UK cover illustrated by Sarah J. Coleman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available for pre-order now! Read on for a taste of what’s in store . . .

Al MacBharrais is both blessed and cursed. He is blessed with an extraordinary white moustache, an appreciation for craft cocktails – and a most unique magical talent. He can cast spells with magically enchanted ink and he uses his gifts to protect our world from rogue minions of various pantheons, especially the Fae.

But he is also cursed. Anyone who hears his voice will begin to feel an inexplicable hatred for Al, so he can only communicate through the written word or speech apps. And his apprentices keep dying in peculiar freak accidents. As his personal life crumbles around him, he devotes his life to his work, all the while trying to crack the secret of his curse.

But when his latest apprentice, Gordie, turns up dead in his Glasgow flat, Al discovers evidence that Gordie was living a secret life of crime. Now Al is forced to play detective – while avoiding actual detectives who are wondering why death seems to always follow Al. Investigating his apprentice’s death will take him through Scotland’s magical underworld, and he’ll need the help of a mischievous hobgoblin if he’s to survive.

You are in for a great treat. Ink and Sigil is great escape reading, and I loved every word’ Charlaine Harris, New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse books

‘Will transport you right in the Scottish realm of fey and fairies . . . The magic is both familiar and new, believable and extraordinary’ Charlie Holmberg, author of The Paper Magician

‘Vividly blends Kevin Hearne’s unique take on urban fantasy with the grit of Scottish magic’ Adam Christopher, author of Empire State

Ink & Sigil is filled to the brim with the Hearne-anigans we’ve all grown to love. Fans of ribald humor, literary puns and the odd hobgoblin will be enchanted by this paranormal mystery’ Jaye Wells, author of the Prospero’s War series

Cover Launch: PEACE TALKS by Jim Butcher

HARRY DRESDEN IS BACK AND READY FOR ACTION!

Dresden Files fans rejoice! The thrilling sixteenth instalment in Jim Butcher’s no. 1 Sunday Times bestselling series is on its way!

PEACE TALKS (UK | ANZ) is out in July 2020 and available to preorder now.

the book cover for Peace TalksWhen the supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, joins the White Council’s security team to make sure the talks stay civil. But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicago — and all he holds dear?

Praise for the Dresden Files:

‘The Dresden Files is my favourite series ever’ Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind

‘Butcher’s storytelling is satisfying on a level that’s bone-deep’ io9

‘Harry Dresden has a vitality that few urban fantasy heroes can match’ SFX

‘The Dresden Files are addictive page-turners’ SciFiNow

Cover Launch: MAKER’S CURSE by Trudi Canavan

Fantasy fans: the wait is nearly over . . .  the final installment in Trudi Canavan‘s Millennium’s Rule series is on its way!

MAKER’S CURSE (UK|US|ANZ) will publish in May 2020, and today we’re delighted to unveil the stunning cover. And if you can’t wait until May, read on for a taste of what’s in store!

Rielle is now the Maker, restorer of worlds. She has lost count of the number of worlds she has been sent to save. 

Tyen has cast off his old identity. No longer a spy, he now attempts to teach new sorcerers and find ways to counteract the war machines that are spreading throughout the worlds.

But when an old enemy brings news of something worse than magically dead worlds and dangerous sorcerers – a threat unlike anything the worlds have faced before – Rielle and Tyen must reunite if they are to have any chance at saving humanity.

Praise for Millennium’s Rule:

‘Epic, vivid and believable’ Guardian

‘It’s easy to see why Trudi Canavan’s novels so often make the bestseller lists’ SFX

‘A must for fans of Canavan’s previous work and for fantasy fans in general’ Press Association

‘The world-building is tremendous. The magical system is sophisticated and fascinating’ Striking Keys

MAKER’S CURSE (UK|US|ANZ) is available for pre-order now.

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Launch: THE SHADOW SAINT by Gareth Hanrahan

Earlier this year, Gareth Hanrahan’s highly anticipated debut, THE GUTTER PRAYER took the fantasy world by storm, introducing a world of sorcerers and thieves, broken gods and dangerous magic.

The epic tale will continue in THE SHADOW SAINT, the gripping second novel in the Black Iron Legacy and we’re thrilled to reveal the stunning cover below:

 

Shadow Saint

Illustration by Richard Anderson
Design by Steve Panton

 

AS THE GODSWAR DRAWS EVER CLOSER AND TENSIONS WITHIN THE CITY ESCALATE, HOW LONG WILL THE PEOPLE OF GUERDON BE ABLE TO KEEP THEIR ENEMIES AT BAY?

The Shadow Saint will hit the shops in January, so if you haven’t discovered the magic of The Gutter Prayer yet there’s still plenty of time to dive in! It’s available in paperback, ebook and audio, read by the wonderful John Banks.

Praise for The Gutter Prayer:

‘Ground breaking and extraordinary’ Peter McLean
‘Captivating’ Nicholas Eames
‘Mind-blowingly stellar in every respect’ Novel Notions
‘Absolutely stunning’ Michael R. Fletcher
‘We can’t wait to dive in to book two’ SciFiNow
‘A gripping, darkly inventive tale’ James Islington
‘Masterful drama, expert dialogue, brilliant characters’ Fantasy Book Review
‘I await the sequel with the keenest anticipation’ Anthony Ryan
‘A mercurial masterpiece . . . Astounding’ Fantasy Hive
‘Put simply, you need to read this’ The Fantasy Inn
‘A brilliant, imaginative debut’ Fantasy Book Critic
‘Undoubtedly, the debut of the year’ Booknest

 

Gareth Hanrahan’s three-month break from computer programming to concentrate on writing has now lasted fifteen years and counting. He’s written more gaming books than he can readily recall, by virtue of the alchemical transmutation of tea and guilt into words. He lives in Ireland with his wife and twin sons.

Follow him on Twitter at @mytholder.

Cover Launch: INTO THE FIRE by Elizabeth Moon

We’re delighted to reveal the stunning cover for INTO THE FIRE (UK|ANZ), the thrilling second book in the Vatta’s Peace series by Nebula-Award-winning author Elizabeth Moon.

Into the Fire

Cover design by Sean Garrehy
Illustration by Steve Stone @ Artist partners

INTO THE FIRE will be hitting shops in February 2018 and is available for pre-order now! Read on for a taste of what’s in store:

When Admiral Kylara Vatta and a ship full of strangers were marooned on an inhospitable arctic island, they uncovered secrets that someone on Ky’s planet was ready to kill to keep hidden. Now, the existence of the mysterious arctic base has been revealed, but the organisation behind it still lurks in the shadows, doing all it can to silence her.

It is up to the intrepid Ky to force the perpetrators into the light, and uncover decades’ worth of secrets – some of which lie at the very heart of her family’s greatest tragedy.

Praise for Elizabeth Moon:

‘Sheer delight’ – Anne McCaffrey
‘Absolutely compelling’ – Greg Bear
‘Full of thrills’ – Locus
‘Unforgettable’ – Jack McDevitt
‘Hard to put down’ – SFSite.com
‘Continues to get better with every volume’ – Guardian
‘Superlative’ – Booklist
‘She deserves all her success – and more’ – SciFi.com

Cover Story LAZARUS WAR by Jamie Sawyer

I love me a great sci fi novel, and these are great sci fi novels! I got assigned the Lazarus War series by Jamie Sawyer (US UK | AUS)  which is set in a future where mankind battles a hostile alien race. All that protects us are an elite military team, remotely operating avatars in the most dangerous theatres of war.

Lauren had reached out to the ever talented Ioan Dumitrescu to work on the series. Jon took the proverbial bull by the horns and came back with illustrations that blow you away like an old school Maxell Ad. It only seemed appropriate to have the art keep pace with the story, so we wanted movement and action that jumps off the page!

Here’s Jon (Ioan) to talk about the project!

Hi everybody, my name is Ioan Dumitrescu and im a professional concept designer / ilustrator for games and movies.

And sometimes im in that zen zone where i get to do sci fi book covers. This time that opportunity came with Lazarus War by Jamie Sawyer.

Story about incredible space battles between starships and behemoth alien flotillas, plasma shooting crazy dudes, in short an adrenaline rush ride.

My first assignment came from Lauren P, and i was briefed to work around a lead ship. The thing i love about doing book covers is they give me a great freedom to experiment and see where it can take me. The starship was supposed to be a bulky, can take a hit, huge gun/ cannon.

The vibe i followed was to make a very dynamic image, and show a race for life. I took advantage of 3d to get the best angle and shapes. After that the image started coming along, having a huge star like explosion, which i thought would show how anything can happen at any given moment. We also see a glimpse of the aliens, the Krell ( thats a cool alien name) with their smaller needle attack ships, that swarm and overwhelm. The colors of orange yellows described the imeddiate danger the starship is in, but you can also see hints of blue and green at the front which gives hope to escaping alive.Next came the email from Kirk B, saying to start focusing on the second book, which would come down to showing what the Krell are all about, behemoth motherships, 10 times the size of the starships, that deliver thousands of expendable attack ships. Process was similar, using 3d to decide on the best angle. I wasnt ready to give up on the dynamic action packed feeling, and i also wanted to be different from the „all out” first cover.I decided to show the moment before the Krells choose and attack their targets. Having left the last battle in the background, now stands the mothership, in all its biomechanic glory, in a somehow proud stance, a relic of times unknown, that conquers everything it sets it sight on, no fear, no emotion. I choose to make it a bit more slimy and also a small tribute to the genius of H.R Giger. It just felt right! All the attack ships are waiting to jump at their target when given the order! Tension in the air treated with an unearthy like calm. The colors followed that feeling, having the ship wrapped in serene white light and surrounded by blacking greens. The touch of red is also a sign of the carnage that might follow.

This can now only get me thinking of what might be the 3d book cover, im thinking of something more intimate, that would bring the viewer and reader closer to the characters that take the action further.

I hope you enjoy the past and future covers to come!

Thank you
Ioan Dumitrescu

So, without adieu, I’m thrilled to present the covers to the first two books in the Lazarus War series by Jamie Sawyer!


Sawyer_LazarusWarArtefact-EB
Sawyer_LazarusWarLegion-EB


The Lazarus War: Artefact and The Lazarus War: Legion is out now!

A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER: The Making of the Map

Welcome to a behind-the-scenes post on how maps get created in the Orbit universe. I thought A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER (US | UK |AUS) was the perfect opportunity to do a write-up on, because the map design even made it to the cover. I’ll be your narrator, and welcome Author Alex Marshall, and illustrator Tim Paul.

LP: People often ask how we decide which books are going to have maps, and most times it is author-driven. Some authors use mapmaking as part of their worldbuilding process, and some authors only have a more general idea of geography as they’re writing. If a map or diagram comes naturally out of a story, then I always like to create something to expand the reader’s experience of the book. And sometimes a “map” is not really a map – for example we’ll be doing a process post soon on BLACK WOLVES (US | UK | AUS) by Kate Elliott – that book has tattoo designs for each important clan in the book in lieu of a geographic map.

In the case of A Crown for Cold Silver, I knew the author had a very specific concept for the map, and when I want the author and map maker to work together directly, my go-to artist is Tim Paul. I’d actually known Tim for a few years for his more stylized illustrations. One day we were sitting at the Society of Illustrators in NYC, at some art event or another, and he was saying he was dragging out all his old Dungeon Master props and maps to start up a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. He was talking about how much he enjoyed geeking out on the mapmaking, and my head snapped over to him and I said, so….you like making maps huh? Have you ever illustrated one for a client? (See, networking is real!)

TP: Hurray for networking, and talking about yourself!

LP: Map illustrators are a special – and rare – breed. You have to really be into the process of drawing the map out of the author, and tolerate a lot of fine-tuning. If you aren’t really excited by that, then you burn out quite quickly on all the revisions. You have to love the collaboration process. Many illustrators feel map work isn’t as creative as other types of illustration, but good mapmakers know there’s a lot of room for artistic license.

TP: It’s true about being a rare breed. I’ve had lots of illustrators tell me they won’t touch maps, and those few that do try, end up deciding not to do them again. As one person described, it’s like doing 50 – 100 little illustrations that are always changing. I actually find drawing thousands of little trees and mountains relaxing, even as I strive to make each mountain unique.

I’ve played D&D since I was 14. The maps in the books and modules were one of my favorite aspects. As a kid, I always made my own maps and worlds. Surprisingly, it took a long time to put my love of making my own maps into another way to making a living with my art. (more…)

The Making of a Cover: Final Books (and video!)

Welcome to the most in-depth, behind-the-scenes, play-by-play account of how a cover is born, from the point of view of the Art Department. We’re charting the conception and birth of the Shadowdance series by David Dalglish.

So far we have talked about the first real step of a book, Acquisitionand then what goes into Cover Briefing. Then we let our minds wander and collect inspiration and form Directions for the cover. Then we agreed on a Photographer and Illustrator. We’ve even found our hero, the Cover Model. And we found a Trampoline for him to do stunt work on safely. We decked him out in book-specific Costume & Props. We spent all day at our Photo Shoot. We received the Rough Cuts, and while the illustrator was working, Kirk was developing the Design Roughs. Then we got the Final Retouched Illustrations in and got to the design on the Final Covers. And now, believe it or not, we’re at the end of our little cover art journey, and even though you’ve seen the final book designs in the last post, I give you a treat:

It’s been a pleasure taking you through the cover process for such a fun series. We really put a ton of work into all our covers here at Orbit, and I hope you’ve enjoyed peeking behind the curtain. I don’t think people realize quite how many moving parts, how many stages of work, and how many people make up the cover process. And remember, we’re doing a whole season’s worth of covers at once. Whew.

Thank you to amazing ninja Bryce Bermingham, Photographer Michael Frost and his team, Illustrator Gene Mollica, the team at Hollywood Stunts, our video guys Eric Westpheling and Louis Rebecchi, our prop makers and costume builders and everyone who had a hand in bringing these covers to life. Thanks also to Kirk Benshoff, my co-conspirator in Art Direction & Design. And of course, thanks to David Dalglish, who thought up such a cool concept for us to make a reality.

The Making of a Cover: Final Cover Designs

Welcome to the most in-depth, behind-the-scenes, play-by-play account of how a cover is born, from the point of view of the Art Department. We’re charting the conception and birth of the Shadowdance series by David Dalglish.

So far we have talked about the first real step of a book, Acquisitionand then what goes into Cover Briefing. Then we let our minds wander and collect inspiration and form Directions for the cover. Then we agreed on a Photographer and Illustrator. We’ve even found our hero, the Cover Model. And we found a Trampoline for him to do stunt work on safely. We decked him out in book-specific Costume & Props. We spent all day at our Photo Shoot. We received the Rough Cuts, and while the illustrator was working, Kirk was developing the Design Roughs. We even looked at the Mapmaking process. Once the illustrator was done, he sent over the Final Retouched Illustrations for Kirk to input into his designs, getting us to Final Cover Designs!

You’d think, after all the work on the design, and all the work on the images, that Kirk’s work would be over, but there is still the cover mechanical to send to the printer for the final printed books. Here’s Kirk Benshoff to go into more detail about that:

Up to this point all of the focus has been on the front cover, which is ultimately the main draw to get people to pick up the book, look at it, and ultimately buy it. But what happens if the book is not face out in a bookshelf? What do you want the rest of the experience to be once someone has the book in his or her hands? The book needs a strong shelf presence to stand out amongst a lot of other titles in a bookstore.

In all, the cover is broken out into three parts: the front cover, spine, and back cover. The spine needs to visually identify the book when it’s shelved in a bookcase. In the event that someone who is familiar with the book wants to find the next volume in the series, an identifiable spine design will make it easy for that person to find what they need. If we’re looking to court a new reader who is not familiar with the property, we want the spine to be as engaging as a tall and thin surface area can be so someone can get a taste of the cover, be compelled to take it out, and look at it.

(more…)

The Making of a Cover: Final Retouched Illustrations

Welcome to the most in-depth, behind-the-scenes, play-by-play account of how a cover is born, from the point of view of the Art Department. We’re charting the conception and birth of the Shadowdance series by David Dalglish.

So far we have talked about the first real step of a book, Acquisitionand then what goes into Cover Briefing. Then we let our minds wander and collect inspiration and form Directions for the cover. Then we agreed on a Photographer and Illustrator. We’ve even found our hero, the Cover Model. And we found a Trampoline for him to do stunt work on safely. We decked him out in book-specific Costume & Props. We spent all day at our Photo Shoot. We received the Rough Cuts, and while the illustrator was working, Kirk was developing the Design Roughs. Here’s Kirk Benshoff to talk about the Final Retouched Illustrations: (more…)