Behold, the initial cover art for Greatshadow, courtesy of top-notch fantasy artist Gerard Miley. Gerard's portfolio can be seen here. I think there's a gritty realism to his style that nicely grounds the fantasy elements of his work. I have a lot of confidence in this book, and now that I see the cover I think the odds of it being a hit have just jumped.
I'm actually working on some final story edits on Greatshadow this week, so the art has arrived in time to help get me in the mood to tackle the project. The story is solid right now, but editor Jonathan Oliver has led me to the few spots in the manuscript where things get a little fuzzy. I also now have to add in story elements I've created while writing Hush, the next book in the series. A lot of the stuff I need to add is dragon lore; Hush features appearances by not one, not two, but four primal dragons. And, the world map I'll be including with the book names two more. How many total primal dragons are there? An excellent question. So far I've named eight: Greatshadow (fire), Hush (cold), Abyss (sea), Tempest (storms), Glorious (sun), Rott (decay/entropy), Kragg (earth), and Verdant (forest). Verdant, alas, is deceased when Greatshadow starts, slain by the first King Brightmoon. Since Verdant's spirit was in most wild plant life, he is, ironically, no longer pushing up daisies.
Over the course of the series, I've got plotlines featuring all eight of these primal dragons. Some obvious dragons I haven't yet explored would be a moon dragon and a desert dragon. I also have a percolating possibility of a dragon of love and sex. I can only imagine the cover if I get around to writing that book.
Since Greatshadow isn't hitting bookstores until January, for now I'm focused on making the books as good as possible, and have been letting my blogs lapse a bit, I fear. I think it's more important to focus on making my books entertaining than havig my blogs be entertaining. But, as the publication date draws closer, I do have plans to revamp this website to shift the focus to Greatshadow, including sample chapters, character profiles, etc. And, I do have a good writing essay coming soon, on the importance of character arcs.