Monday, March 30, 2015

My Favorite Bad Habit: Art Commissions

As I've mentioned before, my favorite new hobby is all about commissioning artists to create illustrations of characters from my books. I love seeing what different artists will do with the information and ideas I give them. Part of it is a matter of developing some concept art, because even I'm not 100% sure what the futuristic setting of Poor Man's Fight looks like. I've been working on that, though (or, more accurately, I've had some artists working on it), and here's what I've got so far:

Russel Roehling put together this piece and delivered it for me at Emerald City Comic Con this past weekend. His stuff is gorgeous! The slight blurring effect at the bottom happened because the picture doesn't quite fit into my scanner, but you're not missing anything for it. I love how much energy Russ puts into his art. A lot of artists I talk to are happy to do relatively still portraits, but Russ is more than happy to put some action into his work. I'll be going back to him for more!

This one was done by Chuck Pires, who I found on DeviantArt. I offered him a couple of different concepts, but in the end, the thought of highlighting the "Cinderella In Space" aspect of Poor Man's Fight kinda won us both over. He offered a quick escalation of poses from "tired and miserable" to "seriously irritated" and finally the full FML treatment above, which makes me very happy.

I've shown this one before: Alicia and Janeka, as drawn by Lelia, another artist I found through DeviantArt. Feels like it should make a second appearance here with the others, y'know? This one came to me without as many step-by-step check-ins as I've had with other art, so when I saw the final product I was really thrilled.

More art is on the way. There's a piece with Casey in it that's so close to being finished I may just add it to this post as an edit. Another piece underway will be an ensemble of most of the pirates from Vengeance. That one's being done by Tadd Galusha, who recently did this glorious Ninja Turtles cover for IDW. I've also got a lady in the Philippines working on a portrait of Molly & Onyx from Good Intentions that has me really excited -- I'm almost tempted to show the preliminary rough sketch, because it's awesome enough all by itself.

Again, if by any chance you'll be at Norwescon this coming weekend, I'll be there, too! Check my previous post for details.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Conventions! Audiobooks! Exclamation Points!

Gosh, it's been a while since I updated, huh? Guess I've been a bit busy! Lots of news to relate here.

First things first: If you're in the Seattle-ish area, I'll be making my first convention appearance as a panelist at Norwescon from April 2 - 5. This year's Author Guest of Honor is kind of a big deal (George RR Martin), so it's looking to be a bigger-than-usual con. I'm told selection for panelists & such was pretty competitive this year, so I'm excited to have been chosen!
My schedule for the con has me on the following panels:

Name All the Things!
Thu 5:00pm-6:00pm - Evergreen 1&2
Dean Wells (M), Frances Pauli, Erik Scott de Bie, Brenda Carre, Elliott Kay

One-on-One Combat for Writers
Fri 10:00am-11:00am - Evergreen 3&4
GregRobin Smith (M), Norman K. Moss, Bill Gruner, A.M. Brosius, Ogre Whiteside, Michael 'Tinker' Pearce, V Whitlock, Ann Schilling, Alan Paulsen
(I'm not on the published schedule for this one, but the track lead invited me this weekend and I jumped at the chance. This is a great panel.)

Writing About the Military
Fri 4:00pm-5:00pm - Cascade 7&8
Russell Ervin (M), Bart Kemper, S. A. Bolich, Jennifer Brozek, Joseph Malik, Elliott Kay

Level Up Your Indie Skillset
Sat 6:00pm-7:00pm - Cascade 9
Matt Youngmark (M), Annie Bellet, Luna Lindsey, Elliott Kay

Beyond Insert Tab A Into Slot B
Sat 9:00pm-10:00pm - Cascade 6
18+ Only, please

Zap! Pow! Bam!
Sun 3:00pm-4:00pm - Cascade 9
Grant Riddell (M), Elliott Kay, Erik Scott de Bie, Craig English

Norwescon has been an annual event for me since I arrived in Seattle ten years ago. I've been a regular attendee, I've been a vendor('s boyfriend), I've found myself in after-hours room parties until far too late at night, and now I'm an attending pro! Hooray, progress!

But if you're on my blog here, you're probably wondering what I've been up to since my last update. I've been focused on my sci-fi books for the last couple of months. Some of my efforts have been drawn off by edits and proofreads of Poor Man's Fight and Rich Man's War in preparation for its publishing re-launch through Skyscape, but for the most part I've been hard at work writing the still-not-titled Book Three in the series. As I may have noted elsewhere, there's a lot of world-building to do for this one. Tanner is at the end of his enlistment term, with major decisions to face for his life while Archangel, the Kingdom of Hashem, the big corporations and the rest of the Union brawl their way toward a new status quo.

Additionally, I have some more good news if you're a lover of Audiobooks: and I have reached a deal for producing audio versions of Good Intentions, Natural Consequences and Days of High Adventure! I can't offer much in the way of details there except for the fact that the papers are signed and I have received word from Audible that the process is underway. We don't have a narrator chosen or a release date yet, but I'm told it should all be a matter of just a few months.

I hope to have more news soon, and if you're at Norwescon, please come say hi!