Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Art for The Shard

I got a bit of nice feedback for my first query attempt, but I suspect it can be improved a lot more. Please see my last post if you might be able to help me!

I thought I might show the first piece of art I had commissioned for my book. Since I am a great lover of fantasy art, I decided I would love to have some artists try their hand at scenes from my book. That way if I ever gave up on getting published for real, I could self-publish my book with some cool artwork in it.

Naturally I dreamed of my favorite artist, Alan Lee, doing a piece, but of course that is pure fantasy (Hey, I'm a fantasy writer; I can dream). Mr. Lee doesn't have any web presence that I can find, so there was no means of asking him his prices. I guess he doesn't need to take on commissions anymore.

The first artist that responded to me was Shane Tyree    . He was nice and down-to-earth, so it was pleasant working with him. I found the process a bit frustrating, because it can be hard to make two different people have the same vision for something, but overall I am pleased with the result. The painting below fairly accurately depicts the scene the way I saw it in my head, especially the pose of the dragon. If anyone wants to try this for their own work, Shane is an excellent choice. Below the picture I will paste a bit of the scene from my book that goes with it.

The elf disappeared into the blackness of the tunnel. Midas could hear and see nothing. He counted his heartbeats. When he got to fifty he could no longer stand it. He carefully placed one foot in front of the other, attempting to move as silently as possible into the tunnel. He held one hand to the walls on either side. They were slick with moisture. He trailed his fingers lightly along the walls and felt some patches of moss. He saw nothing but utter blackness. It seemed to take forever to walk along the passageway. I should have at least brought Bjorn’s sword, he thought. How useless I am right now.

In a nearly imperceptible manner, the sound in his ears changed. He sensed that the blackness opened up wide in front of him. I’m there! I’m in the Great Hall.

He noticed a faint light off to the right and realized it must come from tiny cracks in the main gates. He halted and tried to let his eyes get used to the dim light. His nerves crackled. Where is Alvanaria? Where is the dragon?

He tasted salt. Sweat was dripping down his face from the slick hair under his half-helm. He was afraid to move. He still saw little. He thought he could see patches of lighter darkness, but perhaps it was just his mind playing tricks on him. Slowly he knelt down and touched the floor with his fingers. It was dry, polished stone, cold to the touch.

A bright pinpoint of light flickered ahead of him, and Midas had to bite back a yelp. The light brightened into a torch. What is she doing! Midas’s skin crawled; he felt death creeping up on him from behind. He stared wildly around, seeing nothing but more darkness, then looked back at Alvanaria. She stood on a glittering mound, rubbing her hand over a dark wall.

Midas couldn’t believe what was happening. He felt all sanity was draining from the world. He mentally shrugged and moved closer to the elf. His foot struck something hard but yielding, and there came a loud clinking sound as tiny objects scattered from his inadvertent kick. Midas froze again. In the faint light of the torch he now saw that the floor all around was piled with heaps of coins and other riches. His foot had struck a small pile of silver and gold pieces.

“Come on, Midas,” called Alvanaria softly. “It’s okay.”

Midas looked at her again. He could now see that she stood on a larger heap of gold and gems. He saw a gleaming chalice jutting from the pile. Alvanaria stood with her back to Midas, looking over her shoulder at him, her hand still on the dark wall in front of her.

Midas moved as quickly as he dared until he came to the foot of the mound of treasure upon which Alvanaria stood.

“What is it?” he whispered.

“It’s the dragon,” replied Alvanaria. “Look. It’s dead.”


  1. Wonderful! Truly amazing!

    If I e-publish my novel through Smashwords my niece is going to do the cover. She's an amazing artist. I'm getting so attached to the idea that I'm not sure I want to send out any more querries.

    Once upon a time I had a dream of writing it as a graphic novel with illustrations by Mike Mignola. But I knew that was never going to happen.

  2. Yeah, if I could afford it I would do about twenty great paintings for my book and publish it with them scattered throughout in all the appropriate places. It would be awesome! I loved Sword of Shannara and the Alan Lee version of LOTR for this reason, and I wish publishers would do more of it.