Today, I started thinking about some of the cool things in my finished, bound book that I hadn’t expected. One is the chapter art. The book is out in the world, and you can read a free preview here by clicking on the aptly titled ‘free preview’ button, and see higher quality images of the art. The pictures in the post are pics I took with my android phone.
My favorite of the interior art is the dragon who guards over the Contents and the Acknowledgements. The dragon is also guarding over this post. He’s (She’s?) got a banner, wings, claws, and a serpent’s tongue. A dragon in my books talks forgotten languages (as does one of my main characters) so I really like that the tongue is prominent in the illustration.
In my books, there are mentions of other legendary creatures or ‘Elderkind’ as well. Each is illustrated at the beginning of different chapters. It is sort of weird and wonderful to have someone make illustrations for my novel. It’s someone else’s interpretation of my ideas, and, luckily, that someone is much better at design and drawing than me. (Eric Deschamps is the cover artist!)
In Chapter one, the legendary Winterbird is shown. The Winterbird protects the mountainous Winterlands. If you notice, there is a crest behind the bird. To me, it looks symbolic of both wings and mountains.There is also a nice banner with the chapter title, and a coat-of-arms with the chapter number.
I like the Chapter two art also. The tree represents a legendary creature called the Walking Oak who is associated with spring. Interesting note – I thought about naming my book A LAND WITHOUT DRAGONS. Then I realized there are dragons in both lands noted in my book, and, well, it just didn’t seem to work. However, since I liked the name I used it where I could.
Chapter titles are entertaining to create. There isn’t as much pressure as there is with naming the book or series, and it’s just a lot of fun to brainstorm ideas. It was my editor who suggested coming up with titles, and I’m glad she did.
Below is the art for chapters three and four. I like how the four chapters have some differences yet a recurring theme. In this case chapter three shows the Sunsnake (associated with summer) and chapter four shows the Bloodwolf (associated with fall).
If you notice, each creature has it’s own shield behind it. To me, the Sunsnake’s looks like an abstract sun. The Bloodwolf looks like a abstract falling leaf. It’s fits their respective seasons.
It’s hard to see the details in these picture but the shield is flanked by a pen and pencil as opposed to two swords. Below, is a photo of the hardcover (sans dust jacket) where you can really see those details. I have a pen just like that. (Also, I suggest looking at it sideways, since I posted it sideways.
The page numbers also are printed on shields. It makes for a nice theme.
Hey you got a cool cover artist. In addition to your stellar cover he has done a lot of awesome MTG cards!
It’s cool. The artist used to live in Durham, too!
The information referring to the art on page 53 is very detailed and was noticed by my two students, Olivia and Phoebe. They like how the art is symbolic. We had a lesson in class about how the colors and symbols on flags are significant as well. The Elderdragons remind the students of the story of Pandora’s box.
Since the art is something someone else made, it’s really interesting to me to see his interpretation. All the little details seem so meaningful once I start thinking about them!
I’ve never thought of the Elderdragons being reminiscent of Pandora’s box before, but I can certainly see it! Man angered them, and then they released bad things into the world. I’ve always been inspired by myths, too, so I’m not surprised by the connection 🙂