Nero, my furry baby, has gone through a lot, but here he is by my side, on the couch. He’s only six years old and the sweetest beagle you can imagine. I write everyday while petting him; it gives me peace beyond comprehension and he makes me smile. Nero shadows me wherever I go, and, if he feels I’m upset he nudges his big, snoopy-like nose against my leg. Life is definitely better if a dog adopts you.
Beagles on a cover
Last year, I wrote a short story about a boy and two beagles, and Alessandro, my favorite cover artist, worked on the concept art for a possible graphic novel based on it. This was the very first drawing for the cover. The project has been put on a hiatus for the time being, but Alessandro’s art deserved to be properly showcased.
Alessandro doesn’t sleep at night, which works great for me since he’s creating some serious art. In the last two or three weeks, we went back and forth talking about what I wanted to be represented on the cover for Pax in the Land of Women. I asked for a mix of ancient ruins and modern buildings, and then I gave him free reins. Fresh from his tablet here is the concept for Ginecea City. Stunning, right?
Alessandro Fiorini, the artist behind The Priest’s cover, is working on the concepts for Pax in the Land of Women, second installation in The Ginecean Chronicles. He sent me the first image a few hours ago, and, as usual, I was extremely happy with his work. What do you think? Isn’t he great?
(flash fiction inspired by Alessandro Fiorini’s painting Tradita*)
He’s coming, she thinks, looking outside. The breeze from the shore caresses her face. The sun is rising high in the sky; soon will be too hot to leave the windows open.
He’s coming. The sheets lie crumpled at her side as a sea of stormy thoughts. The perfume she had carefully donned is wafting away. Nearby, a gate opens and closes, rusted hinges breaking the morning silence.
He’s coming. She blinks, once, twice, refusing to move. Her eyes are growing tired to stare at the ever-moving, liquid surface, now busy with colorful boats coming back to the marina. The tempest has come and gone, leaving behind a trail of waste marring the once-beautiful blue. She focuses her attention on a piece of floating wood. Her heart skips a beat. Tears fill her dark eyes.
He’s coming. She knows, joy finally descends upon her. The piece of wood is just such. A familiar shape fending through the crowded water commands her attention. The small boat seems to fly over the waves, sending the debris away in its wake, a bright light intermittingly flashing a love letter.
“I’m coming home,” it says. She smiles and closes the window.
*Although the original title of the painting means ‘betrayed’, while I was writing this piece I thought that the lovely woman in the picture deserved a happier ending. There is something about her and the light surrounding her that compelled me to write something permeated by hope.
Sandro’s website is up and running. Take a look!
I am thrilled with Sandro’s art. He is talented, and professional. I don’t think I could ask more from him, although I tried…
The Ginecean series is on its way to publication. The Priest is currently waiting for the final foolproof editing, Pax in the Land of Women is in the editor’s hands, and I am trying to write the final chapter, Pax at War. I am experiencing a few problems with the writing part, the fool-proofer is taking a mental vacation, and the editor is dealing with her daughter’s illness. All in all, a mess! But, comes September 1st, The Priest will be published. I had to put it black on white. Now, I can go back to painting murals on my parents’ house.
I am proud to present you The Priest’s cover in its latest incarnation:
Sandro is starting to work on Pax’s cover, but he still has some energy to play around with The Priest’s.
The Final Frontier (aka cover # 15)
Sandro fixed few little details out of place (a white spot under Mauricio’s ear, and a juxtaposition line on his neck), and I asked for the sun on the horizon. Roberto doesn’t like the sun centered, he prefers it by the side. Maybe behind the City of Men?
Different font for the title
My final requests are: Sun centered by the side, my name bigger, and the shadow under the title. And then, that’s it!
Without further ado:
The Other Banner
As a personal note, I prefer the first one with the tear (dot of the i) on the other side of the eye. But it is still awesome!
My editor sent me the last three chapters yesterday, blessed the people who work on Mother’s Day Sundays. At the same time, Sandro sent me the final layouts for the cover and the banner. In less than a month so many things have changed in my life, I have cried and laughed. I have felt the whole spectrum of human emotions between pure happiness, and absolute sadness. My family and my writing are the only constant. Here is something that makes me ecstatic.
The Last Cover (to be retouched slightly)
This is lucky number 13!
I like everything, I only asked Sandro to play with the fonts to free Mauricio’s eye.
Getting Closer and Closer!
I like this one better, but I would make the black background bigger to enlarge the title’s font. I also would like to see more of Mauricio’s neck. And probably we have to put back the shadow under my name to make it easier to read at thumbnail size. Or maybe not, I can’t decide.
The Best Banner Ever!
I absolutely love this banner!
Seeing all the layouts together, and scrolling up and down between images has given me a clear idea of what I want to show on The Priest’s cover. Although the last two models were clearly attractive, judging from the comments I received, I disliked the Jacob-looking one, and I thought that the other one was too beautiful. Mauricio is raggedly handsome; he is definitely not a pretty boy.
So I decided to go back to the first Mauricio, and combine two different layouts.
Working on the final cover (hopefully!)
Amazon is killing me. They didn’t do a clear job at explaining what they require regarding the cover’s format. So, Sandro played around with the numbers we found, which clearly don’t make sense, as you can see from the examples below. Anyway, I asked him to try something at 960×1280 at 72 dpi, and let’s see what happens to the cover. For now, what do you think?