Tag Archives: Pledges of Honor

An exercise in cover creation…Pledges of Honor

When I got the rights back to Pledges of Honor, one issue I ran into was the total lack of a budget to do cover work. Editing had happened long before I sent the MS to the publisher that I got it back from, so at least I had that factor handled. But. Cover.

Pledges is high fantasy that is, as I described on Facebook, set in an 18th century-esque alternative Pacific Northwest locale. Very alternative, though it’s still a colonial frontier, albeit one where the colonialists are fleeing active persecution and have to collaborate with local populations to survive (backstory). There are elements who want to do the traditional colonialist thing, and they’ve gained power in one nation. But. There’s also a pack of squabbling Gods and Goddesses, and the high politics of the divine pantheon affect magic and political power at the human level. Lots and lots of backstory that is only mildly referenced in Pledges, and to be honest I’m not certain how well I’ve pulled that off.

There will be more of the strife between colonialists and collaborationists in the next books, because, well, the original imperial power is now remembering their colony and That Does Not Bode Well. But when they show up, they’re going to find that Things Aren’t What They Thought. And, well, that would be telling more about the story, wouldn’t it?

Meanwhile. Cover. I posted several pictures yesterday and got some good feedback. Besides cover pix yesterday, I also browsed the fonts to find the look I wanted. However, when it came to the lighting and background color, the initial font I chose didn’t work. Didn’t matter what color the text was, what the color the drop shadow was…the font didn’t work. I wish I’d saved some interim pix for comparisons, but oh well.

So I chose a backup font, and it turned out better than I thought. Then it became an issue of alignment. At first I wanted the title across the top, but…well, that didn’t work with the picture. Played a bit more with colors and alignment, and came up with this:

epub cover

I may have to play with it a bit more once I start submitting the ebook and I know the CreateSpace cover is going to be a challenge…but the cover is DONE.

Yeah, I know I could go to Deviant Art or Fiverr to get an artist, but I’ve yet to find someone who resonates with what I like. Plus at some point in the future I probably will update the covers and then change things out. For now, though…I like what I see, and thanks to all who helped me figure it out!

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Second round of shots for Pledges pic

So several folks on LiveJournal wanted to see more impact and there was at least one suggestion for a dark green background. But…lighting sucks.

I do have one promising candidate.


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Cover pix for Pledges

Oh, Internet hive mind. I’m playing with the cover pix for Pledges of Honor, but I’m having problems deciding which one. Any suggestions? Each piece has a meaning within the book–the rutile is Katerin’s Eye of Dovré, the charoite is Metkyi’s gift to Katerin, the stone is Metkyi’s heartstone, and the sword could be either Katerin’s or Rekaré’s. Spacing for titles needs to be a consideration as well.


(Note: there will be a more substantive post later. Just need to get the cover rolling.

ETA: More pix taken with a green background as recommended. Meh, mainly due to lighting. But there’s one promising addition. WordPress is being a pain so I’ll put it in a separate post/.


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Announcements, writer squee!

Various announcements here.

First of all, no Netwalk: Foundations this month, primarily due to website hijinks. Hijinks are now enroute to being remedied and we’ll have the last piece of the Daughters cycle for the first September posting, followed by some truly awesome vignettes. A peek into Sarah’s relationship with Francis Stewart just before the Gizmo discovery, and what Nik and Angela’s private life can really look like (Security in love, right?).

Second, Netwalk: Expanded Edition will be released either late this week or early next week.

And third–drum roll here, though most folks on Facebook have already read this….

I am now under contract to eTreasures Publishing for two completed works; my fantasy novel Pledges of Honor and my science fiction novella Seeking Shelter at the End of the World. Squee! They’ll first come out in ebook but if there are enough sales, there will be hard copies. I’m actually quite excited about this. Pledges is set in a world I’ve been developing for thirty years, and it has empathic horses that are grouchy, temperamental, green-broke and ripping stalls apart, heroic, protective, and so on. Let’s just say that if you get a mental image of buffalo dung from Mira, you’ve just been seriously dissed by a certain gray daranval mare.

Seeking Shelter first came into being in the early 90s, about the same time that I was working on early Netwalk ideas. The McGuffin in this story is the presence of genetically modified environmental modelers, known as Canaries, in a world where toxic clouds descend unpredictably and habitable space is getting short. I’ve not done a lot of development in this world, just one short story, until a few years ago when I wrote a novella, “Pink Cats Dancing at the End of the World,”  for some contest or another (for Samhain?) and it didn’t make the cut. The “Canaries” short story, meanwhile, had managed to win an Honorable Mention in Writers of the Future so I knew the concept had potential. I played with the story, revising and resending it. The novella I tucked aside, planning to send it to the right market when I had time to research novella markets. I sent “Pink Cats”  to a private editor this spring thinking I might self-publish the story. I’d retitled it “You Don’t Get Perfect at the End of the World” because the “Pink Cats” aspect wasn’t working.

Instead, I met the acquisitions editor for eTreasures at EPICon and ended up with her expressing interest in the story (I was at EPIC because the River anthology was up for an EPIC Award and I went with the editor).  She bought it, along with Pledges. But because Perfect was a little shorter than she wanted to publish, she asked if I had something to go with it.

I did–the “Canaries” story, which is set just before Perfect.

And so, we now have Seeking Shelter.

I am very happy about this.

But I also have more words to write, plus a horse post.

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