Listening to the story read by another person was surreal. Once I became used to it, it was the first time I’ve ever been able to sit back and enjoy the “reader experience” of Dämoren. Previously, every time I’ve ever read it, I was editing, remembering previous edits or versions, or I wasn’t fully reading it as much as seeing the words and recalling what they said.
Also, artist Didier Normand has finished the cover art for Sea of Quills and it’s simply beautiful. Ahren has never looked better.
Like with Mountain of Daggers, the image is a wrap-around. Ahren will be on the front and the city will be on the back cover. This is also the second cover to depict the graven, torch-bearing towers of Lunnisburg. Johnney Perkins painted then for Flashing Swords #11 when I first published The Reluctant Assassin. That picture was nice. It was Ahren’s first cover and I’ll always cherish it, but this… this is incredible. I can’t wait to see what it looks like once the actual cover design is complete.
On the writing-front, Hounacier is coming along very well. I’ve also completed the first Valducan short story, The Vampire of Somerset. It’s a field report by Lady Helen Meadows (a sharp eye might spot her name in Dämoren) set in 1934. It’s already been selected as an Editor’s Choice in my writing workshop, so hopefully that’s a good sign that it won’t have much difficulty being picked up by an anthology. I have several more Valducan Archive Adventures planned, featuring some new and old characters, but for right now Hounacier is occupying the bulk of my writing time.
I’ll have several announcements coming up soon, but that’s all I have for now. Now back to writing.