It was only a few days ago that Kirk DouPonce was asking me for whatever details I’d like to go into the cover art for Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever. And then he emailed me this, just yesterday evening.
Wow! I don’t know how he did it so fast! He asked me how I liked it, and I told him, “It’s perfect–don’t even thing about changing anything!” That’s Ellayne, a little older than she is on the cover of The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, and Martis’ reliable Wallekki horse, Dulayl, who’s been in all the books so far, and this is his first appearance on a cover.
Well, now I have to write a cover blurb. It’s only 150 words or so, but I always find these among the most difficult things I have to write. Just naturally long-winded, I guess–needing to write a whole book to tell the story that the cover tells in just 150 words.
Wa-haah! The final chapter of Bell Mountain No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, has been written, polished, typed, and sent on to my editor. And Kirk DouPonce has begun work on the cover art for No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever.
Here’s the girl who modeled for Ellayne on the cover of The Cellar Beneath the Cellar. Ellayne will be featured on this cover, too. The great thing about her was that she looked exactly like Ellayne! The not-so-great thing is that the Cellar cover was painted some years ago and children grow and change. Well, Ellayne has grown, too. Maybe the model still looks like her, plus a couple of years. Maybe Kirk can use her again. We won’t need the brush or the climbing wall, though.
Martis’ faithful horse, Dulayl, will also be on the cover. And a great big nasty Ice Age hyena.
I’m a little behind in my posts today, but never mind–The Wind From Heaven has been written! Finito! Bell Mountain No. 13 is ready to have its final chapter set typed up and sent to Susan for editing.
Just in time, too: the weather’s getting too cold for me to sit outside and write.
Will this go down in history as “the Tanystropheus book?” I mean, because there’s a Tanystropheus in it? But that’s only one of its attractions, and the only one I’ll mention by name–don’t want to spoil any surprises. Susan has read the first five chapter sets and says you’re gonna need a seat belt to read this book.
But first we’ve got to get His Mercy Endureth Forever into print, and to make that turn out right, we need Kirk DouPonce’s cover art. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with this time.
And I just remembered I’ve got to do something about Joe Collidge today–so see you in a bit.
Actually, the Orcs aren’t so much interested in colonizing as they are in tailgating and honking at you to drive faster–especially when you’re stopped at a red light. When they’re not doing that, they’re operating leaf blowers.
But what I really wanted to do with this post, back in 2014, was to call attention to what was then my newest Bell Mountain book, the seventh in the series, The Glass Bridge. I still marvel at the way artist Kirk DouPonce brought Gurun to life.
I find it very hard to remember she’s not a real person. And sometimes I don’t bother trying.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know there are times when writing up the nooze just grinds me down. I mean, really–the names of politicians’ lawyers? I believe in being well-informed, but that’s ridiculous.
If this is the first you’ve heard of any books of mine, or my Bell Mountain series of fantasy/adventure novels, and you want to know more–well, you’re already in the right place. Just click “Books” and find out everything you want to know.
If you’re up to speed with the story, you’ve probably wondered about what’s going to happen with all that gold they brought down from the mountain, all the political intrigue going on in Obann City, and what Jack and Ellayne and Wytt are getting up to now. Actually, it’s been so long since I wrote this book, and I’ve written No. 12 in the interim, that I can’t remember what’s in it! I’ll have to read it, too.
I hope, this time, I run out of fingers to count on before I run out of sales to count.
Anyhow, it ought to be up there on amazon.com before the day is done, allowing for time differences and all that. So keep your eyes peeled for it!
There’s something I would love to be able to do, which no writer can do–and that would be to get inside the reader’s head, as it were–and “see” the people and places and scenes I write about as the reader sees them. Ever since I announced the Bell Mountain Movie Contest, I’ve been thinking about that.
On two occasions–and even just one is extremely rare–my cover artist, Kirk DouPonce, working from live models who are just kids in his neighborhood, painted one of my characters exactly as I imagined her: Ellayne, on the cover of The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, and Gurun, on the cover of The Glass Bridge. It is as if these two fictional characters that I created were real people, after all: so much so, that somehow the words “I created” seem rather silly. I can’t create real people!
It would be eerie, to meld my own imagination with the reader’s and look with his or her mind’s eye on some place in Lintum Forest, or on the great Temple of Obann, or the cloud on the summit of Bell Mountain. What if they looked to the reader exactly as they “look” to me?
If you like my Bell Mountain books, you probably like the cover art by Kirk DouPonce. So don’t miss the interview with Kirk posted just a little while ago by Jill at Chalcedon headquarters. It comes with pictures! It should be the post immediately before this one.
Kirk uses kids from his neighborhood to model for the Bell Mountain covers, and now you can see the photos that he used for creating three of the covers: Ellayne, Jack, and Ryons. What a thrill for those kids! “Hey, my picture’s on a book cover!” Imagine yourself, at 11 or 12 years old, winding up with your picture on the cover of a fantasy novel. Way cool!
If you click on the pictures at the bottom of the post, they’ll be blown up bigger for you.
That kid who posed for Ellayne–she’s exactly how I imagined Ellayne would look. Exactly! Really, I don’t know how he does it.
I’ve had the privilege of working on Lee’s series from the beginning. Hard to believe this’ll be the eleventh cover! There’s never a lack of creative possibilities in the world he’s created. From water dinosaurs, saber-toothed panthers, gigantic bird creatures, to sea adventures, the creative possibilities are both endless and challenging! The process for creating each cover usually begins with an email conversation with Lee to figure out which scene from the book would best encapsulate the mood and general storyline. Once that’s decided I photograph models and use 3D software to create the creatures that couldn’t be photographed and also for many of the props and backgrounds. I’ve always been interested in 3D and had just started dabbling in it when the series started. These books have definitely stretched my abilities in that arena!
The local kids I’ve used as models are always thrilled to be on the book covers. The photography sessions can be as simple as shooting the models in costume in my living room but sometimes they’re much more complex. A couple of times I’ve had to shoot the models at a local climbing gym. Each cover presents its own challenge. As long as Lee keeps writing this series I hope to continue working on the covers.
Thanks and a hat tip to Jill at Chalcedon headquarters, for posting this interview with Kirk DouPonce. He’s the speaker here, not me.
If only for what is probably the best headline I’ve ever written in my life, I hope you’ll click the link and read this: requested by my editors at Chalcedon, here’s me telling you all about what goes into the writing of my Bell Mountain books.
Somewhere we also have a brief interview with cover artist Kirk DouPonce, complete with photos of the models he used to create the covers of my books–mostly local kids from around his neighborhood. Must be a kick for them!
Anyway, the article above is a must–if you like my books and this blog.