Right now, I’m busy with pre-release work for Tinder Stricken. Racing to the finish is pretty much always how I do things. But hey, before I dive back in, let me show you Tinder Stricken‘s cover!
On Tselaya Mountain, all humans transform into animals as a consequence of age — but for fieldwoman Esha, goat horns began growing in when she was just a child. Now in her forties, unmarried and alone, Esha scrambles to pay for her own retirement before she is more goat than person.
But when Esha stumbles into the wrong patch of forest, a wild phoenix steals her heirloom khukuri knife. Unwilling to lose her treasure before she can sell it, Esha forges a deal with Atarangi, a back-alley diplomat who speaks to animals. Together, the two women climb mountain plateaus to reach the wild phoenix’s territory. With enough tact and translation magic, the bird might be convinced to give Esha’s retirement fund back.
But the question remains: why did the phoenix steal an heirloom in the first place? What debt could a wild, free creature possibly need to pay?
Tinder Stricken releases this Friday, May 22nd (barring technical difficulties in uploading). And I’ll be at my annual furry convention hangout — What The Fur? in Montreal, Quebec — to throw a launch party! Can’t wait to share this new book of mine with the world!
Well, folks, here’s that cover art I’ve been working on! That paper maché dragon got a few coats of paint, then I enlisted my dad’s help to set up lights and take photos. I’ve been slaving away over a hot image editing program and now I bring you the Serpents of Sky cover:
Because dragons are fictional, yet such a deeply-rooted part of human culture and lore, they’re unreal even when they’re “realistic”. So I was going for a semi-realistic look to this cover. This art project has been a learning experience!
And when will you be able to read the short stories underneath the cover? February 17th! Serpents of Sky is going to be an Amazon exclusive when it first launches. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can use Amazon’s free Kindle app, or convert the .mobi file to another ebook format using Calibre or a similar service. Paperbacks should be available by the end of February. After a few months, I’ll consider bringing Serpents of Sky to Smashwords and other ebook retailers.
Like any of my writing, I’m really excited to show this to the world. Serpents of Sky touches on a wide variety of genres, from sword and sorcery to dystopian sci-fi. The crown jewel of the collection is Raise (A story of Aligare), a novelette of adventure and family drama — which I hope will welcome new readers into my land of Aligare. Judellie of Cherez, one of the dragon-like korvi from Render, makes another appearance in Raise. (Syril of Reyardine returns, too, but it just wouldn’t be a Story of Aligare without some mention of that guy.)
That’s enough blogging for me. Back to editing!
◦ Once again, it’s paper mache season heidicvlach.com)
◦ What do dragons represent to us? (heidicvlach.com)
◦ What’s on tap, Heidi C. Vlach? My plans for 2014 (heidicvlach.com)
How’s Serpents of Sky coming along? Well, it’ll be a February release, I know that! I’ve got a bit of writing and editing left, then I’ll make the most agonizing decision of all: what order the stories appear in. Serious to lighthearted? Lighthearted to serious? Should the mood rise and fall like the swellings of the ocean? Soon, I’ll pick one and go with it.
Next week I’ll reveal the exact release date, plus the finished Serpents of Sky cover. I’ll be busy until then!
Some weeks ago, Terri Bruce contacted me to ask if I’d do an interview for the Blog Ring of Power. I was delighted to say yes!
Part 1 with Terri Bruce. How I began writing, my influences, and my favourite theme to write about.
Part 2 with T.W. Fendley. My writing process and how I deal with criticism.
Part 3 with E.M. LaBonte. Where I get my ideas, and how I revise and polish stories.
Part 4 with Sandra Almazan. My favourite scenes and biggest struggles in Render, a story of Aligare. Also, how I got such awesome cover art.
Part 5 with Dean C. Rich. This final segment wiill be posted on the 11th. I’ll update this post with the link.
- The structure of Aligare homes (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)
- Render, a story of Aligare, is available now! (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)
- Interview with Indie Author Land: Render (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)
I’ve got a shiny picture to show you folks today, and I’m pretty excited about it! So without further ado, here’s the cover for the upcoming Render: A story of Aligare.
Melanie Herring (known in some circles as PurpleKecleon) provided this art on commission. And we followed much the same process as we used for Remedy‘s cover: I described a magic gemstone in a natural setting, and talked about the mood and colour I wanted to see. Melanie got to work drawing, showing me progress pictures along the way and tweaking details based on my feedback. By “details”, I mostly mean making the piece more purple. I love purple. More importantly, purple is a rare colour in real Earth nature — so when you see a purple-lit place with purple plants, you probably imagine a distant land. It’s basically reinforcing the message that fiery magic gemstone is sending.
But yes, I couldn’t be more delighted with this cover for Render! Moments like these make me glad I self-published, so I can make my book covers exactly what I want them to be — with the help of other artists, of course.
So, when can you buy a copy of this pretty book? It’ll be published on Monday, May 7th, through Smashwords and Amazon. I’ll announce it on this blog and in my various social media when Render is live. I’ll probably be giddy enough to throw some sort of book giveaway, so now would be a good time to follow me if you don’t already!
- The role of emotion in Aligare magic (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)
- The legend of Juniper (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)
- Aligare in the distant future (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)
If you haven’t checked the Gallery lately, I’d suggest taking a look! There’s new art by Cammiluna and Cubemelon.
And we’re approaching Render‘s release. The next Story of Aligare will be out sometime in the first week of May — stay tuned to this station for an exact date.
Melanie Herring, the cover artist for Remedy, has made some custom digital art for Render as well. Here’s a small peek at the cover:
I’ll reveal the whole thing 2 weeks from now, on April 29th. And then it won’t be long until Rue and Felixi’s story is available to read. I’m excited and … in possession of a long To-Do list!
- The legend of Juniper (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)
- Dogs in Aligare (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)
- Hanging out with a porcupine (heidicvlach.wordpress.com)