A future foreseen. A past forgotten...
It's finally finally here! The cover reveal for Child of the Dragon Prophecy!
As I sit to write this post, I find myself at a loss for words. Which is ironic because I'm an author, but trust me! It happens to us too.
And how could I not be? It's been six years since the birth of The Shadows of Light idea and I'm now at the threshold of the first book's publication. It's almost too much to bear.
But despite all of my fears and insecurities about publishing my debut novel, I'm just as excited and eager to share my story with you and the world!
First, I want to share the blurb of Child of the Dragon Prophecy...
A future foreseen. A past forgotten.
The savior child of the Dragon Prophecy is born.
Adopted by Centaurs, then forsaken by humans, Stephania longs for a place to belong, but home keeps slipping away as fragmented memories. Those disturbing memories relentlessly haunt her, and the hometown where she has never felt welcome stands against her.
When Stephania seeks an escape, she unwittingly begins a journey of self-discovery, and her long thought forgotten memories, shape-shifting demons, a lyre surrounded by dangerous magic, and newfound lies emerge as threats that may break her or finally lead her to her true home.
Will Stephania be able to put aside her hate and pain to accept who she truly is? Or will she let it drag her and all of Duvarharia to its doom?
Find out on June 8th, 2021!
Sound good? I hope so! Pre-orders are open RIGHT NOW so don't forget to pop on over to my shop and snatch your signed copy and art/map prints!
Now before I reveal my stunning cover, I want to share some of the "bloopers" of my cover making journey. It's been years that I've been working on Child of the Dragon Prophecy's cover and there was one or two designs that I had to ditch because I even changed the name or cut the book in half!
Enjoy my mistakes. They were the shoulders I stood on to make the cover I have today.
When Child of the Dragon Prophecy and Heir of Two Kingdoms were one book called Journey of the Prophecy, I attempted my first cover design. I saw an image of a red-haired girl in a beautiful field on Pinterest and (wanting my next print for editing to have covers) I made my first cover off it. Unfortunately, the words were too light compared to the contrast of the images and a lot of the words got lost while the girl just faded into the grass, but it was thrilling to be able to see my book with a cover anyway. Of course, I couldn't use that cover because it would be copyright so I quickly had to stack it away.
Back before I knew how to photoshop anything (and when I didn't have the money to hire anyone to do anything) I got a friend's help to take pictures of me as Stephania. Of course, I had everything but the red hair. I figured if I liked the way any of the pictures turned out, I could always dye my hair then and remake the image. For whatever reason, that idea faded into the dust and I never did dye my hair or take any of the pictures again, but I still have quite a few attempts to make some of those images my cover (I only uploaded a couple).
The next idea, after Journey of the Prophecy became two books, I had was having the cover be like an old manuscript version of the Dragon Prophecy and use Word to do so. I used it in one of my sub-official proof prints and while it seemed really cool at the time, it soon became apparent that it wasn't going to work.
Then I met a talented artist and graphic designer. I signed a contract with him to make me a cover. I was so excited. I had seen some of his work before and he had even 3-D printed a mock up of a dragon in my book for me. I drew cover #5 (in the picture line up above) as a template of what I kind of wanted my cover to look like. It was my ideal cover idea. It had two main characters, it would be kind of abstract so it wouldn't take away from the reader's imagination, and I thought it would look amazing with a paint media. The rough draft of that cover is image #6. Amazing right?!? yeah I thought so too. Which is why I cried why the artist bailed at me. Thankfully I didn't loose any money, but I was left with a gorgeous prototype and back at square one.
At this point I was extremely disappointed. It seemed like all of my attempts to make a cover kept crumbling to dust despite my best efforts.
I circled back to the live images taken of me. By this point I had begun to learn a bit about photoshop and I was able to change the color of my hair in the images. This was the first cover that I was really happy with. I even sent it to a few people on #bookstagram for their feedback! But for whatever reason, after about a week, the cover lost favor with me and I tucked it away as another failure.
I started thinking maybe I didn't need to have a character on the front cover. Maybe I would just do the Farloon pendant. Using a free drawing app on my new 2in1 laptop with a stylus, I drew the second to last cover. I spent literal days on it, sure it was going to be the cover I used. I used every bit of zoom I had and made everything as realistic as I could. Once again, I sent it to some friends, so sure of the design. But I never did like how raw it felt and I couldn't figure out how to get typed words onto it.
And then came photoshop! Oh my lord was so excited when I finally discovered the power of that program and convinced my parents I needed it. With a little help from Shutterstock, I produced the second to last cover. Once again, it took forever. Well, only 8 hours, but I did it all in one sitting so I felt like at least a month had gone by. This was the first cover I had ever been so confident with I actually made up the spine and the back cover. This was the one. A few months later, I changed out the magic and was even more sure I would use it.
But boy was I wrong! And all because God sent me a little angel named Heather A. Pruitt.
With my cover apparently designed, I moved onto some art prints. I figured, what if I redesigned that Centaur and child image I had commissioned that artist for? I toyed with the idea for a few days and even opened a new image in photoshop to see what I could come up with. And then I get a message from my editor, Heather. In short, she said that she didn't feel like the current cover (the one with the Farloon pendant and red magic) didn't really fit the story and was a little confusing. She had seen the art that artist had done and felt it was a much better match and even asked me if there was anyway I could use it. I freaked out. The very last thing I wanted to do was design a whole other cover! But deep deep down I knew she was right. That cover had always been the one of my dreams. And so with a scarred heart that I wasn't a good enough artist to do the job, I set to work and made my greatest and final cover. . .
If you've read this far then congratulations because you have more patience than me! I wanted to tell my cover making journey but mostly I just want to show you the cover you're here to see.
And so here it is... the official cover for Child of the Dragon Prophecy...
The second image is my paperback design and the last is the hardback dust jacket design!
It ended up turning out so beautiful. I couldn't be more happy with it. After years of work, my dream came true and now I get to share it with the world!
Just because I ditched so many ideas and so many hours of hard doesn't make them useless. It was fun to exercise my creativity and wrestle with what I wanted to represent my book. Each time I made something and it didn't work, it taught me what I did and did not want for my cover. Each design was a necessary stepping stone to be where I am today and every single one of them still represents something about my book, especially that dream of publication.
Don't forget to head over to my shop and pre-order your copy of this beauty of a book!
May the suns smile upon your presence!