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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

GUEST POST: Masters of Deception Cover Reveal (Part 2: Indecision 2018) by J. C. Kang

Now that you know my sordid history with covers, it’s time to reveal the cover of my newest story, Masters of Deception (book 1 of The Dragonstones Chronicles) it follows a half Asian/half-elf ninja, an East African sorceress, an East Indian Paladin/Jedi, and a conman Diviner as they seek to prevent the orc gods from returning to the world.

After the success of the Dragon Songs Saga bundled set, I knew I wanted to go with characters instead of a symbol, while maintaining consistent typography branding because it takes place in the same world.

Given the popularity of Evan Winter’s Rage Of Dragons and Rosalyn Kelly’s Melokai, I originally planned to feature the African sorceress from the story. Well before I had finished the rough draft, I commissioned Leah Keeler, who I had found on Deviantart, to do some concept art for two of the characters, as well as the Renaissance Venice setting.


However, for the cover, I already knew long before that I wanted Amalia Chitulescu, the artist for one of my favorite covers ever, KN Lee’s Fallen Empire.


Amalia is brilliant with photomanipulation, as well as painting over stock photos. It also turns out that she was exceedingly patient with my nitpicking. Her waitlist was long, and the continued success of The Dragon Songs Saga combined with the waiting gave me time to change my mind: Instead of going with the sorceress, I switched to the half-elf ninja from first series. Amalia sent me this as a starting point:


I told her to make her barefoot, give her a second weapon, strap some throwing stars to her leg, and give her elf ears, and the next day, I had a draft cover. However, the other character, the East Indian Paladin/Jedi came out like this:


He was meant to be twenty years younger and infinitely more handsome. Amalia tried her best to modify it, but the face wasn’t working. It turns out, she has used “Ethnic Beauty Male” from Daz3 as the base.


None of the ethnic males in the set were particularly good looking, so we switched to stock photos. Word to the wise: it isn’t easy to find ethnic models. After hours of searching, I found three I liked, and my readers helped me choose this one.


Finally, she changed her fonts and added Emily Burlingame’s logos to remain consistent with Dragon Songs. Here is the final product. Drum Roll…


And the spread:




Thanks again to Fantasy Book Critic for hosting this cover reveal!

2 comments:

Laurel Wanrow said...

Nice! Loved seeing the decision process through these two articles. When does it release?

Tara said...

The end result was brilliant. I especially love the creative back cover. This is a print worth owning.

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