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Ring of Destiny, the cover

Here we go again!

One thing I did not want for this trilogy finale was a cover featuring any one of the boys or any one scene. “Destiny” applies equally to all of them, and each one is equally important to the ultimate fate of the Rhomatum Syndicate of Nodes. So…I knew I wanted all of them on the cover. Following the established pattern, I’d need three rings. How about each one holding a ring containing his “destiny”?

Hmmm…But…how to “capture” the individual “destinies” in single images, and without giving too much away, and keeping it simple enough to work as a single impact. Khyel…the ley caverns. Deymio…the rings. Nikki was the hard one, because his is really the most subtle and seemingly ordinary fate. Nikki…not to give too much away, but curiously, his primary function is as a…as Deymio put it, “breeding stud.” It’s not all he does, but it’s his…unique function within the overall scheme of the story.

Fortunately, there’s a lot more to that future than it sounds, considering the child he winds up with. (Not to belittle the importance of being a parent! Don’t get me wrong. But for the purposes of a Fantasy Novel, there’s got to be a bit more than ordinary scrapes, bruises, and acne!) However, Nikki, with a baby he can’t quite touch, a baby in the womb with wide open, very aware eyes…that might be cool.

So…the cover. I began with a really quick layout of the three rings, and as quickly shifted them about. Nikki got center stage/top of the pyramid because the baby in his ring was going to be larger and…heavier than Deymio’s and Khyel’s rings. Got Nikki done (harder than it sounds, tho the layers don’t really show anything very interesting.) Then began to play with the big bros. I began playing with Khyel, and to get the set of his upper body right, I had to do the rest of him…and I fell in love with the body language. I plugged the sketch it into the cover to see how it might look and…well, you’ll see.

Deymio needed to be in his horsey-gear, and to catch his unique approach to the towers and rings, I just let him poke at them, which is sort of his style. Poke and see what happens.

So, without further ado…

All images are copyright © 2009 Jane S. Fancher. Thank you for respecting that copyright.

Ja ne!

Ja ne!

20 comments to Ring of Destiny, the cover

  • AbigailM

    Awesome! As I was reading what you wanted, I thought it wasn’t possible to get it all on one little cover. But you did, superbly.

    I agree that Khy, not living in upper-class Atevi society, doesn’t need lace. But I liked the way there was some definition to the lines of his coat. Now it’s kind of a featureless coat-shaped black hole. Maybe that’s the idea, but Deymio is so defined with details of clothing and his rings, and both Mikhyel’s clothes and his destiny are hard to read.

    This whole deal of home-grown covers that actually say what the authors want is going to be outstanding. The poster-at-Cafe-Press is an excellent thing to provide for those who want to be able to hold the pretty pictures in hand.

    It’s getting really exciting.

    • Jane

      Wheeeee!

      I’m still debating on the Khyel-clothes issue. Khyel is something of a shadowy figure, so it’s kinda cool, but he might need a little more definition. And they do wear lace, (since well before the atevi, thank you! 😆 ) esp in Rhomatum where the primary export is ostentatious politics! Fairly long, with lace-edged/lacy cravats, brocade coats and the like. You can think of Khyel as something like Beau Brummel…the black moth among the butterflies… with a bit more lace—especially when he wants to remind anyone of his association with the ley towers.

      • Jane

        I should clarify…Foreigner came out in 1994, RoL in 1995, however, it took me almost three years to write RoL and get it published. Carolyn writes three books a year, and they’re published within a few months of her turning them in. 😉

  • OrionSlaveGirl

    By George, Jane! You’ve done it again! Bravo! I really like the cover — it is — INTRIGUING!

  • aelith

    *little dance*

    umm, I agree with Abigail, the featureless black coat needs just a little interior definition. How-bout a sparklely glove whose light defines the left sleeve. And a matching cravat that just hints at the center facings.

    • Jane

      As always, you guys help confirm my suspicions. I knew I wanted more, I just haven’t decided how much, yet. It’ll still be leythium lace. The one is too…cartoony, the other is not defined enough…so…I’ll find a balance.

  • I really like your composition here; everything fits very well together! And I agree with some other posters: a bit more definition on the folds of Khyel’s coat would help him avoid becoming a flat shadow-man 😉
    One thing does sort of scream at me, though… the main title’s purple glow. The only bit of bright fuchsia in the whole image… It does indeed glow, but need it glow quite that much? O_o And Khyel’s hair is quite… teal. 😀

    • Jane

      The color is actually pulled out of Khyel’s ring, and helps to keep some of the other elements from going flat because of the green. It’s not that bright on my screen, but this is where it really helps to have different monitors. I can tone it back without losing the effect I like. Ever since I adjusted the monitor, I’ve been shooting a bit in the dark. It looks good in the art programs, but when it get on my browser, it’s washed out. Khyel’s hair went much brighter when I did the adjustment for having done it on the unadjusted monitor. I had to knock the saturation way down and he went quite bright. I’ll attack that when I attack the coat problem.

      As always! Thank you!

  • OrionSlaveGirl

    While I’m thinking of it:
    some covers are titled “J.S.Fancher” (i.e Groundties). Without going though every post, the Ring covers seem to be titled “Jane S. Fancher”.

    Do you want all of your titles to be consistently “branded” w/ the same author name? Or not?

  • hanneke28

    I like it!
    Though I agree with the posters above, that Khyels’ coat might profit from a bit more definition (it doesn’t need much), and that the fuchsia glow seems a bit strong on my monitor.
    I really like the balance over the three covers: first the three brothers together, then the two dancers, and then the three brothers again, all grown up with their own destinies, but still together.

    Maybe you could place the three covers beside each other to see how the title-glows look together? In the first book only the main word glows, and the glow seems fainter than on this one. In the second book, the titles have shadows instead of glows, and then this one glows all over. As the second cover focusses on the people of the second story line (if I’ve understood correctly) it seems fitting to have the title effect different, but I can’t quite guess what they’ll look like together.

    • Jane

      Putting them side by side is the next step, fer sure. I do that as I go along, but haven’t really studied the finished products yet.

      The glow/drop shadow is certainly one of the things I’ll be looking at as well as regularizing the size/caps.

      Right now, I’ve got to settle in and read Rusalka so I can do a cover for it.

      Whew! So much art! Feels kinda good to be back at it…

  • chondrite

    I think this is one of the most successful covers yet; every iteration is better than the preceding.

    Re: coat lacy highlights, maybe a touch of gray to define shoulders, sleeves, and the light, like what you get on high-end black velvet?

    • Jane

      Thank you! I certainly hope that I’m improving as I go along.

      Re: velvet…That’s actually what I was playing with last night. Been outside planting my poor little weenie plants this AM, so just now headed back to Khy-san. The “grey” I’m using is actually the “as a shade of purple grey” I used in the background, and I think it’s going to work pretty well.

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