Saturday, June 8, 2013

Druid Derrick Cover

Here's my latest cover. It is an original by Candace L. Bowser at Dark Water Arts on Facebook. 

I know a couple digital artists and their work is really awesome. I however have very little understanding of how it is done. I'm fairly certain it bears little resemblance to Paint, and I know the kinds of hours I put into creating pictures with that. hahaha And believe me, what I turned out was nothing like this. I've also taken a stab at actual painting, you know with acrylics and a brush. I can only see this accomplished with an airbrush; something I didn't have the patience for, though it was fun to play with. So, my hat is off to anyone who can accomplish this with a computer, no matter how 'packaged' each part is.

To finish this picture, I figure I'll add a little more black at the bottom to make room for my byline, and maybe around the edges just a bit, so the blue isn't touching the edge. Can you guess which book this will go to? Eh, so it isn't exactly like the guy in my book, but it's still great. Who knows, maybe by the time it goes live, some things can be adjusted. I'll worry about that some other time. This is what it is for now and I'm completely thrilled.

I've blogged about Druid Derrick a few times. Here is where I talk about how it came to be. But more importantly to this post, here is where I started to worry about publishing it. 

Since the book was going to be very long, it was important that it be broken up. I ended up settling on level advancement as a break point, and with that in mind, I'm going to have to make some adjustments, but that's okay. I even found proper enough druid symbols to use for each section. Speaking of which, I think I'll go back to Candace and see what she can do for me. Do check out the post; I'm still looking for feedback. I figure the backgrounds of each section will be a solid color. One suggestion was to alter the color slightly between sections - still gotta think about that - I mean, what color? Shaded darker? Shaded lighter? Go through the colors of the rainbow? (now that's an idea) 

This one, however will be used for the book as a whole - I seriously hope I can publish it that way. Anyway, whatcha think? Can you just see Druid Derrick in some cool font across the top there? I'll have to see about that blue color, but I'm thinking white, or maybe a lighter blue. We'll see when I get to playing with it, what I end up with.

Ain't publishing grand? You get to play with some awesome pictures, and you get to meet some really great artists, whether they are digital artists like this or photo artists, like are more common.

In case you're interested, here is when Derrick took his first steps onto the path of being a druid:

Chapter 2 Sundered Soul

Derrick had looked into most all things druid, and according to druid rituals, Imbolic, which was a February first ritual, was where those who followed the faith contemplated a new beginning. The new beginning Derrick looked forward to was the new dungeon Leopold had been working on for weeks. He could hardly wait; dawn seemed so far away just now as he could only sit at the table doing his homework. His other books were scattered across the table along with a glass half-full of water, his notebooks and his pencil pouch.

He kept glancing over at the men sitting in front of the TV, waiting for them to fall asleep. The day had been a long and stressful one; three different teachers had picked on him for answers – answers he had, but still, he wished they wouldn’t do that. And now, since his uncle was here for the ‘big game’, the two of them were lasting longer than usual. He looked back at his book; he had three more problems to do and he’d be finished. He could see the clock on the kitchen wall from where he sat; it was almost midnight. He sighed; tomorrow couldn’t come soon enough.

He glanced over at his father and uncle again; his father was looking blankly at the TV. That was a sure sign he would be passing out soon, and his uncle was already lounging far back in the couch.

He started to work on his paper again; hopefully they would be out by the time he finished. Suddenly, he felt a heavy hand in his hair. He thrust himself to his feet and tried to turn in an effort to see who it was, but the hand only bent him over the table, driving his head into its surface so hard he saw stars, though the effort to turn probably saved his nose from being broken. Books and notebooks went flying and the glass of water smashed on the floor.

Derrick tried to cry out for help, but with every sound he uttered, his head was bounced on the table again, making him see more stars.

The unidentified someone was leaning over him whispering, hissing in his ear, “Worthless mistake. No good little… Useless… Worse than useless… Good for nothing little…”

Derrick had no idea what was going on, not until his sweat pants were roughly pulled down.

The rape was brutal, and any cries of protest or pain he uttered were met with a harsh hissing laugh and another bash of his head on the table.

Then a strange voice spoke a single word, “Jhaeli” and Derrick was suddenly left in a quivering heap on the floor beside his overturned chair. Only when his uncle scooped up his coat and wove his way from the house did Derrick realize who his attacker had been. He was more than stunned; he was shocked. Never would he have considered his uncle doing such a thing. Never in all his life would he have considered such a thing happening to him. Never…

He looked up at the tall, dark-haired man that now stood in the center of the room. Past him, Derrick’s father was sprawled unmoving in his chair in front of the TV, snoring softly. His mother remained in her room behind a closed door. No one had heard his cries. No one had heard the noise. No one had come to help him, and now a stranger was in their house. He was not safe in his own home. He couldn’t remember if he had ever felt safe here.

The stranger spoke a whole string of words, but only a few of them made any sense. Each one laid ahold of his stunned mind. “Cyr vaesyl.” Derrick gasped. “Paji” shoved a wedge into his mind where none had been before. “Tylerol” pierced deeper. “Awstyrol paeras” touched something never touched before, leaving his mind feeling dug through – looted. “Mendraerol you should forget everything that happened here. Tari thaes for your safety, you need to escape this place.” The last one, “Pystolari vaesyl” settled a weight over it all, and then, with his final word, “Ailorordoloria” he touched himself in the center of his chest and was gone as if he had never been there, though Derrick had long since been cowering, unable to muster the strength to move.

Moments passed before Derrick numbly, mechanically, disentangled himself from his ruined and bloody pants and headed for the shower, the strangeness shut safely away. Waking his mother wasn’t even a thought, and he didn’t dare bother his father. Calling the police never occurred to him. In fact, there was very little thought at all. All he wanted to do was wash away the filth running down his legs, and hopefully the pain would go with it.

The hot water washed the blood and filth away, but did nothing for the pain. His right ear was throbbing, the whole side of his face was pounding with it, and more than one place bled freely, and that was nothing compared to the rending pain deep inside.

Scarcely bothering to towel dry, he made his way to his room. His room – it had always been a trap. Methodically, he wiped bloody water from his eyes and dressed. By rote, he dressed warmly, even taking time to lace up his boots while blood dripped from the crushed cut that traced a line of hamburger from his eyebrow to his cheekbone around his right eye.

In passing through the dining room again, he picked up his coat and buttoned it up completely while more blood dripped down his back from a two-inch long tear in his scalp.

His next target was his book bag; most of its usual contents were strewn over the floor with the broken glass, but he didn’t give them a second glance. The only thing left in his bag was his precious spell book and his pouch of oddments. The book was the fifth one he’d made; his father tended to find them and destroy them. So far, keeping the book with him at all times had insured its survival – the longest survival of them all.

He’d only just started to accumulate the contents of the small pouch; it was the discovery of a cat’s skull that started it. After acquiring the teeth, he’d decided to collect other spell components his spellbook asked for – he thought it might be fun to see how much he could come up with. He managed to accumulate a wooden nickel that he’d painstakingly carved into a tiny buffalo mask, a few puffball mushrooms he’d found in the yard last fall, two old rings he’d taken from his mother’s jewelry box – they looked like they might be platinum – and a handful of sawdust he kept in a Ziploc. Only the other day, he’d added a few pieces of dog food he’d discovered at the store when he went shopping with his mother; apparently some bag had a hole in it and it hadn’t all been cleaned up.

In passing through the kitchen, he pushed his wet hair back and backhanded blood from his cheek. He retrieved his water bottle from the dishwasher and filled it with water from the tap. On the back porch, he stopped at the freezer and packed a ham and a block of cheese into his backpack. He caught sight of the old blanket his mother kept draped over the old couch; he rolled it up and hung it over his shoulder using a corner of it to mop at his face again.

His numb mind wouldn’t let him conceive of anything beyond this, so he slung his pack across his shoulders and turned for the door. The two steps down from the porch to the yard was more than his shaky legs could stand and he found himself on his hands and knees in the grass, crisp and dry with winter frost. The hood of his coat flopped forward over his head and he made no effort to push it back.

He slowly climbed to his feet again and doggedly moved on. Movement distracted him from some of the pain. Movement ensured he wouldn’t have to start thinking. Movement took him away from the torture that was his existence. The chill air freezing his hair helped to numb some of the pain. 

Hope you like my idea. I'm going to try to get this finished by the end of next year. Cross your fingers for me.


Willow Drake said...

Love the cover art!! Can't wait for the book! You are an awesome writer!!!

William Kendall said...

It's a bold cover, and I like the excerpt!