GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Guest Post: The Art of Darkness by Michael West (Hades' Disciples book tour) | I Smell Sheep

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Guest Post: The Art of Darkness by Michael West (Hades' Disciples book tour)

The Art of Darkness

You know that old saying about, “You can’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, to a certain extent, it’s true. Often, the author who wrote the content of a book has little or no input in how their work will be packaged. Instead, what goes on the cover is at the sole discretion of their publisher. The creator simply has to sit back and trust that the marketing people know what they’re doing.

After all, cover art can make or break a book. If potential readers don’t like what they see when they look at your novel, if they don’t find anything in the cover image that speaks to them, they may not crack the spine and examine its content. And they almost certainly won’t buy it and display it on their coffee tables or bookshelves at home.

With my novels from Seventh Star Press, however, I’ve had the good fortune to have a lot of input into the creation of cover art, and a fantastic, award-winning artist in Matthew Perry. When it comes time to do a cover for one of my novels, Matt asks me, “What are you thinking of for this?” I will then give him my thoughts, an idea that I believe captures the essence of feel of the book, and he goes off to work his magic. The final results have always exceeded my wildest expectations. Over the years, I have had many readers tell me that they picked up my novels, having never heard of me before, simply because they were drawn to the amazing covers created by Matt.

I’m a very visual person. Perhaps it’s my background in film and television. When I write a scene, I want the reader to be able to see the action unfold like a movie in their minds, and I want them to see it, more or less, the way I envisioned it. And so, when Seventh Star Press approached me about featuring illustrations in my novels, I was all for it.

There are often times when I finish writing a sequence and I think to myself, “Man, that would make for a great illustration.” I usually send those passages to Matt and let him decide what speaks to him. He then sends me what he considers to be a “rough sketch.” Matt’s rough sketches could be finished drawings. They are that good! And every time he sends them to me, I am reminded of Doc Brown from Back to the Future, pointing to an intricate model and saying, “Sorry I didn’t have time to paint it or build it to scale.”

Matt has a knack for creating images that are the same, or sometimes even better than what I had imagined when I wrote the text. He has given me spider-dogs, demons, sea creatures, and even spider-men mating with dragons, all with unparalleled detail. Everything the man draws, I want to have it framed and hung on my wall. In fact...I do just that.
Ours is proof that artist and author can work together to bring readers one vision. Sometimes horrific, sometimes fantastic, and in the case of my latest novel, The Legacy of the Gods Book Two: Hades’ Disciples, they are a little bit of both.

I always look forward to working with Matt, and I know that my faithful readers love the visuals he brings to my text. As I sit down today and write Book Three of The Legacy of the Gods, Zeus’ Warriors, I see all kinds of passages that would make for great illustrations. And I cannot wait for everyone to see them!

Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight. Ancient. Deadly. They gather in secret, conspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well. After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be. But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands. At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow. Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

Hades Disciples is Book Two in the Legacy of the Gods Series.

About the author:
Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, Skull Full of Kisses, The Wide Game, Spook House, and the critically acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their turtle, Gamera, and their dog, King Seesar.

West avoids manhole covers and sidewalk grates whenever possible. He just doesn’t know what’s down there, and he’s not sure he wants to find out.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting Michael and spotlighting Matt Perry's artwork, some really great stuff in this series!