Wot I did for my summer 'olidays
A couple of days after we moved in to our new house in leafy suburbia, I got an email from a dad from my son's old school in Edinburgh. Said dad is author M. Harold Page (that's Martin to you and me), and was about to indy publish a trilogy of books, but he'd lost his cover artist (misplaced him down the back of the sofa or something). Did I fancy, asked he, doing a place-holder cover for him?
At the time I was armpit-deep in moving boxes, with an absent husband (he'd been sent to California for work the day after we got the keys to our new house) and a YouTubing 8-year-old. My reply was therefore something* along the lines of: "the prospect of doing something other than opening another box, sighing, and trying to drum up the will to decide what to do with another plastic tub full of assorted rolls of tape, cables, decapitated Lego men, board game parts and tea towels, sounds lovely. What had you in mind?"
What Martin had in mind was a fantastic, crazy, mashup, pulp-style cover for a book in which knights in late 1400s armour fight time-travelling WW1 tanks. Naturally, given my extensive background in illustrating graceful seaweed and gently fluttering ginkgo leaves, he thought I'd be just the man for the job. (Actually, he admitted after we were some way through the process that if he'd seen this website before he'd asked me to do the cover, he might have thought twice.)
Above you'll find the finished cover for Episode 1 of Swords Versus Tanks***. Episodes 2 through 4 are in progress, and will involve a mad, magic-wielding princess, a berserk** of Vikings, a cliff-top castle, a Meso-American pyramid, and some Aztec/Mayan warriors. If you come back in a day or so, I'll do you up some picture-heavy posts on how we got from Martin's brief to the final product.
(And, if you fancy it, you can order a poster or a mug from here.)
* Actually, that's a lie. That was exactly what my reply was.
** What? That seems like a perfectly sensible plural for Vikings.
*** Edited to add link to the Actual Book.