Soldier of Cortanis

Soldier of Cortanis

It’s a little late, I realize, but the final volume of the Cortanis Trilogy is complete, published and available now in paperback and Kindle ebook formats.

Apologies for taking so long to announce officially. It actually went up on Amazon a few weeks ago, a short while before the Unbound Book Festival. Preparing for the festival took a lot of my time and energy, and I barely had time just to update the graphics on the site and add the book’s blurb to the Books page. The Unbound event, though, was a lot of fun and I’ll do another post about that next.

I have to say, the process of redoing the covers was arduous, demanding, and at times, very frustrating. I had attempted to design my own covers originally, but I got a lot of very constructive feedback on them and realized that they were not effectively presenting the stories in visual form. So I did some contemplating, and realized that I really shouldn’t be the one to design my own covers. I’m a decent enough graphic designer, but I have strengths and weaknesses, like any other artist. The ability to design book covers is not one of my strengths. I researched, reached out to a few artists (and started working with one, but ultimately that attempt failed badly)… and finally discovered an artist up to the task, Alexander Ness.

Alexander is an immensely talented artist and I’m incredibly pleased with how my covers turned out. In addition to Alex’s work, I enlisted the help of many other talents, including artists on Fiverr who created the submarine for Soldier and the space station for Demons. The space station artwork was provided by the same artist who created the awesome image of the Eleon arcology last year. (I liked it so much that I rewrote the section in the book, so that the description of Switch more closely matched the design on the new cover.) The arcology graces all three covers, on either the front or the back. Also, I had a friend whom I work with illustrate the silhouette figures on the Demons and Soldier covers, the latter of which turned out so well that I’ve been finding other cool things to do with it, such as a t-shirt design. (I did some neat stuff for Unbound. More on that soon.)

It was uniquely stressful going through the process of creating these covers, but Alexander was steadfastly patient, determined to make sure I was completely satisfied. Alex and I worked well into the wee hours of the night getting all the details exactly right. Designing one cover can be complicated enough, but we created a coherent triptych of covers that look incredible lined up together, but are still strong enough on their own. It was important to me to show Naomi’s character development across all three covers, and I think the final design does that quite effectively.

With that, my first trilogy is finished, and Naomi’s story has come to its conclusion. That doesn’t mean I won’t revisit Cortanis, though. It’s a big universe in there, with unlimited potential for stories. And there are a few characters in the trilogy who still might have some adventures worth writing about and sharing.

Many novelists who write series get understandably sentimental about their characters, and when their stories are complete, it can be difficult to let them go. I more than understand this feeling. I’ve been writing Naomi for four and a half years, she’s very much a part of me and it’s kind of an odd feeling, that her story is finally finished. I will always have a special place in my heart for Naomi, but I feel good about the completion of her trilogy. She got the resolution she deserved, I feel, and I’m content with that. I could never make the claim that I’ll never write Naomi into a book in the future, that possibility will always be there. But I’m okay with letting Naomi go for now. I have other characters to develop, more stories to explore, and I’m happy with Naomi’s place in the world at the end of Soldier.

Hopefully readers will be too.

And by the way, if you’ve read any or all of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please consider writing a review on Amazon.com or Goodreads. It means a lot to me to hear from you, and getting reviews is a big help, especially on Amazon, in getting the books increased visibility. I very much appreciate all honest criticism.

I’ll get a post up about my experience at Unbound soon.

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