Brown River Queen cover art

Friday, January 31, 2014

At Last, A Book Cover For The Five Faces

I've had my fun, dragging out the cover reveal. But now it's Friday, which means it's time to get serious, and stop posting nonsense.

An actual book cover is posted below. No more Rick Astley videos, no more hands, no more close-ups of suspenders.

So here he is, Markhat, in the flesh....

No, wait, that's not it. But, note to self -- need more hand lotion.

I don't often pose with book covers, but when I do, I pose with this one.

Don't even ask.

Okay, enough procrastination. Drumroll, please!

Wait for it....

Wait for it...


It's a masterpiece, is it not? Although frankly Markhat seems to have let himself go a bit...

I said *a* book cover, not *the* book cover...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cover Mea Culpa.

Yesterday, I did a bad thing.

I described a beautiful the new book cover and taunted you with the news that Markhat's face would be revealed at last.

Then, where the full cover image should have gone, I posted a cropped version, which only showed Markhat's hand.

Exhibit A.
That wasn't very nice of me, and I apologize.

So now I come before you, humble and filled with a spirit of contrite repentance. Making people wait until Sunday to see Markhat's manly mug is mean.

My plan was to post a portion of the cover each day, right up until Sunday. Today, for instance, I planned on posting the image below:

The suspender of Markhat! Hey, even finders need to keep their pants up around their waist.

But I've seen the error of my ways. I admit I was wrong, and I hope this means we're friends again.

Click here for full image

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Revealed at Last: The Face of Markhat

Back in the primordial mists of pre-history (June of 2008), a finder named Markhat made his debut on Amazon with the release of Dead Man's Rain.

I wasn't sure what readers would make of Markhat. I took the heart and soul of a 1940s private eye and plopped him down in Rannit, a bustling city of humans and Ogres by day and a hunting ground for thirsty halfdead by night. Magic works in Markhat's world. Banshees walk the empty streets.The dead don't always rest. As Markhat's friend Mama Hog observes, sometimes even good and dead isn't good enough.

The response to the first Markhat book was good, so along came two more Markhat adventures.

The Cadaver Client finds Markhat working for a guilt-ridden shade. As Markhat soon learns, the dead can be just as treacherous as the living.

In The Mister Trophy, Markhat is hired by a trio of Trolls. The Trolls want the head of their dead cousin back -- but a mad vampire keeps the stuffed Troll head as a trophy, and he'd rather die than part with his possessions.

All three of these titles were then combined in the print anthology The Markhat Files, shown below.

If you've kept an eye on the book covers, you noticed a running theme. We see Markhat, but his fedora always covers his eyes.

This theme continues for the next four books.

Still no face! We see Darla on the cover of Brown River Queen, and we almost see Markhat, but the clever devil maintains his air of mystery by stepping in front of a light source at the last moment, hiding his face once again in shadow.

A new Markhat book will be released in June of this year. Entitled The Five Faces, the latest Markhat book cover is done, and I've seen it, and it is gorgeous. Artist KaNaXa, who also created the stunning cover for Brown River Queen, has done two things -- first, she's made what I believe to be the best cover yet for the series. That's high praise, because all the Markhat covers have been amazing.

Second, KaNaXa shows us Markhat's face for the very first time.

No hiding behind the hat. No lurking inside convenient shadows. No peeking around a corner. You get Markhat, standing tall and plain, right there looking back at you.

Every detail is perfect, right down to his clothes. He's wearing the good coat Darla got him for Yule and the black hat he favors when he knows he's heading for trouble. And heading for trouble he is. The Five Faces is no lighthearted romp. 

This new book will mark the eighth title in the series. I've spent a lot of time in Markhat's head, a lot of time seeing out of his eyes. So I have a pretty good idea what the guy should look like.

KaNaXa nailed it. I'm so in love with this new cover it should probably file a restraining order. I believe you're going to love it too!

I'm looking at the new cover right this very moment. All I have to do is upload the image into Blogger so it will appear below. But gosh, all this technical stuff is so confusing! What does 'crop' mean? 'Select?' I hope I don't accidentally post mere portions of the new cover until I finally get it right in Sunday's blog post. That would be terrible.

Maybe it will work. So, without further adieu, I give you this -- Markhat, revealed at last!

Isn't this image supposed to be bigger?

More later!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Words With: Raechel Henderson of Eggplant Literary Productions

I've got a special treat for you today! There's a real live publisher in the house, and she's going to pull back the curtain and talk about writing, submissions, and the publishing industry from her point of view. 

I'm speaking of Raechel Henderson, owner and operator of Eggplant Literary Productions. Raechel, via Eggplant, publishes Spellbound, a quarterly fantasy magazine aimed at your inner 12-year-old. Raechel has also published a dozen novella length ebooks, in genres ranging from SF to fantasy to horror. And if that wasn't enough to keep her busy, you can also see Miscellanea at the Eggplant site. Miscellanea contains old-school card catalog entries for books which exist in libraries in other dimensions. Click on a card, and read an excerpt from a book that does not (and could not) exist in the here and now.

The image above is from my favorite Spellbound cover. The stories are just as good as the art. We talk about how she selects stories for Spellbound in the interview, but I'll give you a hint here -- twee won't cut it. 

Another beautiful Spellbound cover. As you can see, each issue is themed -- the first cover was from the Dragons issue, and  the one above is for Creatures of the Deep, Dark Woods. 

You don't have to be 12 years old to enjoy Spellbound. If there's still a kid inside you, there's a lot of fun to be had with each issue.

Excerpt from Spiritual Growths

Spellbound isn't Eggplant's only offering. Raechel offers a number of novella and longer length books aimed at, as Raechel joked, 'your outer 37-year old.' 

I only wish I had an outer 37 year old. But the point is valid -- these are for grown-ups. 

I've known Raechel since the mid 1990s. She was the first publisher to see something worthwhile in my Wistril the Wizard stories, which she published in the infancy of the ebook. Grab something solid, because in those days, there were no Kindles, no Nooks, no iPads. No tablets at all. The technology was so primitive we had to etch code onto plastic discs with sharp sticks and read them around campfires while the shank of mastodon cooked. Heck, we didn't even have the whole alphabet, just the letters A through G. We had to walk uphill through the snow for nine miles just to boot our DOS-based operating systems. 

My, how far we've come. Raechel has seen all these changes, and has seen them from the other side of the desk. I hope you'll listen to the whole interview, because there's a lot of information there for writers and fans alike.

By the way, any Markhat fans out there will also enjoy Raechel's resident detective, who has two titles among her ebook offerings. Check out this excerpt from My Gun Sleeps Alone, by Martin Clark.

Excerpt from My Gun Sleeps Alone

Humor? You bet! As an admitted sucker for a ghost story, Crystal Lynn Hilbert had me at 'death-by-shaving accident.'

Excerpt from Dead on Arrival

There's a lot to see and read on the Eggplant website. Take a moment and visit, and then you can hear Raechel talk about what makes Eggplant tick in the audio interview linked below.

Click here for the Audio Interview: Words With: Raechel Henderson

I'd like to thank Raechel for taking time out of her busy schedule to grant the interview. And I hope some of you check out Eggplant and consider it as a market! Raechel is good people, and she's deadly serious about professionalism and impeccably high standards. 

Now I'm off to finish the new Markhat book. Take care, people!