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Drat to costly cover mistakes!

I know it's too early to do a title or a cover reveal, folks. I'm only in Chapter 2 of the next book in the Folded Earth series. But that doesn't mean I'm not hard at work prepping!

My ideal situation is to have the cover ready to go by the time I'm writing through the novel. That means the faster I nail down the title and can book my artists, the better it is for me. And this time I... kind of screwed up.

For those who know the Messenger-men of the High North (and run with the King) the layout of the titles in this series will be no mystery. As with my Cardinal Machines titles, there's a pattern, and the pattern means something. At least to me. In this case, I wanted titles that would imply direct action. Given how clever the King is, and how complex his machinations, this might sound a bit odd.

But we're talking about Ora Buckmaster here. She's a bit of a kick in the pants, that girl.

Given that's the case, I thought it best to go with something pretty active. Really, this is one of the principal differences between Aurora and every other young woman I write. Ora is a highly trained athlete, very disciplined, and she's the apple of Buckmaster Keep's eye. Misgivings about her origins aside, she was raised to believe herself worthy and responsible. So while she's just and honourable, all these traits combine to make Ora a very bad person to cross. With the possible exception of Shean Aldain (a young knight and 'Aloft Legend' from my Kindle Vella novel) no woman I write is as likely to think or react with her fists as Ora (not to mention Shean is nowhere near as powerful).

A good comparison is Zoey Collins, the young P.I. heroine of Cardinal Machines. Wealthy as her Cardinal family is, she's had such a dodgy childhood that much of her life is ruled by fear and caution. She's insightful, watchful, and tricky. Whereas Ora would make a line down the middle and walk straight through the bloody situations Zoey goes out of her way to avoid. These are very different women.

The titles of Ora's series sound active for a reason. This is how they should look:

  • Folded Earth

  • Twisted Cord

There's some impression force is being applied to fold and twist things. To shape things. The titles are Verb + Noun (singular) because that gives the most immediacy. Knowing this, how I managed to take receipt of the third cover for a month before I noticed the boo-boo is beyond me. (I'm gonna go with 'Super-busy'. Yeah!)

With formal cover artists, every change costs you, and I understand this as an artist. It's not as simple a thing as opening a file and making a single change. You can see from the graphic above, the top of one of Ora's trademark fur hoods interrupts the title. Elements may have to shift around to look right.

But... it has to be fixed, and so that's now underway. I look forward to seeing the outcome here. And I'll let you know when the deed is done! In the meantime, know that I'm writing the next book and feel free to send any encouraging words you feel like. (Because these books are tough!) In the meantime, some shop keeping! Letting you all know that the new 'Anthology' page should be filling up from here, and that the rumours are true: I do, in fact, have a new Audiobook in the planning!

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