Below is the artwork for the cover, done by awesome tagteam of designer Patrick Knowles and artist Andrew Farley once again. I was delighted to see the cover art for SHADOW OF THE HAWK win the final of this years Book Cover Wars on the Enchanted Books site. Vincent Ripley runs the competition each year, and there were some tremendous books on show this time round, making for a very exciting final. I spend all year telling people not to judge a book by its cover, and then two weeks saying the exact opposite. It's very true to say one shouldn't dismiss a book because the jacket art doesn't inspire, but the work designers and illustrators do in this field really is invaluable to authors. Without an eye-catching cover, many books DO fall by the wayside, and in a crowded market-place a spiffy bit of jacket art can really make the difference in the survival chances of any particular book. Well done to all involved, and hope those who participated, both authors and voters, enjoyed themselves. Huge thanks to Mr Ripley for hosting the shindig too!
January 5th sees the release of the third volume in the UK, SHADOW OF THE HAWK, which I'm thrilled about. There's a fresh host of fascinating and horrific therianthropes who join the cast of heroes and villains in book three, with the canvas really rolled out to uncover the world beyond Lyssia's Seven Realms. In addition, we've also had the incredible cover through from Viking/Penguin US for their version of book two, RAGE OF LIONS, with the artwork once again supplied by the super-talented Nekro - you can find him on twitter @NekroXIII and he's well worth a follow. I love the look of this alongside the first US edition of Rise of the Wolf. Very different to UK volumes but refreshingly so. Can't pick between them!
I've also been down to That Birmingham this last week, to visit the Institute of Art & Design, where the final year fashion students have been doing their Performance Design project on... WEREWORLD! Couldn't believe what awaited me there, an incredible collection of pieces designed and hand-made by the girls on the course. The photos below are (C) Joe Miles Photography, and I'm sure you'll admit the work is stunning. You'll see that prosthetics were used with each costume in some way, shape or form, be it a full head of latex/silicone or small details on hands and faces. A tricky thing for students to come to cold, and while some found it difficult they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.