Writing a book pretty much feels like trying to squeeze a cat and an octopus into the same, small cardboard box at once. So much awesome, so much possibilities - but they just do their best not to fit in, and definitely not together.
So naturally, there's ideas that didn't make it into the final book, and other bits that aren't as prominent as we would have loved them to be. Once we are finished with a project, there's inevitably some parts left on our desks we think are interesting to share. And that's what this page is for.
One of the most exciting moments when writing a book is when we recieve the very first cover sketches. Did we manage to describe everything well enough so the artists has the same idea of the characters as we did? Does it look good? Would it function as a print cover? As a thumbnail?
In the case of 'Softpaw', the first sketch (on the right) already looked very close to the final cover, with one big exception, though. On the first sketch, Connor was in human form, and we loved him. He looks too young, and his skin too fair, but his smile and stance and hair were just perfect. And we couldn't keep him.
We argued back and forth, but the problem remained the same. We really needed something on the cover to show the supernatural shapeshifter element of the novel. Human Connor was so cute and perfect, but we needed him in his feline shape. And Natalia, who was a perfect darling as always, made the final cover with him in all his furry glory.
But we still love this first sketch and thought it only fitting to share it here on our site. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
The Cullinan is Connor's houseboat, moored at the eastern quai of the Port de l'Arsenal in Paris. Originally bought and outfitted by his sister Deirdre, the former coal freighter hosts much of the 'action' of the novel. :)
It was during our beta reads of Softpaw that we came up with the idea of having a map of the boat in the book. Several of our beta readers had never been on a boat before, and felt it difficult to imagine the layout. So instead of elaborate descriptions, we went and looked for an artist who'd be able to turn my functional but totally bland floorplans into something pretty. And finally, Kosmic offered to help us out, and he did a tremendous job! He's currently looking for work, so if you need a custom map, check out his page.
Any questions? Let us know in the comments below.