Black Box cover art! And Hurricane Earl.

I think I mentioned in an earlier post that Connie is doing the cover art for my latest book, which is coming out later this autumn. Authors don’t usually get to have much say over cover art; there’s an article on today’s Guardian website complaining about just that. Well, actually it’s complaining that women get girly covers even when writing non-girly books, but lack of input into cover comes into it. I’ve certainly dealt with the lack of cover input in some of my covers, though I think on the whole I’ve been very lucky, and have been able to have some say, or in one case at least, a veto of a really, really bad cover.

But, this time I’m able to work quite closely with the artist, and it’s been a great experience. Between us, we decided that even though the eye of the hurricane was passing over at the moment shown on the cover, it was far more dramatic to show the storm clouds. Artistic licence and all that. (Hey, I carry mine in my wallet, don’t you?) A peaceful blue sky would just have been lacking in general mystery and drama for this.

Oh yes, in case that seemed a non sequitur, there’s a hurricane in the book. And some archaeology. And of course, spies and artificial intelligence and Cassandra the sentient supercomputer, who is a virtual Beowulf cluster. This is book three, following The Cassandra Virus and The Drone War (neither of which have girly covers, I should say).

And speaking of hurricanes, we’re all hunkered down here in the Maritimes waiting for Hurricane Earl. It may or may not be a hurricane by the time it hits us tomorrow, but we’ll get some rain (which we need) and some wind (which will smash up all the things in my garden that are looking sad because of the August drought). Keeping an eye on the storm via Environment Canada’s Hurricane Track Information page is a good procrastination tool. I like to compare it with the American National Hurricane Center to see how they differ in their predictions. And then take an average? Well, we’ll see what happens tomorrow. If the power goes out, I won’t be getting any work done. Enforced holiday! At the moment it looks like the main weight of the hurricane will arrive at low tide, so we shouldn’t have a storm surge to worry about here.

Here’s a small, low-res version of the not-quite-finished front cover for The Black Box. And once that book is done, Connie and I will be back to working on the great manga project, which is supposed to be the main subject of this blog.

About K.V. Johansen

The author of Blackdog, The Leopard, The Lady, and Gods of Nabban, epic fantasies from Pyr, I also write for teens and children, including the "Torrie", "Warlocks of Talverdin", and "Cassandra Virus" series, and the "Pippin and Mabel" picture books, as well as a couple of short story collections and two works of adult literary criticism on the history of children's fantasy literature. I have a Master's degree in Mediaeval Studies, and read a lot of fantasy, science fiction, and history. Blog at
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