February 2017

  • Cover story and Q&A

    Over at the Skyhorse Publishing blog, they’ve officially revealed the cover for The Caledonian Gambit, along with a Q&A with me about the book. But there’s a bit of a funny story about the development of the cover that I wanted to share.1

    As this is my first novel, when my editor at Talos, Jason Katzman, asked if I had any thoughts about what should be on the cover, I admit that I panicked a little bit. I’d been more or less trained to expect that my input, if any, would be on the minimal side, so I think I just babbled something about spaceships and the opening scene of the book, which features a pivotal space battle.

    But of course, having written the scene, I did have some idea of what it looked like. So, later on, I pulled out my iPad and a stylus and made a quick, rough sketch. Very rough. Really, exceedingly rough. I’m kind of embarrassed to share it, but okay, here:

    You know, both my mother and my dad’s sister were pretty talented artists. I clearly did not inherit any of those genes.

    Fortunately, I managed to remember to at least name some of my favorite artists who’ve done this sort of work, including Ralph McQuarrie and John Harris, when I relayed this to my editor. Even more fortunately, he didn’t laugh at me too much when I sent the sketch over.

    Still, I wasn’t prepared for what he came back with. Illustrator Sebastien Hue had somehow managed to pluck a better version of the scene right out of my head and translate it to the page. Rain Saukas turned that illustration into a beautiful cover design that conveys exactly the kind of futuristic feeling that the book shoots for. It’s just beautiful.

    I love this cover. It’s amazing, and it’s more than I ever could have hoped for. I’m even more excited for the book to come out, so mark your calendars for May 23.

    1. Because this is a story in which I look pretty silly, which is probably the best kind.