The hardcovers have dust jackets + laminate covers underneath with the cover art on them. They both include exclusive full color character art and The New Emperor’s Concerto also has an additional prequel story in the back.
Monday, October 3, 2022
Thursday, September 29, 2022
Tuesday, September 27, 2022
What goes into creating a character for a book? We can talk all day about characteristics, figuring out what kind of cast will serve a book best, and then still being surprised when your planned villain doesn’t want to be as evil as you expected, or the random side character you put into a scene as a throwaway becomes part of the major plot. Characters can definitely have a mind of their own, and we, as authors, in the same way as parents, really have little control over how they turn out.
But today, my main focus is more on the character’s physical design, which is actually a lot more important than you might think. There’s a lot of things that go into the visual design of your character that can affect the story itself. I’m approaching this topic as both a writer and an artist. I love drawing my own characters, and it can take just as many drafts as a story itself. My goal with this post today is to help writers think about their own character designs. For the artists among you, I hope this might help you streamline the process a little, and for the non-artists, this might also help you give a more detailed description in your stories or even when commissioning art from other people.
First, we start with the general appearance of the character. I usually use these blanks: Name (of course), Age, Eye Color, Hair Color, Ethnicity, Distinguishing Features (like if your character has a scar, always wears a certain necklace, or something else that is unique about them.) I’ll usually then follow this up with a short character description, and backstory which is also very important. Backstory can often determine how your character acts, dresses, even their features in some ways. Do they have a traumatic backstory? Were they born in a different country? Do they have a specific accent or mannerism? Why is that? This isn’t even all stuff that you ever have to use in the story itself, but it’s good to know. For example, it took me a while before I knew why Sebastian wore eyeliner, but I never wrote that into the book either because that wasn’t really important to the storyline.
Clothing is also very important to think about. Obviously, you’re probably not going to put your medieval fantasy hero in jeans (unless that’s part of the aesthetic you’re going for!) But say you want to write a steampunk novel. You can look up Victorian fashion to get ideas and then modify the outfits the way you want. Is your character an orphan, are they from the upper classes? Are they more nomadic? If you’re writing a historical novel, it’s a good idea to research the period’s clothing so that you can accurately imagine what your character’s clothes and hairstyles might be like. How well would they be able to move in it? A fantasy sword fighter? They can 100% have a cool coat, but maybe consider designing it so that the sleeves are detached at the armpits or there’s a slit in the back for better movement. Practical and aesthetically pleasing. Want something futuristic? Come up with your own materials. I had a fun time thinking about bulletproof materials for everyone’s coats in The New Emperor’s Concerto. Jack and Sebastian might want to ask the British about that at some point.
Do you ever have the issue with pinning down exactly what your character looks like? It can take a while. For me, I either have a solid idea via some pre-existing reference, or it takes me a little bit to actually come up with the character’s looks. This is why I love being able to draw my characters myself, because it helps me go through designs that just don’t work. My advice to artists who want to come up with a character design is just do stream of consciousness sketches until you find something you like. They don’t have to be detailed, in fact, vague shapes are often better, and eventually you’ll figure something out.
For example, here is the complete evolution of Jack and Sebastian’s character designs from my very first one, to the finalized character art:
So that’s a brief example of how I go about designing my characters. I really think having visuals, even if it’s just a Pinterest board makes for a richer experience and also helps ease the way for descriptions that will help the reader to better see what you do when you’re writing.
If you have any questions about character design, drop them below!
It's The official release day for Sweet Vendetta Blues! All versions of the book except the Hardcovers which are still only available as a preorder, are now available!
Monday, September 26, 2022
Jack and Sebastian have volunteered their time to answer your questions about the book, their lives, or whatever else you might be curious about. Leave your questions in the comments or submit your questions on Instagram
The post with their answers will be going up Friday!
Monday Sep 26th
Tour Intro here at Character Purgatory (this post!)
Tuesday Sep 27th
Wednesday Sep 28th
Thursday Sep 29th
Friday Sep 30th
(Each spotlight will have a different excerpt from the book, so make sure to check them all out!)
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When the past comes back to haunt him in the worst way possible, Jack is forced to leave his new life as a homicide detective to flee his faceless enemy, leaving a dead partner in his wake. But the bodies keep piling up and Jack can no longer avoid his past when he finds out that all of the deaths turn out to be connected to one person—The Don of Rosa Nera.
Things get even more complicated when his brother shows up out of the blue, leading his own investigation with information that their adopted father, Paccioretti, had gathered before his death. Despite their turbulent past, Jack and Sebastian decide it’s in their best interests to join forces and fight against the enemy who took so much away from them.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Tuesday, September 13, 2022