When I started the journey to get my first story published, I had imagined I would get it in a magazine, maybe get paid a few bucks for my time, and hopefully get my foot in the door of the publishing world. For genre fiction that’s harder than one might think. You have to have something so unique the publisher’s never seen it before, and hope they have the space for it at just the right time. Shorts are a great workout for a writer, something all authors should do. We don’t want them to sit idle on our computers though, we want people to read them. I decided last year that I was going to publish my shorts myself as Kindle e-books, but I needed a cover.
About the same time I decided this I was going to GenCon last year and I found an artist I liked. I talked to her and arranged a plan and a price. For one reason or another that fell through and for the sake of being a decent guy I won’t say who or why. It just didn’t work out, so I found myself wondering if I’d find an artist or have to do the covers myself, with my limited drawing ‘talent’. (It’s very limited). Thankfully, through the new job that I had just gotten I met the brother of the artist I’m here to talk up like there’s no tomorrow.
When I first saw Lucas’s work, his brother had sent me a link to some older pieces he did for college projects. They were two different images, and oddly enough they were perfect for two different series’ of stories I was working on. One was beautiful, detailed, and colorful. Perfect for the high fantasy works I had in mind, two of which are ready for covers now. The second was raw, rough, and gnarly looking. Exactly what I was looking for to be the cover of my post apocalyptic fantasy stories about a warrior named Dez. It was like a perfect chain of events, the idea to publish, the artist that fell through, the job that led me, through his brother, to Lucas Kremer.
This piece, for my first novelette, is absolutely perfect. From an artistic standpoint the raw brushwork and low detail seems to let my imagination do some of the work, which is exactly what I like. I’m a fan of high-detail art as well, but ever since the art from Guild Wars 2 was released I’ve taken to this style as well. With a story as violent, raw, and gritty as Wastelander is, it begs for a cover to match. The saark (that’s the horse with goat horns beast) has the perfect personality in the piece, reflecting the written personality in the story. I just received the finished work a couple of hours ago and I’m still in a bit of shock. To me this is just amazing, the perfect cover for my first official published work.
I love the muted colors, reflecting the landscape in the story, are perfect. He managed to take my jumbled ideas and parts of the story and somehow get the picture that was in my head and put it down in digital ‘paint’. I hope you all enjoy seeing his work as much as I have, and I’m sure we are all looking forward to more.
I honestly believe that Lucas has nowhere to go but up, I just hope that I can get a few more awesome covers out of him before he hits the big time. I’m going to GenCon in just a couple of days, knowing that in a couple of years this artist will be featured on more than just a humble e-book cover. Keep your eye on him!