Nothing provokes more anxiety in a new author than the issue of cover art. Newbies have little, almost no, say in what their their book will look like. Personally, I had a few nightmares about a dragon-eyeing-a-babe-in-metal-bikini cover. I thought this would be the worst possibility until I had a nightmare about a babe-eyeing-a-dragon-in-metal-bikini cover. Rough night. Really rough.
But when I signed with Tor, I worried much less; the amazing Irene Gallo would be running the show. She asked if there was a particular artist I admired. I babbled about Todd Lockwood and his amazing D&D work and ultra-slick cover art for R.A. Salvatore. When she told me that he was on the job, my sleep became much more sound.
More than anything else, I’m thrilled with the way Todd captured the importance of lightness and darkness in the book: the luminescent moons competing with the blazing spell to illuminate the gargoyles is perfect.
But, of course, it’s the details that make Todd’s work really shine. Closer inspection of Nicodemus shows him floating a codex on a spell and pulling spell from its pages–a wonderful way to show the importance of text in the book. Todd also did a fantastic job of showing how closely related the gargoyles are with the structure of Starhaven.
But as interesting as Nicodemus and the architecture are, it’s the war-weight gargoyle that really steals the show on this cover.
Todd worked the text-based magic system into his art in a fascinating way. As he writes on his website “the gargoyles are constructs of magic, literally made of words. So I used letter forms as the texture ground, as you can see in the close-up detail.”
Premium prints and even a limited edition giclees of Spellwright’s cover art, and many other of Todd’s masterpieces, can be found at on his website.