A lot of writers I’ve spoken to at conventions swear by the little extras at their table– I already have pins and little polymer dragons, but they particularly talk about the power of concept art and maps.
Which resulted in the following conversation:
Me: “Hey, do we have room in the budget for concept art?”
Partner: “For which book?”
Me: “I was thinking a map and some characters for the one I’m working on now… but maybe start with Urban Dragon? Arkay, Rosa, maybe Meph?”
Partner: “…If you add Terry to that list, by god I will make room in the budget.”
Sometimes it slips my mind just how much he loves Terry.
For those who don’t remember, Terry is the groundskeeper of the Hoarde’s secret base– a multidimensional amorphous conglomeration of eyes, teeth, bones, and miscellaneous viscera, who accumulated all those various bits and pieces from the trespassers they’ve devoured over the years.
They’re also an insatiable gossip and an utter drama queen.
Really, most of the Urban Dragon series can be boiled down to “mix one part sinister and one part silly, and add a bit of gore for good measure”.
I kept getting reminded of that trying to explain my characters to the artist. Arkay and Rosa are easy enough– I’ve described them to cover artists enough times that I’ve got that part down.
I spent a whole lot of time describing Meph’s physical features like he’s some kind of action hero, and then I tried to sum up his vibe: “he takes himself way too seriously, which usually results in him being either very flustered or very confused, especially when he’s around Arkay.”
I can’t wait to see how the art turns out, but I’m really most excited to see what this artist does with Terry.
My beloved eldritch abomination is either going to be a whole lot of fun for them, or else they’re going to be an absolute nightmare.