One of the things I say often when someone asks me if I'm done with a project is, "Nothing's ever final until it's published." And even then, pretty much everything is subject to change. I still find typos in books I published years ago. Sometimes, I go through the hassle of republishing to fix them, but mostly I don't. I'm human. I'm not perfect. Sorry if you happen upon one of those mistakes. I do try my best to eliminate them before publication. One thing that has the annoying habit of frequency for this perfectionist, though, is the evolution of my artwork over the course of writing a book.
Usually when I say nothing's final until publication, I'm talking about the cover and character art. My covers typically go through a couple of iterations before I finalize them because I want to make sure they're the best I can produce. But there's a caveat with that. They're the best I can produce at that time. My skills and resources are always evolving, and as I get better at my craft and acquire more and different resources, my art evolves too. And with that, I proudly announce...
Fresh off the digital presses, Triton's Destiny is now available for sale! All the live vendor links are there on the book info page, with the link to the paperback coming soon (I'm still finishing it). This is a standalone novel that scratches the itch I've had for a while to write a shifter romance. If you're looking for something sweet and kinda angsty but doesn't require the commitment of a full series, give this one a try. Lots of feel-good moments here.
Just like my other books, though, this one went through a little visual evolution too. I completely redid Tristan's character because I wasn't entirely happy with the previous iteration. You can see the first cover in my post history, but I'll post it again here:
I think it's amazing how much things changed between this first cover and the published one. Besides the change in Tristan's character, the published cover is fully rendered out, rather than the one above which is an image composite with a stock photo background. I also learned a lot in the last few months about dramatic lighting, depth of field, and adding realistic details. I'm quite happy with the published cover and think it does a better job of evoking the emotion of the story.
If you've been following me for a while, then you've seen how my cover art has evolved over the years. From basic composites of my own and stock photography to complex stock photo composites and now to fully rendered 3D art, it's been a journey for sure. But now I'm finally doing what I always wanted to do from the beginning. I always wanted to create my own characters and manipulate all aspects of the art to my exacting specifications. The perfectionism never dies, my friends. So now I can obsess and tinker to my heart's content. It just means that sometimes I have to adjust what I thought was already done. And that's why nothing's EVER final.
One more pretty portrait of Maki to close things out. Many of the character images I've been posting are ones inspired by scenes in my books and this one is too (so is the lead image, in fact). I'll let you discover for yourself which scenes those are.
I only have a few chapters left to write of book three of the Galactic Explorers series. That will probably be a late summer release. Book four maybe by the end of the year. We'll have to see. I'm still brainstorming that one.
As usual, there's always something brewing in my corner of the universe, so stay tuned for more. Thank you for your support and thanks so much for reading!
Leah Ross is a writer and graphic designer with a penchant for loud music and sappy love stories. She believes that love should be both unconventional and unconditional, rules are negotiable, and age is nothing but a number.