• September 16, 2015

Knights and Demons – Afros, Art and Inspiration

Knights and Demons – Afros, Art and Inspiration

950 660 Greg Dragon | Author

Knights and Demons features the first of hopefully many illustrated covers that I’ve purchased for my published books. The artist for the cover featured  is Angela Schmer (check out her portfolio here) and I discovered her through KBoards’ Writer’s Cafe by clicking on her signature. Angela was a godsend in terms of talent and professionalism, and she made my vision for Alysia Knight turn out perfect. If you look at the model I chose for the individual serial episodes, you will notice that they look similar to the woman drawn by Angela.

Alysia Knight aka CeeCee has a specific “look”, and with a few instructions, Angela was able to give me four mocked up ideas for the cover. Isn’t it crazy how beautiful it came out in the end?

I had the typography done through Hynds Studio. Kerry Hynds (another talent found through KBoards) is probably my first stop for book cover art when I’m not being cheap and doing it myself. One thing that made me first seek out Kerry’s services was her many helpful posts regarding Typography, and out of so many choices, I love her eye for design (I was an Art Director for 15 years, so I reserve the right to be snobbish about this, lol). Kerry’s work impresses me, and I have had her rebrand my books Re-Wired, and The Factory. She added the text to the cover of  Knights and Demons, and it came together beautifully.

If you’re shopping around for a cover artist or designer, I can tell you that both women are insanely affordable, fast, and professional in what they do. Kerry is also the artist for the banner you see on the front of my site, and the ads for Re-Wired that I have on social media.

Don’t You Write Science Fiction? What Is Knights and Demons?

It started with a nightmare that I had in February of 2015. I stood witness to giants standing in an ocean–which only came up to their waists–fighting ships that shot recklessly at them, their cannonballs ripping apart the battlements that I hid behind. The book that I was pushing at the time of this nightmare was Phasers of Anstractor, which had me burned out on anything science fiction due to the repeat reading of it up until print (whew). This nightmare was a nudge for me to break mode and finally write a story that has been on my mind for years.

When I set out to finally write the Knights and Demons serial, I only had two things in mind: That it would star a young woman that could inspire strength in young women like my daughter, and that it would ultimately be about the love between a dad and his daughter. I had no agenda outside of trying to develop an anime-styled, post-apocalypse feeling, and having it star someone that looks nothing like your standard leading lady.

To be frank, I wanted a Michelle Rodriguez badass–but as the star, not the tough girl protecting the star–who would be kicking it with an Afro (because Afros rock), and taking on nasty bad guys in a world gone to hell. Quentin Tarantino meets Attack on Titan or Neon Genesis Evangelion. I’d watch that movie, my friends would watch that movie, and my daughter would love the hell out of that movie. So from all of that, Knights and Demons was born.

What’s The Writing Style

Pulp, pulp, PULP (squeezes an orange) PUUUUULLLLLPPPP!

It’s so exciting to write under the gun. I know that this will be an unpopular opinion in terms of writing, but I wanted to just take my mind into Alysia Knight’s world and write each episode within the span of a month. This was 25k – 30k per story, but for someone who writes 4k – 5k words a day, the only challenge I found was in the amount of research involved.

I was scanning maps of New York and New Jersey, quizzing people from the area, researching disasters and how traditionally we (America) has dealt with them. I would schedule the editing ahead of time so that I knew when the final day was to get a solid draft together, and up until a week before (which was when I’d reread it twice … ugh!) I would be writing.

What a ride, but I am more than pleased with the outcome of Knights and Demons, Season One. If you have been reading, or intend to read, be sure to tune in around January 2016, when Alysia – chosen blade of the Turevila, will be back!