Kaneda’s dropfighter ground to a halt just outside the city. Explosive bolts blew the rear hatch open. The locks holding his armor released.
“Move out!” Kaneda shouted.
Crusaders stormed out of the dropfighter. Kaneda raised his Gatling gun and followed. He stepped off the metal ramp and onto the moon’s surface. Ice crunched under his boots. Leftover gel from the bombing run still burned in patches on the gray, drab buildings. Crusaders splashed through shallow pools that quickly refroze.
“Spread out! Secure those buildings!”
Jupiter’s storm-wracked face rose in front of him. Kaneda paused and looked at the planet. It filled the horizon from end to end. Ten years had passed since he’d seen the mighty gas giant with his own eyes. And now he was home again, on Europa, with ice under his boots. He even recognized some of the buildings. The nostalgia of the moment hit him harder than he thought possible, and he hesitated.
The second thing that hit him was a needle grenade exploding in his face.
Excerpt from The Dragons of Jupiter, by Jacob Holo
Oh, man! I have been so excited about this! Robert Chew (a.k.a CrazyAsian1) has begun working on the cover. He produced a few rough sketches for me to review, and I have to say, they have me giddy with excitement.
The cover is set up to wrap around the book, so most of the left half will be on the back cover. The front prominently features three crusaders, elite heavy infantry that are the antagonists of the novel. A lone dragon, one of the protagonists, hides on the back cover, ready to ambush in ninja-like fashion.
Robert has been great to work with. As we began to discuss the specifics of the cover, his attention to detail has been very impressive. Just to give you an idea, below is one of the first things he asked me during the concept phase.
“Now the purely logical side in me is wondering how Kaneda and his fellow Crusaders could heft around gatling guns. In my mind gatling guns are very heavy. The gun itself, the power source to get the barrel spinning, and the ammo. I’m wondering if the Crusaders use exoskeleton power armor to help them carry this stuff around. I could see them carrying this stuff around in space with 0G’s, but on the surface… Could you provide some insight into that for me? This will determine the character designs so I need to know.”
Ladies and gentlemen, that attention to detail is the sign of a true professional. Even at this early stage, Robert has done a superb job of capturing the look and feel I’m after. Check out these quick character studies Robert did of the crusaders.
The helmet designs are Robert Chew’s signature touch, and they have a striking profile that I just adore. I’m absolutely thrilled he’s letting me put them on the cover. I may ask for a few minor tweaks to the crusader armor, but they are already a fantastic design.
The first rough sketch I posted is my favorite, but the other two are also quite impressive. Check out this one.
And the last one.
And finally, just for laughs, here’s the original picture I sent Robert. As you can see, my crack PowerPoint skills were pushed to their limit.
Seriously, though. In my defense, I am not an artist. However, it did get the job done of communicating the layout to him … and it probably gave him a chuckle too.
Having an awesome cover for my book isn’t too far off now. After that, it’s time to publish this bad boy!
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