Goblin Tails: Art
Since the Pulp Revolution of the Twenties and Thirties, great fantasy fiction has always been accompanied by great fantasy art. It is hard to imagine Conan without Frazetta, or Dragonlance without Elmore. Salvatore says that he still thinks of Elmore's painting of Drizzt when he writes his hero, and Weiss has written how she cried while writing the death of Sturm, the painting of the same hanging above her desk. Even Tolkien had his wonderful maps, tracing the paths of the Fellows on their quest.
When the art is good, the images are burned into your imagination. They come alive while you sleep, the world within the painting picking up where the artist left off. While written images enter the mind slowly, accruing as the pages are turned, visual ones leap instantly off the page. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have good art to accompany good stories.
Cover art is even more important. It sets the tone for the book, creating the frame and lens through which the reader perceives and evaluates the story. I like to think that Chuba art is especially challenging, as an artist needs to balance tongue-in-cheek humor against hopeful, earnest desperation.
Thus it is with great excitement that I can share some of the rough, prelim work being done for the cover. Aaron Norell is a first rate artist working for dirt cheap pay (a trait he shares with the rest of you). For all the writers finishing up their stories, I encourage you to download the picture, hang it on your wall, and let the words roll as they may.
Alrunic: Witness what you have wrought. Your creation lives.
As for myself, I'm thinking of getting a tattoo. ;)