I am very thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for A Prince from the Shadows! A few months ago I reviewed A Prince from the Shadows and now I’m back with a guest post from the author, J. Curtis Mace! He will be talking to you folks about the story behind the art in this book! I’m very excited about this subject since I’m a huge fan of art!
So without further ado, may I present: J. Curtis Mace!
The Story Behind the Art of A Prince from the Shadows
By J. Curtis Mace
The artist who did the cover art and map for my book is Kevin Michael Roberts of Kemiro Art. I was introduced to him through a mutual friend, and when I saw his work, I was sure he was the guy I wanted. Self described as: a 20-something college graduate with a Fine Arts degree, looking to make his mark on the world, piercing a hole through heaven and kicking reason to the curb, Kevin is quite a character. As such, I knew he would bring something special to my book.
His art is graphic and intense and very eclectic. He works primarily in comic style, but he also does beautiful portraits too. His media ranges from paint to pencil and even a PC art/paint program that is amazing. Kevin also has a flair for video game-style pop art (he’s done pics of Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario vs. Bowser and even a Kill Bill pic that are all incredible). Once I got to know him, I was convinced he could capture the look I wanted for my book.
We met in early 2012 and immediately started working together. He was great and took all of my ideas and direction. After only our first meeting, he sent me a simple sketch he’d drawn in pen, and it was beautiful. About a week later, he sent me another image of Jeodyn, more of a “final” image, and I was blown away. I mention it in my acknowledgments about Kevin and how moved I was when I saw that pic. It was Jeodyn, this character who’d existed only in my mind and in words on my page. I’d never truly seen him before, and looking at his face, knowing it was him, I was completely beside myself with all kinds of different emotions (all good, of course).
Then he sent me another image that wrecked me completely, in the best way possible.
I’d sent him a picture of my best friend Ranny, who passed away in 2006 and joined the “Forever 27” club, and I asked Leye to be modeled after him. When I first saw the picture Kevin had done of Leye, I was quite literally overwhelmed. Seeing my friends (characters from my book) was a profound experience by itself; seeing Ranny again, alive in that drawn image of Leye literally brought me to tears. And I got the email on my way to work, so you can imagine the weird place I was in for a good minute that morning. That’s the power of what Kevin does.
The goal of art in any form is to elicit an emotional response; Kevin does that in everything he creates, and he certainly did with that picture of Leye.
From that first set of pics, others followed, and before I knew it, I had images of all my characters (all the primary ones anyway). And they all were beautiful. Like I said, Kevin works in all media, but he chose to do his work for me on the PC. The technique and style and the overall look of what he was doing was great. I’d never seen anything exactly like it before. I wasn’t really surprised though, not after seeing his other work and those first pics. I made the right choice.
Another reason I chose Kevin is the fact that he is a bit younger than me. I’m not that old, and he’s not that young, but there are a few years between our ages. I knew this would be a benefit to my story. I knew he would offer a fresher perspective and a younger attitude to the work, and I knew my book would be better for it. I wanted to pair Kevin’s progressive art with my “old soul,” in hopes of touching a broader demographic. I wanted the look and style of the art to compliment and draw out the youthful aspects of Jeodyn’s character and his story, and Kevin did just that.
I have another YA supernatural fantasy book coming out September 1st, and Kevin is actually in Europe with his lady friend, as of this post (I sincerely hope he’s enjoying himself; making up for lost time is always fun). But the next book in this series is currently in the works. There’s still work to be done promoting this one and releasing the other series, but Jeodyn is there to make sure I don’t forget about him.
To me, art is the expression of life, eliciting the emotion of the moment and interpreting it for others as truly as possible. That’s what I tried to create with my story. Kevin did the same. Now, I have this (in my opinion, aesthetically beautiful) book, and I can only hope it elicits from you guys all the passion and emotions it did from me.
I’m always around and can be found at any of the sites and addresses provided in this blog and others on the tour. Kevin can be found on Facebook and at his various sites:
As it always is with me and my passion and my art and everything creative… I hope you like what we’ve done, and for better or worse, there’s definitely more to come.See ya around…
About J. Curtis Mace
I was born in Baltimore, MD. Lived in Colonial Beach, VA for a good while. Then North Hartford, MD. Then I moved to Caroline County to start the Ninth Grade; I graduated from CHS, class of ’96. I’ve lived in Richmond, VA ever since (except for brief stints in Abilene, TX and Venice, CA).
In Richmond now, with my wife Heather. We have 3kids and a dog (they’re all beautiful and onery, and I love them). I love writing, and art, and telling stories. Sharing them with the world is a new thing for me, but I’m quickly learning how much I love that too.
I hope you all like my stories, and I can’t wait to give you more.
A Prince from the Shadows
A reluctant prince determined to be a better man than his father, the king, has ever been, Jeodyn spent his last year alone in the wild studying the banned art of manipulating the Myst, an act of rebellion but more in remembrance of the old ways. Now, everything he learned and everything he’s ever known about himself will be tested, when he’s called to do what his father should but never will: defend their family.
Noirlok, Lord of the ShadowLands and Father of the Night’s rebellion, knows no man will stand between him and his revenge. He’ll either have the love he defeated the heavens and waited an age of the world to reclaim, or he’ll destroy the House responsible. Since overcoming a mortal death and taking charge of the dark legion known as Shadorym, he has vowed to see the Blood of Vallyn pay for taking that love, and his life, from him.
When Jeodyn’s sister, Jynn, disappears, the fight to defend what they all have at stake begins.
It’s giveaway time! J. Curtis Mace was so kind as to provide two fabulous giveaway prizes for one lucky winner! Here’s the awesome loot: a PDF copy of A Prince from the Shadows and some unpublished character art (digital images)! And this giveaway is open internationally! Yay!
To enter, fill out the rafflecopter below! The winner will have 48 hours to respond to his/her e-mail. Please note that the winner’s e-mail will be passed along to the author so J. Curtis Mace can deliver your prizes!
- This giveaway is open internationally!
- Open to ages 13 and over.
- Only one entry is allowed per household. Entering again under another e-mail address or IP address is not permitted.
- All entries will be verified. If you submit an entry but didn’t complete the task, your entry will be disqualified.
- Winner will be notified via e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond. If no response is given, I will select a new winner.
- Unless requested otherwise, the winner’s name will be announced and logged on my Giveaways index page.
- Any information submitted for giveaways (such as full surname, e-mail address, and shipping address) will remain confidential and deleted after the end of the giveaway. The winner’s e-mail will be given to J. Curtis Mace for prize distribution, but information will not be released to any other third-parties.