In contrast to prior books, where I had several different ideas for cover compositions, for Arvia: Wings of the Wild, the choice was clear. Much of the story was set around the ruins of an ancient elven city. An abandoned magical city overgrown by wilderness? You can’t get a better backdrop for an epic cover.
So the background composition was clear pretty early on, but since the characters in my stories are vastly different sizes from each other, Papaya did have to play around with character placement. The gif sequence to the right shows some of the various ideas we toyed with. Note – the working title of the novel was ‘Arvia: Voice of the Forest,’ which only changed at the very end.
Some early versions showed our spectators of the great harpy race (yes, there’s a harpy race in this novel) cheering from the top of a dragon (yes, there are also dragons in this one, too). Others had them seated atop one of the city’s great archways.
In the final version we went with a silhouette of Darin gazing dramatically down at the action, which really amped up the mood of the overall piece. After all, it’s a wild and colorful world contrasting with an inherent danger and sense of foreboding.
Have I piqued your interest in the story itself?
It’s easy to stand up for your friends. What about for anonymous creatures nobody else cares about?
With their homes apparently safe from the magical storms, Darin and Rinloh venture to an isolated elven village and another ancient mystery: ruins of an imperial city whose entire population vanished centuries ago.
The duo befriend a host of eccentric new characters, from a chipper ogress and hipster troll to a deadpan griffin. Yet the Forest of Nightmares challenges them as never before. Merciless carnivorous trees, subterranean horrors, ethereal creatures no mortal weapon can slay… and most sinister of all, the greed and ambition lurking within the human heart.
Darin and Rinloh’s empathic connection grows stronger the deeper into the wilderness they go, but will it be enough to stop a dark conspiracy from ravaging the land?
Arvia: Wings of the Wild challenges the harpy-human duo with their grandest adventure yet. They must balance their deepening relationship as they sharpen their skills and work together as never before to unravel a deadly new plot.
Stay tuned for future posts with even more behind the scenes details about the creation of this epic cityscape. Why not subscribe so you don’t miss out!
In closing, once again, a huge thank you to Papaya-Style for her skill in illustrating and for her patience in overcoming the challenges imposed by the magical world of Arvia.