Aching God by Mike Shel – COVER REVEAL
Greetings to all! I’m Mike Shel, heretofore a freelance designer of adventures for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. I’m here to reveal the cover for my soon-to-be-released novel debut, Aching God, a work of dark, epic fantasy. Friends in the independent fantasy publishing world have hammered into my head that a cover is most often the first thing to grab a potential reader’s attention—aha! People do judge a book by its cover. For this reason, it must be eye-catching and somehow convey in a single image the tens of thousands of words that comprise a full-length novel. That’s a tall order.
Takes in a deep, theatrical breath.
OK, folks, here it is, the cover for Aching God.
The art itself – an intriguing work of photo manipulation, shading, and effects – is by the talented Nicevenn Morgan of Nicevenn Digital Art & Design. The striking typography is by equally talented Colleen Sheehan of Ampersand Book Interiors. I truly believe this cover does a wonderful job capturing the feel of the novel itself, from the exotic sword with its alien script etched into the blade, to the shadowy ancient ruins peeking through, to the crow’s feet at the corner of my protagonist’s eye. I hope it proves an effective hook, drawing readers to Aching God.
I’ve long entertained dreams of writing fantasy fiction, but one thing or another stood in my path, not least of which was my own self-defeating penchant for obsessive editing and re-editing and re-re-editing. Designing an RPG adventure is a far more structured thing; indeed, the gifted editors at Paizo Publishing often provide helpful scaffolding for their assignments. While some of those assignments demand upward of 40,000 words, a novel, let alone a fantasy trilogy, seemed something simply out of my reach.
Then came GenCon 2016, with its annual Writer’s Symposium. It was my fifth year in attendance, four exhausting days I always adored. But something amazing would happen for me that year. I can’t recall which seminar it was, nor can I, for the life of me, recall the author whose wisdom it was. However, a small suggestion that writer made would prove transformational for my writing process. Yes, I’m going to share it here. Yes, in my opinion, it was life-changing. Yes, there is a very good chance you will find it so bloody elementary you may conclude that I am a simpleton. But I do not fear your ridicule! I shall sing the praises of this little bit of advice even upon my deathbed! Are you prepared? OK, here goes. Brace yourself.
Begin every writing day by doing a single and quick editorial pass over whatever you wrote the previous day. Then pick up writing where you left off.
Cue the chorus.
The first draft of Aching God was written—all 134,000 words of it—in the following ten weeks. Not exactly water into wine, but it was nothing short of miraculous to me. I spent the next fourteen months obtaining feedback from beta readers, editing the manuscript, re-writing, getting input from writers more accomplished than myself, tinkering and fiddling until, at last, at last, the novel, first in a planned trilogy I’m calling Iconoclasts, is ready for release.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey. Aching God will be available for pre-order at Amazon in digital and print versions on or about 1 April, 2018, and available for purchase on 9 April, 2018.
In the meantime, help justify the countless hours I’ve frittered away building this author website. There you’ll find detailed maps of the world of Iconoclasts, links to my RPG work, and recommendations for reading, music, movies, and more. You can also sign up for my moderately entertaining monthly newsletter.
Thanks for your time and attention.
Aching God will be released on April 9, 2018.