The same artist who did the cover for book one is doing the next cover. Unlike AQATTC, I am actually having him illustrate the same scene I created with my groaty Poser art years ago:
Here is his preliminary drawing. It's just a rough sketch, but you've already seen his finished work, so this is going to look much better than that cover above.
The problem remains, how will I actually print this thing? After trying to price it around, it doesn't look like it can be printed in one volume for less than about $70 per book. And that's by ordering at least ten books. Yikes.
If it was just this book, I might do it, but I'm looking at five more books, so... I dunno. That's way more money than I can justify to myself for a vanity project. I might have to suck it up and do it as two POD volumes.
So speaking of writing long, Alexandra Quick and the Wizard War, to the surprise of no one who's ever followed my writing progress before, keeps getting longer. I don't just mean the word count is getting bigger because I'm writing more (duh), but my outline is expanding and my "last" chapter keeps getting pushed outward. Really, I'm trying not to let it bloat like AQATWA did. (I don't know if AQATWA was really "bloated," but it definitely got way longer than I planned.)
Right now, my word count is at 151,596 words, and I have almost finished Chapter 28, while my (revised) outline says there will be 50 chapters total. I am going to try to pare that down in revisions. We'll see how many of my darlings I can murder.
(Heh. People freak out when I say that. It's a writing phrase. I totally don't mean any of my darling characters are going to die.)
So anyway, you know what I haven't done in a while? A wordle! And since I'm (theoretically) over halfway done, maybe it's time.
I found a nifty new wordcloud tool, and I leveled up my Photoshop skills a teeny bit, so I thought I'd spoil you a little. Literally — there may be some teensy spoilers here, so don't look too closely if you don't like spoilers.
Before you start zooming in, be aware that I deliberately normalized the weights of most of the named characters. That is, words usually get sized according to their frequency, with more frequent words appearing larger, so if I hadn't normalized the names, Alexandra would be huge, and names that only appear a few times would be tiny. But I know people will read too much into that (some characters only appear in the first half of the book, and some will barely appear at all until later), so I went and manually set the frequency count for most names to be the same.