As a writer, creating something from nothing is all part of the job. When you write, you make the rules, lay down the groundwork, research the facts, toss out what you don’t want and peck away at a keyboard until the words come out. So when an artist takes your little patch of nothing and turns it into something you can see and experience, then everything gets a whole lot more exciting.
I asked Daryl Toh, who wonderfully illustrated the cover art and several extra images for ZAK CORBIN: MASTER OF MACHINES, if he might work his magic again for VANQUISH. Instead of robots, there are warplanes, sky pirates, an unstoppable enemy and a heroic young girl named Briley Bannatyne.
Daryl took nothing but my descriptions and text from a few passages of my manuscript and turned VANQUISH into something that just screams “kewl!” It’s one thing to try to describe a prop-driven fighter plane roaring across the sky; seeing it makes it that much more special.
For Briley, Daryl conceived of two illustrations. The first is Briley as she appears in the early pages of the story: a hard-working and slightly smudged machinist working in the Bannatyne machine shop in her village not far from Sky City on the eastern coast of England. (As always, click the image to see the wonderful detail.)
Later on in the story, Briley joins the British Air Militia (the RAF of the time period) in place of her older brother, Mackinley. I supplied an example of an RAF pilot’s uniform from the war, Daryl added his own wonderful embellishments.
Briley faces many challenges during her training, and no sooner does she go out on her first patrol when she runs into … pirates! The sky pirates hail from the former Nordic countries and are called the Nordlanders. Their pirate airships are older compared to modern planes but are still heavily armed and dangerous — especially to the poor fishing villages along the English coastline. Briley intervenes and manages to shoot down one of the pirates, Kendrick, who soon becomes Briley’s unexpected ally and closest friend.
Daryl was wonderful enough to incorporate these images and other elements into the Facebook Timeline image that appears on my Facebook author page and in the new banner for my blog.
Coming soon — more details on the planes from the story, the LANCER and the VANQUISH!
Don’t forget that VANQUISH is a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest for 2013 in the Young Adult Fiction category. You can download the first two chapters from Amazon for free! The finalists in each category will be announced on or around May 21.
(All images belong to Daryl Toh and are for the sole express purpose of promoting my work. Do not reproduce, copy or link to these images without first obtaining permission from the artist. For reproduction, copyright and licensing information, please contact Daryl Toh at yumegawa
VANQUISH is copyright © 2012 by Tony Russo, writing under the name A.P. Russo.