I’ll let the cover speak for itself, except to say again this is Mark’s interpretation of a key early scene in the book. It’s not a literal portrayal of what the text describes – that’s the interpretation part! – but definitely conveys the essence of the action. This will not end well for someone.
Thanks to Mark and Aaron for a great cover!
Now it is down to Your Humble Author to finish the words. I am working carefully through the copyedit and proofreading stage, trying to track down those devious typos that somehow manage to sneak in when I’m not looking. Overall, the manuscript is in good shape – and it should be! This is about my 40th time through it! But you know what? I’m still enjoying this story and I know you will too!
A quick update on my progress toward releasing Jason Cosmo #3: Royal Crush. Over the weekend I finished my latest editing pass through the text — tightening prose here and there, fixing a few typos, and making decisions I had put off about some story details. The next step is to finish my re-read of Noble Cause (book two in the series) and make notes of any “continuity” matters I may need to adjust in Royal Crush to keep my story straight.
(As longtime Loyal Readers know, Royal Crush is a revised retelling of my Royal Chaos (1990), which was the second book in the original Jason Cosmo series. It that sequence, Jason doesn’t do much between book one and book two. In the current series, Jason has an extensive adventure in Noble Cause before coming to the start of Royal Crush. This has a ripple effect throughout Royal Crush, in ways both large and small. I’m doing my best to make sure I don’t miss anything as I update the text!)
While I finish up the text, I have also been in touch with my Cover Artist and hope to see some preliminary sketches soon. More details on that once we’ve formally inked our deal. All I can tell you is the cover will be great and very much capture the spirit of the Jason Cosmo series.
ROYAL CRUSH: The third volume of the rebooted Jason Cosmo series, following HERO WANTED and NOBLE CAUSE, opens with Jason and the twins Sapphrina and Rubis in Rae City to attend the Royal Wedding of Queen Raella and the wizard Mercury Boltblaster. A joyous occasion! Which, of course, will soon go horribly, horribly wrong. ROYAL CRUSH is a revised version of my 1990 book Royal Chaos. I am revising line by line, keeping the gist of the original story, but adding new details and perhaps a new twist or two to keep longtime Loyal Readers on your toes. Just before composing this post, I finished the first draft of Chapter 17. (I think there will be 30 chapters in all.) This is going faster than NOBLE CAUSE because I am working from an existing text. I don’t want to put a definite release date out there, but I expect to be done with the principal writing before the end of March. That leaves editing, proofreading, formatting and cover art to be done in April. So ROYAL CRUSH may be ready for a May release … but that is only an estimate right now! I will keep you posted on my progress. I am reporting the completion of each chapter on Facebook (Dan McGirt Page) and Twitter (@JasonCosmo), so follow me there for the very latest updates.
BOLTBLASTER: I’ll hit pause on the main Jason Cosmo series after I finish ROYAL CRUSH and turn next to the long-awaited BOLTBLASTER, the story of Mercury Boltblaster’s early years. More to say on this later — one book at at time! But I can report this book is already under way. I wrote a prologue, three chapters, and a detailed synopsis more than 20 years ago. I pulled these files from the archives recently… and they hold up pretty well! BOLTBLASTER will be fun and I can’t wait to get to it!
COVER ART: I recently had a good meeting with a very talented fantasy illustrator to discuss covers for several Jason Cosmo titles. Specifically, we talked about Rainy Daze and Dirty Work, both of which have sad text-only covers prepared by me using Microsoft Publisher back in 2009. That was barely okay then, but I want to get both of these ebooks into wider distribution on Amazon, Apple, etc. so they need professional cover art. I don’t like to name names until the deal is done, but Talented Artist has some good ideas and I think you’re going to like the new covers.
COSMOPEDIA: The Cosmopedia is my online reference to the Jason Cosmo universe (or Cosmoverse), also available for you to browse. It unavoidably involves some mild spoilers if you haven’t read the books, so be warned. I recently finished a page-by-page push through HERO WANTED, updating and adding entries to the Cosmopedia, so check it out while you wait for the next book!
MAILING LIST: I’ve launched a Dan McGirt News mailing list, so sign up to get an email alert when a new book is available. All I need is your name (which can be an alias…) and email address. I will not rent out, sell, mangle or otherwise misuse your email address and promise not to spam you. I’ll let you know when a new book is out, or other major news (like if there were ever a movie deal…) but I won’t be cluttering your inbox every day. I’ve got books to write! SIGN UP FOR THE MAILING LIST HERE.
One of the greatest mysteries of the Cosmoverse was recently solved. For more than a decade I have been on a quest — well, an occasional quest — to learn who painted the cover illustration for the 1992 Roc edition of Dirty Work. Now, at last, the answer is revealed!
I have an update for you on our quest to learn “Who did Dirty Work?” As you recall, I emailed a plea for help to a general-purpose email address at my former publisher Ace/Roc/NAL/Penguin. (Read it here.)
That was last Friday. Yesterday I received a very kind result from a highly placed insider at the publisher whose name I shall withhold to protect the innocent.
With Noble Cause now written and working its way into the various ebook stores, I have the breathing room to solve one of the great mysteries of the Jason Cosmo series: Who painted the cover of the 1993 Roc edition of Dirty Work?
As longtime Loyal Readers know, Dirty Work was the third volume of the classic Jason Cosmo Non-Trilogy. Richard Hescox provided the cover illustrations for my first two books, Jason Cosmo and Royal Chaos. The late Josh Kirby did the covers for the UK editions of all three books, published by Pan Ltd. But it remains a mystery to this day who painted the cover for Dirty Work.
Sadly, Roc did not provide a cover credit in the book itself. That was the first place I looked. Some fifteen years or so ago, a prominent fantasy artist I happened to meet whilst holding a copy of Dirty Work took a look at the cover and said, “Oh, that is _____. I’d know his style anywhere.” And I wrote the name down on a scrap of paper, long since lost to time, and also made a more “permanent” note on my computer, long since lost to a hard drive crash. Yeah, I’m not very good with names.
But the time has come to solve this mystery. Someone suggested it may have been the awesome Walter Velez. But I asked Mr. Velez, he checked his records, and it was not him. I emailed the fantasy artist I once bumped into to ask if he might again identify the artist simply from looking at the art. I don’t know if he will have time or inclination to reply. Or if my message even got through his spam filter. So I also sent the below letter to the generic email address of my former publisher Penguin USA/ACE/ROC: