Yes, I did–I spoke too soon.
The cover art for Her Majesty did not arrive early, nor did it even arrive by the given deadline. I am still working with the artist to get details as I want and need them, and to get the coloring right. It’s extremely frustrating business on my end, as there was five months to have dealt with all of this (which would have allowed more than enough time), but here we are. The chances of this book being present at Far Point are slim to none. I’m still trying, but I do not have my hopes up and I have asked that it be removed from the launch party list. Thank heavens I still have Starbright for the event so I don’t look like a complete flake about my promises and intentions. It still really sucks though.
This unfortunate experience has prompted two very loud future circumstances: I will be using contracts with cover artists from here on out. I will also be practicing my own art skills more diligently so that I can bypass the use of other artist’s work as much as possible. That will probably knot up a few pair of knickers but the track record for positive artistic reputations/professionalism/attitude is much lower than the negative at this point–at least in my experience, and at some point a line has to be drawn. Why should I continue to take the blows to MY reputation because other people can’t get it together? No. I am done with that. I have some tactics for future business arrangements that should protect me from this sort of disappointment and inconvenience–and STILL protect the reputation of the artist. I guess that’s something that will always be lopsided in my life–no matter how much I look out for myself and my interests, I’m still going to look out for other people too. It’s a flaw, but there it is. I suppose it’s in line to expect some gratitude, whether I’ll see it or not. Most likely, not.
On the upside, I am currently working with a different artist for the images/illustrations for the As Fate Would Have It vignettes. I’ve worked with her before and have been pleased with both her work and her ethic, so we should be good there. I’ve already seen one of the 8 sketches for the book and I’m both pleased and amused. I can’t wait to get the rest of the stories finished for it. Maybe by this time next year, depending on how the muses perform.
I’m also working as much as possible on Darling Orphan. By the end of tomorrow, I will have (I hope) added 50 new pages since the first of the year, as was my goal. The new semester starts Tuesday, so delays may or may not come again. I will keep at it as I can so the book can release around October. I already have plans in mind for the cover art on that one. More information on that as time goes on, and maybe sneak previews, if all goes well.