It's hard to explain what an amazing thing it is: first for Mike and I to see voice talent create unique voices for the characters we've created, and act out the stories and dialogue we've written. Then to witness everything coming together; animated characters brought to life and a film shaping around a framework of one's own ideas, creation, and writing. It's all just an incredible experience.
I'm so fortunate I've been able to see stories and ideas Mike and I have written brought to life this way. We've been very fortunate to have had the experience a number of times, and it never ceases to thrill me.
This weekend I'm tightening up the fifth-draft of 'Sands of Fate' and I'll be firing up the 'presses' to make a very-complete proof version. This 'ARC' version will go out to close family and friends and includes about 95% of Mike's final illustrations, and my layout illustrations standing-in for the rest.
This ARC will have the original 'viper' cover. However, we're re-doing the book's cover for the final release. I received much advisement that the original cover we did was way too violent-looking, and didn't portray the true 'fun and lighthearted' nature of the book itself. I really had to take a step back and come to the conclusion that this advice was correct. A person really does have to take the advice and criticism of others into consideration- that's why I welcome input from others with open arms. I consider myself blessed to have a number of folks whose sage advice I really trust. It ultimately only makes my efforts that much better to weight their input. Ultimately, Mike and I came to an agreement over the original cover design, and we're changing it. I now like our new concept far better than the old. It's one of those things that's a twist on an old adage: if it doesn't kill your project, it will only make it stronger!