I'M BUSY writing the sixth novel in the Melody and the Pier to Forever saga, which I haven't yet titled. I've written eleven chapters, with probably ten more to go.
The story is about a Saeire Insu "rogue" warship named Failure, and its frantic chase of an Imperial ship in order to stop it from passing potentially deadly information on to Necrolius' generals at Aquanicentra.
What is a Saeire Insu "rogue" warship, and why in heaven's name was one named, of all things, Failure? Those answers will come clear later when I start sharing excerpts with you. In the meantime, I thought I'd try something new, which is to share my efforts at making the novel's cover.
The first stage, tentatively drawing the ship's basic superstructure, is, for the most part, complete. I say "for the most part" because at any time any part of the cover may change. But I've been working at this particular permutation of the Failure long enough to declare that I'm reasonably certain that it won't change appreciably.
This beginning stage has taken me all of this year to get to this point. It's not that I'm spending hours each day working on it. I don't. More like an hour a week, actually, and only after my writing tasks are completed.
As with all the characters in my books, I have tried to get to know the Failure as much as possible. She's a Zephyr-designed warship with a crew of at least a thousand, measuring something like five hundred-plus feet stem to stern. Zephyr-designed means she's built for wind, rough seas, and inclement weather. Zephyrs are expert seafarers, arguably the greatest in all of the Saeire Insu (though Neptonians would strongly disagree, I'm sure). Their ships aren't all that speedy--unless they're chasing you in rough, gale-tossed seas. And then nothing is faster or more maneuverable.
The hull and masts, as all ships in the Armada, were constructed with Antarctic Cottonwood. That special wood, partially aecxal, is heinously strong and flexible, which gave designers all sorts of flexibility in the ship's creation. The masts' odd bend and angle is testament to the wood's tensile strength and durability, and provides for maximum utility in catching and managing the wind while also minimizing necessary labor needed to maintain and hoist the canvases.
The Failure comes with two top-deck Peacemakers, which are large cannons capable of sinking Imperial warships with a single blast. In her belly are at least thirty regular cannons per side, perhaps more.
(The Peacemakers aren't pictured here, nor are the cannonports.)
The Saeire Insu's osprey flair shows up in the overall design, as it does throughout the Armada, giving the battleship a vaguely raptor-like profile.
I'm about to begin coloring it. When I get that to a minimal point of satisfaction, I'll update the cover for everybody.
I'll post in the meantime the five preceding novels to this one, in order. They are below.
Thanks for reading Melody and the Pier to Forever! The adventure is far from over.