On my sidebar you’ll see a link under “Other Sites” to the artwork of my friend, Connell Byrne. I wanted to explain more about why it is there.
Back in 2002, when I first signed my contract with P&R to write The Binding of the Blade, discussions about cover art and artists began. As those who have read in the series know, Larry Elmore, a very well established fantasy artist was eventually chosen and he has done the covers for the series. In ’02 though, this hadn’t been arranged, so I suggested to P&R that they check out my friend Connell.
In addition to the work he’d already done, he and I decided to make a mock cover based on a painting he did to illustrate what art in Kirthanin might look like. In other words, rather than a typical stylized fantasy cover, we were thinking of five covers that would have more of a symbolic connection to the world, like the kind of art that might have emerged from people in that world in those times.
So, to give Beyond the Summerland the “summery” feel that I was going for, he did the painting that you see below.
In the end, P&R was nervous about departing so far from traditional fantasy cover art. They wanted the book to be “recognizable” as fantasy just by a quick glance at the cover. Admittedly, Connell’s cover probably doesn’t fit that description. All the same, I think it is a very strong, attractive cover and it might well have drawn attention to the book because it is so unique. At this point, the issue is moot.
I really loved the painting, and I’m excited to be able to finally display it for BOTB fans around the world. If you’d like to see more of Connell’s work, just click the link in the sidebar. Connell lives in Maryland & if you’re in that region, you might see his work at various shows about the place.