Cover Reveal for MOTHER OF HERETICS by T. A. Miles
I exist in a brightly lit darkness, and so do my characters. I write horrific monsters, in decaying or threatened environments, harassing gender-ambiguous lovelies who fight back. Especially featuring that theme is my current Enthraller trilogy, which is part of the overarching series, Bastards of the Gods.
Enthraller is a story that was inspired by something as harmless-seeming as a red butterfly. I followed it to the hand of an androgynous magic-user, who proceeded to open a portal to a world sundered by cataclysm, verging on a second such disaster while still recovering from the first blow. The ground was cracked and the ruins of a once-great country cast long shadows which set misery and decay onto everything they touched. Hell was rising, and this ambiguous redhead and their insect familiar were among an elite few working to push the shadows back and seal the cracks. All the while, this magic user—this priest, as it eventually turned out—is helplessly forming deep, emotional connections with the very demons that threaten his survival and the survival of all humanity.
It’s been quite a journey learning how to best convey that on a cover. All of these elements, including and especially the red butterfly had to be incorporated. For these stories in particular, most early attempts were either too vague, or too romantic. When publishing, I think that it’s easy to settle for what seems safe at first. But then there comes a time when one realizes that one simply likes monsters, alongside pretty things, and that the stories themselves are far from safe. Subtlety was not an option. It was in the midst of that revelation that we (my partner and I) met Alberto Besi.
At first, Alberto had simply been bidding for a map illustration job that we had posted. Once he learned that we were in the market for more than a map, he was determined that he could handle anything we could throw at him. At the time, we were still in deliberation about taking the leap into featuring a shamelessly androgynous protagonist surrounded by monsters on the cover—both elements featured very dynamically (versus a scene illustration). Alberto showed instant enthusiasm for the project, and the amount of vision that he demonstrated truly impressed us. There was an instant sense of synergy that came of working with him, something I’ve learned is essential for any creative collaboration.
I am extremely excited to be able to share Korsten, enthraller-priest and hunter of demons, with covers that express the darkness and the beauty of both his world and his story.