Hi everyone! Just letting you know that I'm going away on holiday on Monday with a few uni mates, and won't be back until the 16th, so I won't be able to do any commission work in that time. I will try and answer notes and comments asap though! If you'd like a commission, just drop me a note and I'll get on it as soon as I get back.
So I've been lucky enough to be able to draw the artwork for CameronWSmith
's newest installment in the thrilling Holtur series, The Holtur Curse! You can check out the cover here
You can also take a look at the rest of Smith's books here: if you love awesome fantasy stories packed full of thrilling battles and badass monsters, I'd highly recommend you check it out! www.cameronwaynesmith.com/
Here are his own words on the novel itself to whet your appetite for this fab read!
"The Holtur Curse is the second installment in the Holtur Trilogy. It’s been an absolute blast to write, and I’ve had a great time throwing my own spin on the vampire genre. Something a bit different I’m doing with this series is using a different protagonist for each episode.
The first book, The Holtur Enigma, (which you can download for free www.cameronwaynesmith.com/book… ) introduces the town by throwing the cowardly Vivian Patressi right at it. He ends up face to face with wyverns, beasts, and horrors as he tries to survive. All he wanted to do was simply to recruit a few warriors for his own cause. One of the brutes he tried—and failed—to conscript was Sonja Bluwahlt, the Captain of the north gate’s slayers.
Sonja steals the spotlight in The Holtur Curse. As well as a gender swap, this also changed our main point of view from a coward, to hero. Now I don’t want to give away too much, but poor Sonja goes through quite a lot in The Holtur Curse. Here’s the pre-release blurb to hold you over until release day!
Most creatures are predictable, men are not.
Known for her prowess on the battlefield, Captain Sonja Bluwahlt is the kind of slayer that monsters hide from. Slaughtering wyverns, beasts, and horrors is simply part of the job description. It's not until the Brothers of Eternity show up, that she discovers who the true monsters in the world are, humanity.
The definition of right and wrong bleed into each other as Sonja tries to understand what drives the Brothers of Eternity. An old relic is all they desire, but it's what they are willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it that terrifies her. The relic holds a dreadful secret, one that should never be uncovered by mortals.
Surviving becomes secondary to success, for if Sonja and her slayers fail to stop the Brothers of Eternity, a new breed of horror will be unleashed upon the world. A greedy, blood-sucking breed that knows no restraint.
The Holtur Curse will be released on the 30th of October. It will be available for a discounted pre-order price, and all who pre-order score exclusive content! Details for pre-orders can be found here ( www.cameronwaynesmith.com/book… ).
Liz and I also spoke of some interesting creatures, like the nima’lup and magna’lup, that appear through my short stories. I’ll be releasing an anthology with all these short stories towards Christmas, but if you’d like to check out some shorter tales set in Holtur, see what’s available on my short story page. ( www.cameronwaynesmith.com/book… )
If you’d like to check out all the great art Liz has created for the creatures, click here ( www.cameronwaynesmith.com/scho… ) to pickup the Bristrunstium Monster Records.
He's also answered some questions about his book too!
1. How did you come up with the specifics for the description of nima'lup and the magna'lup?
The nima'lup and magna'lup were a fun duo to write! It started after I had been pondering on some ideas for an epic story that I'd like to write in the future. I had this idea that there would be seven great leviathans that drift through the ocean. These would be gigantic creatures—living islands in essence—that were each home to a unique set of creatures.
I don't know how, or why, the canine idea came to me, but when it did, I wanted them to be gentle and friendly. The opposite of what usually visits Holtur! My goal at the beginning of Dogs of the Leviathan was to trick the reader into thinking the story would be about werewolves!
The idea of the nima’lup and magna’lup living together in symbiotic harmony was to deal with their existence. The amphibious magna’lup could swim ashore with nima’lup on their backs or traverse beneath their leviathan to remove any parasites. These creatures only played a tiny role in Dogs of the Leviathan, but I intend to bring them back, along with the inhabitants of six more leviathans, down the track.
2. Are the creature names and names for details such as the omnivitae based off of existing words such as Latin words, or are they completely made up?
A bit of both! Sometimes I come up with a great name I love and just go with it, like kehrip—I love that name. Other times I keep it simple and obvious: wyverns, vampires (leeches), angels, etc. Then there are others that need a bit of inspiration! Omnivitae is a Latin combo indeed; omni means all and vitae is life. I think omnivitae sounds cooler than the all-life!
A new creature with a key role in The Holtur Curse—and who will creep its way into the Bristrunstium Monster Records shortly—is the Sorbguamis. I’ve mixed the Latin words sorbere, lingua, and armis, which translates to absorb, tongue, and armour. Any idea what the sorbguamis may look like?
3. The names of the slayers - Volk, Rigst, Rak - reminded me of Norse names. Was that your inspiration?
Yes! The interesting thing is that a lot of Northern European names overlap. I originally intended to give the town of Holtur a bit of a ‘German’ vibe in regards to the names, but it quickly took inspiration from more of Europe. The Holtur Curse will introduce a whole new collection of slayers with interesting names like Zeilgen, Hechond, Lambert, and Theodoric to name a few!
He's also requested that I write about my own experience drawing the cover and the creatures for the Bristrunstium Monster Records, which I have done below.For the cover artwork, I drew inspiration from existing mountains and emphasised the mist and cloud surrounding them to exaggerate the sense of scale. The birds and the bridges also help to create the effect of the vastness of Mother Nature. The castle was a tricky one as I wanted to make it seem fantastical without losing the fortress-like look of a real castle - my first sketch attempt turned out looking more like a cathedral, so I removed a bunch of the windows, created some more turrets, and ta da! A convincing castle atop a snowy cliffside. Since I'm much more used to drawing organic forms, the perspective on the building was also a challenge, but one I welcomed nontheless as a way of strengthening my skills.
For the monster sketches, I wanted to create the impression that a passing traveller had doodled up these drawings in a notebook, so they are sketched using desaturated sepia tones. I used textured brushes to mimic the traditional brush and pen tools, and avoided using pure black or white to keep it looking realistic. Due to the fantasy nature of the creatures, I brought together and studied drawing references of many different animals to maintain the sense of believable anatomy, and did my best to stick to the same style of artwork.
Super long entry I know haha! Hope you guys enjoy the Holtur Curse - keep reading!