Sun conure and villain sketch

I started this week thinking, “I’m going to draw every day!” Then I got to writing a story that totally sucked me in, and wound up using all of my early morning time to write that, instead. On the plus side, it’ll be done in another week or so, if I keep writing as much as I have. More art after that!

Destiny character with a sun conure as a pet.
Sketch of the villain of the second Vid:ilantes book.

Once I finish writing this book, I’ll have more brainspace for drawing, heh. I hope people enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing it!

Artwork: face studies

I’ve just been drawing my characters this week, trying to really nail down what they look like. These are collectively from After Atlantis and Vid:ilantes, since they share the same universe.

Tane is top right, hero of the After Atlantis books. James Chase is middle left, hero of Islesworn. Jayesh Khatri is the hero of Bloodbound, which I’m still writing. Three nationalities, one unstoppable team.
Concept art of Jayesh with fire wings.
Quick sketch of a Destiny Guardian in the new casual robe in season 9.

The rest have been commissions and I can’t show those off for various reasons. Got more to do, too, so I’d better get with it. Islesworn’s launch this week has kind of thrown off my artwork.

Launch of the Vid:ilantes

A few years ago, we were on a long car trip. I was sitting there, thinking about YouTuber drama. Then I started thinking about all those Marvel movies, and how cool it would be if superheroes recorded videos of their crime fighting exploits and put it all on some kind of Youtube. Maybe … HeroTube. And the best heroes got invited into the big networks, and got big name sponsors, and the best ad affiliates. And they were always trying to outshine the other supers in order to win those sweet, sweet ad clicks.

Then I went, why don’t I just plug my SpaceTime characters into this universe? They needed a new home, and I’d unpublished their original books because the books weren’t that great. Heck, I could bring over the villains, too.

That was the beginning of what came to be called Vid:ilantes, a book about superhero Youtubers. And it’s finally available!


In a world where everyone develops superpowers at puberty, James Chase is an aspiring superhero, dreaming of having his own popular HeroTube channel. But when practicing his powers opens a portal to an island in another dimension, he unwisely posts this video to HeroTube. It goes viral and James finds himself in over his head. The networks want him. The villains want him. And worse, he has tapped into one of the lost secrets of Atlantis, one that many people would kill to steal.

Now James must join forces with his roommate Indal, along with a super on the wrong side, and an irritable nonhuman inhabitant of the island, if he wants to save the world–and himself.


Now available at most retailers! Click here!

I’m already writing the next book and having a blast. The Vid books tie in with the After Atlantis books, so you might give those a look while you’re waiting on book 2. (It answers a lot of questions raised in Islesworn, like who is the Guardian and what is the Mercurion?)

Anyway, I am so excited that this book is finally out there for folks to enjoy. Hopefully I can have book 2 finished and out in another month or so. 😀

A little art and a lot of writing

This week I only had time to finish one pic. And it was a pic I drew ages ago and just got around to coloring.

Just Destiny stuff, as usual, heh. I just really like drawing the armor and stuff from it.

I did a speedpaint this morning, but I only got the first couple of stages done.

Just the big colors and shapes blocked in at this point. The armor is really detailed and fiddly, and I want to spend more time on it than I had.

This week I buckled down on edits for Vid:ilantes, the superhero youtubers book. It’s looking pretty good so far, just needs some more polish. I’d love to kick it out the door by next week, but that depends on how fast I can do a cover.

I also finished the first draft of a sci-fi story this past week, which felt really good. It’s very soft, as sci-fi goes (not much math, heh), more space opera than anything. I’d love to launch it next month, but we’ll see how many revisions it actually needs when I read back through it.

My next project is a sequel for Vid:ilantes, since I’ve been carrying it around in my head for months, now. Time to get it all out and see how it goes. It’s fun, because the After Atlantis trilogy deals with Island 1, Vid deals with Island 2, and the sequel will bring in Island 3. Then the book after that will be the big, fat crossover, where everybody unites the islands to face a bigger threat. I’m having way too much fun with this.

Superhero commission progress pics

I’ve been working on a book cover commission for the last two weeks. Today was the final push to really get it finished. The author has been showing it off, so here’s my heavily-watermarked version.

This is for Reformed: The Supervillain Rehabilitation Project by H.L. Burke. As of this blog post, it’s not out yet, but give it another month or two.

Here’s the progress pic:

You can see some of my initial sketches, figuring out layouts and poses and such. Then the refined sketches where I was changing angles and positions and things. There were quite a few more of those, but I didn’t want to bore viewers. Then I moved to inking, then color roughs to figure out the mood. Heidi wanted an overall blue color scheme, so we went with a nice rich dark blue.

I personally can’t wait for the book to come out so I can read it. 😀

Science fiction artworks

Most of the week has been taken up with a book cover commission, so I don’t have a lot of art. But I do have a few rough things to show off.

I was trying to do a big spaceship with a nebula in the background … and maybe a ship or something in the foreground … but I couldn’t decide what to put in. Then I got distracted and forgot about it. So here is a half-finished background for something.

This is the hero of my sci-fi I’ve been writing. He can create a magnetosphere around himself like a shield to repel plasma beams and any energy weapons. Bullets, however, go straight through, so his shield has limits. I based his suit on some spiffy suit concept art from NASA. This pic is kind of quick and dirty because I was just trying to create a visual for this magnetosphere thing. His hands become the north and south poles, and magnetospheres behave in really, really weird ways.

I can’t share the commission yet, because it’s still mostly secret. But next week, hopefully it’ll be done and I can show off progress pics.

This week’s art: fake oil paintings

I’ve been in a bit of an art slump these past few weeks, so I decided to try something completely, totally different. How about a tutorial about digital oil painting? Oh yeah!

My first attempt, I couldn’t really get it to work right. Especially since I didn’t really know what I was doing.

Defaulting to my Destiny characters, as usual.

My second attempt, I hunted down Chris Saper and studied how she does portraits, because her portraits are sooooo gorgeous. And, you know, she’s still alive and stuff to give tips. (John Singer Sargent? I love you, man, but you’ve been dead a long time.)

Not sure about the expression on this one, but I was working with fewer brush strokes this time. Kind of hard to control. I’ll get better!

So then, I took what I’d learned and did this one.

Uldren the space pirate

Hey look I made a real art! Again, trying to keep my brush strokes minimal and not over blend. This whole pic was just a black silhouette with highlights painted onto it. And the planet in the background was just derped together with spraypaint brushes. But the overall effect is very nice, and you can’t tell how long I didn’t spend on it. *shifty eyes*

This pic gave me the bug to try to do some spaceships, so I did this one as practice.

I just grabbed some renders of Destiny ships off a model viewer and shaded them up, trying to figure out how people do this nonsense. NASA kindly provided a nice view of Earth to mess with. This whole pic was nothing but ghetto shortcuts, but I was practicing. I’ve never been good at mechanical things, but I have people asking if I can do science fiction book covers. So I need to get good at this kind of art.

So that’s been what I’ve cobbled together this week.

Guardian’s Wager launch

Today, the third book in the After Atlantis trilogy is live! These books have been a long time coming, and I’m so excited to have the whole trilogy finally out there.


All’s quiet on Mercury Island after the events of GUARDIAN’S VOW, but Tane has not forgotten Gladiolus, her curse, or his role in breaking it.

But an old threat has arisen–the scientists responsible for the alterations done to Cirrus and Maria have returned. They are eager to recapture their old experiments … and their descendants. They promise Gladiolus a breakthrough treatment for her blind eye, circumventing the curse. Accepting this treatment means Gladiolus must leave her old life behind, including Tane and the Atlantean Islands.

But the monster who laid the curse cannot be thwarted so easily, and accelerates Gladiolus’s sickness in revenge for her choice. Now Tane must rescue Gladiolus from the curse, and his friends from the clutches of the scientists, and he’ll need the full might of Mercury Island’s superweapon to do it. Available on most retailers here!


Book 1 is available here and book 2 is available here, in case you’d like to start from the beginning.

These books have been languishing on my hard drive for two years, awaiting edits and nice covers. Thanks to my husband (a ferocious editor who holds my feet to the fire) and my friend Sherri who is an eagle-eyed copyeditor, I’m confident that these books are ready for primetime.

They also represent my writing struggle of two years ago. Two years ago, I was burned out on writing and publishing. I’d trained myself to outline a book before writing it, and only churned out sub-par stories. The fun was somehow gone. I couldn’t seem to achieve the depth and fun I’d had while writing fanfics as a teen. As a teen, I’d written without an outline, just chasing the characters and plot through all the logical twists and turns of their choices and actions. And I’d written some glorious stuff. What had happened? Was I losing my ability?

Turns out, my brain works best with no outline and a sandbox to play in. I wrote these three books as one long story, just re-learning how to write in a way that gave me joy. These books do have some rough edges that I chose not to remove, because they’re artifacts of my learning process as I was rediscovering my joy.

And the whole trilogy is basically an inverted Beauty and the Beast story, only with superpowers and hecking big lasers. I described book 2 as “Beauty and the Beast with Serenity’s ending.” You know that scene at the end of Serenity when the doors open and River is standing on a pile of bodies with two dripping weapons in her hands? Yeah, that, only with less blood.

So now, this trilogy is finished. And it’s time to shift over to Vid:ilantes, another series in the same world that will dovetail into the After Atlantis books. I’m looking forward to writing a crossover, when my American superheroes and my Atlantean heroes inevitably meet and clash. It will be glorious.

Only a little art this week

I feel like I’ve been off my game all week, and I haven’t been satisfied with my art. I’ve been pushing to get edits done on Guardian’s Wager, and that’s all done, finally. But I think my brain is tired and needs a break.

Here’s what I managed to draw this week:

A sparkly outfit from Monster Hunter World (the Astral set), and I drew it mostly so I could draw sparkles. I’m not really satisfied with it, but I ran out of time, so here it is.

Tane and Glad from my After Atlantis books. For some reason, Glad turned out looking like she’s not wearing anything BUT SHE IS, DANGIT. Not super happy with this one, either. That’s why I shouldn’t draw when I’m tired.

I was trying to make a sweet new book cover to show off today, but it’s nowhere near being ready to share yet. Hopefully next week, when the book launches.

So that’s this week. Brain-dead. Tired. Artistically underachieving.

Art this week: concepts and comics

This week was battling against my own fatigue and lack of inspiration to make art. Surprisingly, once I sat down and started poking around, I was able to come up with this and that. So here’s what I made.

A pic from the end of my last fanfic, where Sorrel is pretty messed up.

Giftart for a friend who needed concept art of his steampunk characters. I haven’t done any steampunk before, and it was fun to mess with it.

In Destiny 2, there was this quest where you could travel through time and find your own grave. I had to make a comic about it.

Concept art for a character I’ve been thinking about. He’s basically a Mad Max vigilante with his Ghost worked into an energy shield usually carried by enemy aliens.