Title: Guild of Magic
Series: NYC Questing Guild, Book #2
Author: Jon Auerbach
Genre: Fantasy > Epic > Urban
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Joining the Guild was only the beginning. Now Jen’s next quest could spell life or death.
Jen Jacobs thought she was in over her head when she first discovered the secret Quest Board and the world of alchemy and magic hiding just out of sight in New York City. But after a ghost from her mentor Beatrice Taylor’s past nearly kills the two of them, Jen finds herself on the cusp of joining the fabled Guild. Except now Beatrice has gone missing, leaving Jen alone to face the shadowy organization and its 11 members by herself.
If that wasn’t enough, the Guild’s chairman forces Jen to complete yet another dangerous quest to prove that she belongs: stealing a long-lost vial of Dragon’s blood that is the key ingredient to recreating the legendary Philosopher’s Stone.
As Jen’s past mistakes begin to catch up with her, she’ll need to muster all of her ingenuity to survive in the cutthroat world of ancient Relics, magical dynasties, and a possible immortal secretly directing things from behind the scenes.
Coming to Kickstarter this July. Sign up here to be notified when the campaign launches!
Cover illustration: Felix Ortiz
Cover design: Shawn T. King
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Cover Creation Process
In creating the cover for book 2 of my epic urban fantasy series, I wanted to build off of the motif from the cover of the first book, that of a New York landmark intertwined with magical elements. But whereas the first cover only featured the main character, Jen, I wanted the cover of book 2 to reflect the expanding cast of characters, inspired by several of Felix’s other recent covers.
Luckily, I had a good amount of character art commissioned during the first Kickstarter campaign, so I sent that and the below description to Felix (along with a summary of the plot of the book):
For the setting, I’m thinking the interior of Grand Central Station where the characters are standing on the stairway landing (and maybe hooded figures in the background) and then the ceiling overhead is really the night sky (or half ceiling and half-sky) with the constellations. Sort of like how in Harry Potter the ceiling of the Great Hall is enchanted to look like the night sky. So it complements the night-time look of the first cover. And then a smattering of magical vines/elements/weapons like in the first cover.
Felix came back with the following:
I like the idea of adding someone(s) next to Jen/Jade. On book one she is fairly small, so they could easily fit next to her if that fits the story
I was wondering if you would consider a shot from outside the station, since it has a pretty imposing façade?
The thing I’ve learned working with many different artists over the past several years is that you should pretty much always trust their instincts. So when Felix sent me an exterior shot of Grand Central Station, I knew immediately that his idea was better than my original concept. Plus, the exterior façade has a similarly shaped archway to the Washington Square Park archway featured in the first cover, so it would give the covers a congruent look while still feeling different.
With an agreed-upon concept, Felix sent the initial layout, along with some additional ideas:
Try to imagine that there will be coins/magic items flying. I thought maybe because this one is “Guild of Magic,” it could have rings, wands, books, etc. sprinkled with the coins from book 1. Nothing fancy, just to give some variety and match the title more.
The only character I want to keep where she is is the MC. The rest can be moved around if you think it would match the story better, or I might try other positions.
I love the layout but wanted to swap the placement of some of the characters, given their relative importance in the plot of the book. In the next pass, Felix moved the characters around and added his suggested color scheme:
At this stage, we looped in Shawn to give his feedback. I suggested some revisions to the characters’ appearance and clothing, which is where the other artwork I had commissioned came in handy:
To cap off the illustration, we went through several iterations of the magical items floating across the bottom of the cover, before arriving at the final spread:
Then it was Shawn’s turn to work his design magic:
About the Author
Jon Auerbach’s love of fantasy began at the tender age of six, when his parents bought him the classic 1977 animated version of The Hobbit.
Jon hopes to pass on his stories to the next generation, including his kids, who have their own copy of The Hobbit that they lovingly call “the Bilbo book.”
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