I always feel weird when a creative cycle is wrapping up. And by “weird” I mean that I don’t really know how to feel. I feel a million things at once–doubt and fear and joy and pain. I doubt the book is any good. I’m afraid people will hate it. I’m elated it’s going to be in the world for people to read. I am sad that it doesn’t belong to me anymore–that it, instead, belongs to the world, which is also a good feeling, even though it’s sad.
It’s complicated, is what I’m saying.
After A Year Since the Rain was released, I felt lost. I hadn’t started writing anything new yet. Well, I had started a draft of The Smoke in His Eyes, but I wasn’t sure that it would go anywhere. But it did. And even though I have finished a rough draft of a third manuscript, I still feel a little lost as this creative cycle starts to wind down.
Regardless, today is a happy day! GenZ Publishing released the cover for The Smoke in His Eyes this morning while I was still sleeping. You can see their official announcement on the GenZ Facebook page, here. The cover (which you can see below) is beautiful. The graphic artist that put the cover together, Lauren, did an amazing job with the long and rambling notes that I sent her about what I thought might look good. Lauren is a young graphic artist who is immensely talented. I’m lucky to have gotten to work with her. See more of her work here.
So, without further ado, I present the cover for The Smoke in His Eyes:
When TJ—a musical prodigy—witnesses a traumatic event as a child, his senses are overrun with intense hallucinations. Over the years, his visions increase in frequency and intensity, but he hides them from those he is closest to, including his best friend and musical partner, Lila, who challenges TJ to reject formulaic creation in order to create something beautiful and unique. But when Lila signs a record deal, TJ feels left behind and alone with his art and his visions.
That’s when TJ meets an artist named Muna. In his eyes and visions, Muna is made of smoke, and as this magical woman helps him learn how to manage his visions and how to translate what he sees and hears into music and lyrics, she begins to disappear. His journey into Muna’s past is a journey to discover where inspiration originates and what happens to an artist when that inspiration is gone.
And since I like to give visitors to the blog a little something extra, here is the premiere of the teaser trailer for The Smoke in His Eyes. Do with it what you will.