Today I’m extra excited to help in revealing the cover for Krystle Matar’s upcoming Victorian Crime Drama/Epic Military Fantasy debut novel, Legacy of the Brightwash, the first installment in her Tainted Dominion series! Over the past few years I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing this story come to fruition, and I can’t believe it’s finally ready to make its way into readers’ hands. Trust me when I say Krystle has poured her heart and soul into this beautiful book baby of hers, and it’s an absolute honor to be taking part in the process of sharing it with the world.
In addition to showing off this stunning cover spread, the artist, Brad Bergman (yep, that last name sounds familiar), stops by to chat a bit about the process of putting this thing together, concept to completion. So, keep scrolling to see the cover in all its glory, learn more about the book, and get a behind the scenes peek on the makings of a cover!
Not long now! Legacy of the Brightwash is scheduled to be released February 18, 2021!
Without further ado, may I present
Legacy of the Brightwash
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Take a look at this beauty!
Well, what do you think?!
Follow the law and you’ll stay safe. But what if the law is wrong?
Tashué’s faith in the law is beginning to crack.
Three years ago, he stood by when the Authority condemned Jason to the brutality of the Rift for non-compliance. When Tashué’s son refused to register as tainted, the laws had to be upheld. He’d never doubted his job as a Regulation Officer before, but three years of watching your son wither away can break down even the strongest convictions.
Then a dead girl washed up on the bank of the Brightwash, tattooed and mutilated. Where had she come from? Who would tattoo a child? Was it the same person who killed her?
Why was he the only one who cared?
Will Tashué be able to stand against everything he thought he believed in to get the answers he’s looking for?
Cover Art and Design by
Brad Bergman (https://www.bbdsn.com)
Krystle Matar has been writing for a long time, but things got serious when Tashué Blackwood walked into her life, an amber-eyed whirlwind.
When she isn’t arguing with him or any of his friends, she parents and farms. She has a lot of children and even more animals and one very excellent husband.
She is currently working on lots of stories set in the Dominion. She expects to exist in this universe for a while.
A Peek Behind the Scenes
by Brad Bergman
I was really excited when Krystle contacted me with an opportunity to work together on another project, this time for her debut novel, Legacy of the Brightwash. After our initial discussion of the brief and basics, she sent over an excerpt from her masterpiece, along with lots (and I mean lots) of reference images illustrating how she envisioned the world she created. Detail is key, but we’ll get into that a bit later.
Krystle made it very easy for me to unleash my creativity, and while there were a few concepts I sent her way, this is the one that struck us both equally. Don’t mind the rough initial sketch, I swear it gets better 😉
During our Discord meeting where the sketches were presented to discuss initial feedback, Krystle went completely silent. I couldn’t tell if she was rethinking her choice on an artist or if she liked the concepts. Needless to say, she loved them. We worked in some more detail to help further the chosen concept. She explained what was working well and what wasn’t so much, to the finer details of the scenes she’s written.
Hair or no hair, that is the question. Oh, and there’s that word detail again. Let’s just say there’s some fun foreshadowing going on…sorry, no spoilers here. You’re just going to have to buy the book to find out!
One of the aspects Krystle was absolutely clear about was the world setting being Industrial Revolution/Victorian style. The key to capturing this era is definitely in the typographical aesthetics. As you can see, the typography was thought about during the initial concepts, but it wasn’t until the second round of sketches where it began to get fleshed out, accentuating and breathing life into the page.
I’ve always loved working with typography along with my illustrations. And with a special fondness of Victorian/traditional typography, this particular piece was really fun to develop.
Bringing it to Life
Now here is where the magic happens. The toughest hurdle I faced was “how do I progress the artwork from crime mystery to fantasy?” There were a couple tricks I implemented to make this happen. The inclusion of some glows around the NTRA emblem as it’s not your typical monogram letterhead, as well as alternate color palettes, to name a few. Can you believe this cover started off as a dialed back washed green? Think Frankenstein…of course that didn’t work, so it was back to the drawing board.
I feel we nailed the color palette for this setting, as well as the tone of story being told. There is nothing like the feeling of seeing your rough, conceptual sketches start to take form, preparing it for the world to see. It has been an honor to take part in the creation of such a spectacular novel. I can’t wait for you guys to read it!
I am Brad Bergman, a multi-talented Digital Artist and Art Director with 15 years of experience, specializing in branding, logo design, graphic/layout design (both print and UI), illustration, animation, 3D modeling and more. I’ve been quite fortunate to have created spectacular promotional art for clients from a broad spectrum of industries. I pride myself in the quality that I distribute to every customer and always make sure they walk away captivated by the final product. I tend to jump the limits of my capabilities and am always learning new and unique ways to solve any and all creative problems.