As I am editing and rewriting my first published novel to turn it into a novel series of at least four books, I have been enjoying rounding up and editing old artwork to illustrate it. I have been taking advantage of the fact that you can, after a fashion, plug illustrations into the manuscript and have it come through as acceptably good in the final Amazon publication.
The story comes from adventure logs of a space-fantasy role-playing game called Traveller. I played the game with small handfuls of high school kids whose player characters are now the main characters of the story (after modifications and considerable censorship.
The illustrations, a lot of them, are drawings of the characters that I did in pen and ink back in the 1980’s.
We went through multiple generations of player characters, some of whom were practically immortal, and others that died horrible deaths after a few episodes.
Most of the acting in the RPG was done for humor’s sake, and so my Sci-Fi tale turns out to be more of comedy than anything else.
Rescuing the novel from the sorry state it was in from being an awkward first attempt at publishing done with a publisher that later had to be sued and put on trial for fraud has been an interesting and rewarding experience. These stories will never be among my best works, but they were definitely a learning experience. And rewriting them is a learning experience itself, living the story all over again with significant changes.
The places are the same, but as a satire, they had to be re-named in many instances as the planet’s names and their make-up were copied from other books and movies. But they were rewritten by the players themselves as everything was turned into comedy and farce. Hence, the planet Mongo ruled by Emperor Ming, became the planet Mingo ruled by Emperor Mong. These are obvious references that are re-named in ways that give us a laugh or a wince.
I doubt it is obvious by just looking at these drawings, but by reducing their size, the line drawings are improved to a high degree.
Illustrating AeroQuest has been fun. Maybe, at some point, it will even prove profitable. But ultimately, it is definitely a thing worth doing.