Yes, We Have A New Image…

Posted: January 11th, 2014 under artwork, Website Update.
Tags: ,

There’s a new image up on the Character Gallery:  Aliam Halveric in late middle age.    Hescox has captured the tough, seasoned commander and the man who can (when appropriate) laugh at himself.    I’m very happy with it.


  • Comment by John McDonald — January 11, 2014 @ 5:03 pm


    I can imagine that half smile on his face as he is trying to explain the Mercenary Code and the meaning of parole to a young, confused Paks.

  • Comment by Linda — January 11, 2014 @ 5:51 pm


    I like it too … its a face I can imagine showing a whole range of emotions, and it feels like a person Estil and their children and grandchildren can love and his troops trust and follow.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 11, 2014 @ 8:35 pm


    I was gleeful when I saw the first sketch–exactly what I was hoping for. So glad to know it works for others (including my close friend & alpha reader who was so supportive when I was first writing about Paks.)

    Now for a slight challenge to the group: I’m not sure which character to ask him to do next. I’m sure you all have an idea which minor-to-secondary character you’d like to see illustrated. No promises, no votes–but you may think of someone I haven’t, someone I can describe clearly enough for the artist to draw.

    I have thought, of course, of all the secondaries who haven’t made it onto a cover. Mikeli and Torfinn, both kings. Camwyn the prince. Elis or Ganlin, the very different (as it turns out) princesses. The Seneschal of the royal ossuary. The Marshal-General. Farin the cook at Verrakai estate. Dattur the gnome. Any or all of Dorrin’s squires. Arcolin’s adopted son Jamis. The Count of Andressat. Aesil M’dierra. Kolya Ministiera. And more…too many to make a decision easy.

  • Comment by John McDonald — January 11, 2014 @ 8:44 pm


    I’d vote for Master Oakhollow. The influence he had on Pak and what he taught her merit a good likeness.

  • Comment by Kerry aka Trouble — January 11, 2014 @ 9:15 pm


    I would like to see Count Andressat after he has read the scroll and realizes just how noble his family isn’t.

    Master Oakhollow would also be good as John said.

  • Comment by Nadine Barter Bowlus — January 11, 2014 @ 10:11 pm


    Another vote for Master Oakhollow, and nominating Gird’s daughter, Rahel (sp?) as a Marshall.

  • Comment by Iphinome — January 12, 2014 @ 12:08 am



  • Comment by Richard — January 12, 2014 @ 3:36 am


    Dragon’s human guise – though perhaps that should wait for a color image.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — January 12, 2014 @ 6:45 am


    Well, there is always the minor character that started the whole story–Paks father Dorthan. Without his pushing the marriage Paks wouldn’t have left home when she did. Both the opening and closing images of the original books leave quite an impression on me.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 12, 2014 @ 9:36 am


    Daniel: Dorthan’s not clear enough in my mind to give artist a good description. He appeared only that once and hasn’t asked for his side of story to be told. I probably (not certainly) will limit the choices to those who appear onstage in both the DEED and the new group.

    Richard: Dragon’s human version definitely needs to wait awhile and might do better in animation (when they make a movie…that I hope to live to see…maybe…)

    Iphinome: Yes, Kolya would be a good one, I agree. She’s influential, but a background character, in both old and new groups. I want to show characters who may range from “just under protagonist” down to people who, though they appear rarely, definitely affect the major characters and their fates. Kolya qualifies.

    Stammel’s another, though he does appear on a cover. Perhaps much later.

    All: I’m developing a short list and then the artist and I will discuss what he feels he can do best with.

  • Comment by Linda — January 12, 2014 @ 11:39 am


    The Marshall General … or Oakhollow … or Kolya … Gwen Marraki or another of the paladins … the big red horse ? And I am curious about the elves too.

    And thank you again for creating these great women characters who have goals in their lives other than marriage!

  • Comment by mette — January 12, 2014 @ 2:05 pm


    Kolya or oakhollow. Those are two of my absolute favorites. Seems I have a soft spot for kuakgan. 😉

    I like getting the chance to see how you see your characters. It’s great to see how they ‘present themselves’ to you.

  • Comment by Genko — January 12, 2014 @ 3:50 pm


    I also like Kolya, but also the Marshal General. Oakhollow I find I have a sense of how his voice sounds (that long, musical hmmmmm….), deep and sonorous. How he looks is secondary, though the image of a tree certainly comes up in various ways. I don’t see him as an oak, though, more like an evergreen, straight and tall. Maybe that’s just because we have so many of those here in the Pacific Northwest, and that’s kind of tree-ness to me.

  • Comment by Jeff Jaje — January 12, 2014 @ 4:59 pm


    Many years ago, friends and I were sitting around a table, enjoying some food and were discussing the Deed, which everyone had read and enjoyed.

    The conversation turned into who would play whom if a movie were ever made. It was quite comical that while we could agree on certain actors for some characters, the gap was quite large where Master Oakhollow was concerned. One person thought a wizened Alec Guinness, ala Ben Kenobi, would be perfect, while yet another said essentially the opposite, James Earl Jones.

    I picture Master Oakhollow having a rich deep voice like James Earl Jones. It would be curious to see what your artist comes up with with your input. Hopefully humming the bees away.

    I’d also really like to see Sgt. Stammel.

  • Comment by GinnyW — January 12, 2014 @ 5:42 pm


    This picture of Aliam Halveric is terrific!

    For future pictures, Sgt. Stammel was my first choice, and Kolya was my second. Although I would like to see Master Oakhallow, I agree with Jeff (#14) that he would be hard to depict in a way we could all agree on. When Paks first meets him, he has both a commanding presence and the ability to blend invisibly into the background. That might be difficult to capture in a single picture.

    Kerry’s idea about Count Andressat appeals to me as well. I would like to have been peering through the window as he reads the scroll.

    I would also like to see Natzlin.

  • Comment by Kathleen — January 12, 2014 @ 5:47 pm


    Master Oakhollow for me too. I’ve always seen him as a bear of a man especially since I learned of the link to the particular tree. The oak is a might tree. But gentle, very gentle. So a super kindly face that would make a little kid run up for a hug.

  • Comment by Iphinome — January 12, 2014 @ 7:20 pm


    @Jeff Jaje am I the only person who imagines Oakhallow being played by Brian Blessed?

  • Comment by pjm — January 12, 2014 @ 10:41 pm


    I like Aliam’s picture, too. Is it time to do one of the women, perhaps the Marshal-general? Or Dorrin, Kolya, Paks,.. Does it make a difference if the character has been on a book cover?

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 12, 2014 @ 11:28 pm


    All: I prefer not to use one of the characters who’s been on a cover in the first group of images. Between the two English-language publishers, that means Kieri, Arian, Dorrin, Stammel, Paks (US and some UK) and the Marshal-General (UK) have all been on covers. I would be interested to see what Hescox does with, for instance, Dorrin, compared to the cover, but because I’m commissioning these drawings, any striking difference could be taken as a criticism of the cover artists or even my publisher’s decisions, which is not what I had in mind for this at all. What I had in mind was to bring some of the non-cover characters to life a little more.

    And yes, I want at least one woman in the first group. Kolya, I think, has the most resonance. With more fiction to come, some of the others will develop that–Rahel, Gird’s daughter, almost has it, but fewer people have read those two books, I think. Others from that group–Seri, the Rosemage, Dorhaniya and her faithful maid. Someday we may need a picture of Haran, the Marshal who verbally attacked Paks and later instigates the civil war. I’d like to see Farin Cook, and Granna Surn, the Mahieran girls, the girl in Fin Panir who made light so her parents could see to weave, Pia who runs the inn where Arvid and his son stay. And of course Pearwind losing control of her sap in the first spring of being a Kuakgan, but that would have to be a video somehow. Way out of my price range!
    To me they’re all quite individual, different shapes of faces and noses and ears and eyebrows, different ranges of expression.

    Another general question: how much do you hate scrolling down a page to something new? That will determine now many images are on one page. Personally, the only thing I mind scrolling past is quotes in a discussion (you know, on discussion boards and such where some people never clip what they’re quoting, so you have the entire conversation to wade through before you get to the “What he says.” Everyone forgets sometimes, but some people just never bother.) ANYWAY….4 images? 6? more?

  • Comment by GinnyW — January 13, 2014 @ 8:49 am


    I do not particularly like scrolling through alot of things to get to the item of interest, but I do it. If the number of images becomes large (more than 10 or 12), they could be grouped by association with intermediate links.

    I was hesitant to ask, but is it possible to have groups of characters? It might be interesting to have Mikeli, Camwyn, and perhaps Beclan or Sonder Mahieran in a single picture that would bring out some of the family resemblance but also some of the contrasts in character.

    Kolya interests me as being a middle-aged female character that appears very regularly. I picture her as having some of the same strength of character as Gird or Raheli, although not the historical moment that made them so significant. Deep down I feel that the lost arm gives her a similar quality of transforming pain and deep loss to constructive community leadership.

  • Comment by Tuppenny — January 13, 2014 @ 9:57 am


    I’ve always heard Master Oakhallow as Paul Robeson

  • Comment by Roberta — January 14, 2014 @ 2:53 am


    Um, not meant as a criticism, but did anyone else besides me notice that Hescox draws his characters with the head tilted slightly down and the eyes looking up?

    If we are doing characters why do all the good guys? What about Korryn? Barrayani? Sinavia?

    But of the good guys what about Bosk? Siger? Canna and Saben?

  • Comment by Richard — January 14, 2014 @ 6:52 am


    I haven’t played the dream casting game for characters – my only reference that way is J. R. Ewing, as portrayed by Larry Hagman in the 1980s, for Honeycat Siniava.

  • Comment by GinnyW — January 14, 2014 @ 8:27 am


    Aris Marrakai would be fun to see, and based on the first two pictures, I can imagine Hescox bringing out the scamp quite well.

    Now that I am thinking on it, this is another case where perhaps a family portrait might be fun.

  • Comment by Wickersham's Conscience — January 14, 2014 @ 11:48 am


    A Marrakai family portrait! Stiffly posed, with Aris being a scamp.

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 14, 2014 @ 12:07 pm


    Wickersham’s Conscience: Marrakai family members stiffly posed? Ha! They’re too exuberant. And active. Right now the age range is such that it’s rare to get more than three in the same place at the same time. Dinner, maybe. The Mahierans, on the other hand…they could do the “stand for a portrait by the royal painter” quite well. So could the Verrakai, before their great fall from grace. The Serrostins would just look vaguely intelligent and stolid (they have a tendency to stoutness in middle age.) The Elorrans, a family in decline and troubled with mental illness (or something) would be a tragic painting. Arcolin’s family, if it grows as I hope it does, would be much like one of the wealthier merchant families.

    The Marrakai family, now known among horse people for the quality of the horses they breed, also has extensive flocks and generations back was known more for the wool quality and the quality of the weaving they produced…or, their weavers produced. They were, after all, a noble family with large holdings, but as they lost their magery early, they sought out those with a parrion for spinning or weaving and set up villages with that specialty.

    GinnyW: Aris and Camwyn together, if it could be done…the two scamps, one of them an incipient mage. Or Aris with (but that’s in CROWN. Shut UP author, no spoilers in this thread.)

    Roberta: Yes, in Arvid, because that’s a good way to show the slyness; I liked that choice of pose. I don’t see it that way in Aliam’s case: he’s looking straight ahead.

  • Comment by mette — January 14, 2014 @ 3:40 pm


    Uh! Bosk! I would love to see how you see bosk. Or maybe not… He’s actually very clear in my mind, and somehow I don’t think that if actually looks likeyou describe him in the books? I seem to remember him being described with a moustache, but I see him as clean shaven.

    Its actually weird how a character can look completely different in my mind, compared to how he / she is described in books. I often see them completely different.

  • Comment by mette — January 14, 2014 @ 3:42 pm


    Maybe its just got something to do with of being incapable of following a recipe, whether its for food, sewing or character visualizations…

  • Comment by Eir de Scania — January 14, 2014 @ 4:42 pm


    What about the covers, do the persons portrated there look reasonably like you imagine them? I know authors sometimes ar a wee tad disapointed, fo pu a fine point to it

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 14, 2014 @ 5:48 pm


    mette: I have a problem with directions in books. Not in real life. But in reading and sometimes writing, if a character says (or the author writes) “The third door on the right was the bathroom” I will “see” the third door on the left much of the time. It doesn’t usually affect the story, since I’ll just reverse everything, but in English country house mysteries with little maps…I often find I’ve imagined that Lady Elaine is in the bedroom the map labels as Mr. Montgomery’s, on the opposite side of the house. So I understand how your independent mind works…and I don’t mind if readers make up their own descriptions of many characters, especially the secondary and minor ones. Descriptions of main characters will usually tie their personality to their own perception of their attractiveness, so if you imagine the person said to be a stunning beauty as ugly, then when she acts like a stunning beauty, it will be either funny or unbelievable. (And, like you, I’m not very good at following recipes…I mean, I *can*, but if I understand what the various components are supposed to accomplish, why not play around? I almost never make a dish the same way twice. Well, OK, I fry eggs pretty much the same way…)

  • Comment by Mette — January 15, 2014 @ 5:34 am


    Oh yes! I do teh exact same thing with right and left. It used to be a problem when I did roleplaying, but now I jsut reverse everything. Luckily, it’s only when reading fiction I do it, not when reading maps or directions on how to get from place a to place b.

    I often find that being able to work around recipes is a good skill to have, when you’re cooking something important and realize you’ve run out of / forgotten to but a key-ingredient.
    Which, unfortunately, I do a lot.

    Anyway, I cannot recall any time I imagined a main character as the opposite of how that person was described (beautiful vs. ugly) but I remember I got a shock when I found out that Peter Jackson had cast Sean Bean as Boromir, because in my mind he had brown hair. Then again in my mind he was the most sympathetic of the characters, and I cried my heart out when he died, so maybe I just didn’t read the books that carefully…

  • Comment by Mette — January 15, 2014 @ 5:35 am


    sorry for the typos – my keyboard needs to be cleaned it seems.

  • Comment by Elentarien — January 15, 2014 @ 1:30 pm


    I agree with some of the posters here. Would love to see a picture of the dragon’s human aspect. . .as well as Paks herself. 😉

    That picture of Aliam is cool. Not exactly what I pictured. . .but it works! Then again, when is anyone’s ‘vision’ of a face ever exactly what it is? Even people you email and talk to (or, previously, penpal with), you end up with a mental image that never matches their actual appearance when they send you a picture.

    The picture of Arvid, though. . .kinda scares me. He looks. . .creepy. Not even master-thiefy. Just, mad-magey, if anything. lol

    The quality of these sketches, though, is amazing.

  • Comment by Chuck Gatlin — January 16, 2014 @ 3:57 pm


    I vote for Kolya or Master Oakhollow, with Barrayani at the top of the bad guys list.

  • Comment by Jenn — January 17, 2014 @ 2:02 pm


    These pictures are great!

    I am quite content to continue to scroll but then I will go back in your “background catagory” and read entries from ’09.

    Also the Verrakai children would like a group portrait. I think their cameo in book 4 went to their heads.

  • Comment by Jim Marriner — January 21, 2014 @ 2:47 am


    Ok first off— Movie. This needs to happen. Crowd source/kickstarter maybe? As to the cast, i have given it probably to much thought but…..
    Paks-New but promising actress, would have said Jennifer Lawrence but she has recieved a lot of attention, I dont want to be seen as a bandwagoner and I would hate to see her type cast
    Mater Oakhollow-Morgan Freeman (powerful actor is needed for this powerful character)
    Saben-Chris Pine
    Kerri-Sean Bean (he might actually make it through a story arc finally without being killed)
    Stammel-Russel Crow (Sword knowledge)
    Sigar-Mandy Patankin (age and Sword knowledge
    Canna- Kate Beckinsale (Sword knowledge)
    Arvid- Colin O’Donoghue (sword knowledge and looks a lot like the drawing)
    Barranyi-I dont know who to put here but I Picture a young Lucy lawless)
    The Lady- Tilda Swinton.

    There are others of course but I dont think anyone wants to read a full cast list

  • Comment by elizabeth — January 22, 2014 @ 12:27 am


    Jim Marriner: I’m not terribly good at casting stories, since I don’t see many movies and have the face blindness thing going on, but…the perfect Kieri would have been Kenneth Branagh as he was in Much Ado About Nothing and in Henry V. He’s too old now, drat it. Sean Bean might pull it off too. Or Viggo. Bernard Hill (Theoden in LOTR) would make a good Aliam. Paks: needs to not be too pretty or too skinny. Oakhallow: the older Kuakkgani are all quite tall (if you become one as a short person, you continue to grow–it’s part of the magic involved, though the growth slows down as you near a height the human heart wants to pump blood through.) Should be fairly tall, needs a strong bone structure, dark eyes (hair can always be colored or wigged), baritone voice or bass, and yes, good actor. Most of the actors you mention I don’t know at all, so can’t comment on. Except, when it was on, I enjoyed Lucy Lawless as Xena, and she always seemed much more good-natured than Barranyi. Yes, she fought hard and could be mean, but bitter/sulky/I’m-th-victim-here didn’t seem to fit the way her face went together. We need a sulky person for Barra. Meanwhile, I need an address to mail something to you.

  • Comment by Jim Marriner — January 22, 2014 @ 10:16 pm


    My Lady,
    Address as follows:
    Jim Marriner
    HHC 1-227th AVN
    TF Attack
    Camp Marmal
    APO AE 09368

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