Michael Whelan Doing the Cover Art for The Last King of Osten Ard
I don’t really spend a lot of time thinking about book covers. I’m usually more interested in what’s in a book than what’s on a book.
But the name Michael Whelan has been familiar for some time, although not quite as long as his beautiful painting style, especially his covers for Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.
So when I was packing for the World Fantasy Convention, knowing that Michael Whelan was going to be there, I threw To Green Angel Tower part 1 into my bag – my shabby dog-eared copy that nonetheless is so dear to me because of what Tad’s written in it.
One of the things we had been talking about on the Tad Williams message board was how much we’d love for Whelan to do the covers for The Last King. So that was the thing we really wanted to ask him when we got the chance to have him sign some things for us.
And we would have, if the guy in front of us hadn’t already asked that very question. Unlike us, that guy took the news pretty calmly, though. There may have been loud cheering and high-fiving and jumping up and down among us Smarchers.
And then, to make things even better, we found out that nobody actually knew yet, and he had just decided to do it. And guess who got to tell Tad? Us Smarchers. It’s pretty nice to be able to just call your favourite author on the phone.
And it seems that bringing the book that’s signed “to Eva, who won’t tell” was pretty fitting, because of course we couldn’t post the news before an official announcement. (We may have bragged a little about being among the first to know about The Last King, and Whelan may have said, “so that’s why it says, who won’t tell?” and I may be unable to believe all this has really happened to me. I appear to have a knack for being in the right place at the right time to hear awesome things and not be permitted to talk about it.)
(We may also, after talking to Betsy Wollheim, have an idea of what the cover is supposed to look like, but that’s another thing I won’t talk about publicly unless given permission.)