Hello from South Carolina!

Hello, all!

I'm still figuring out how to navigate around the site, and I'm not sure where the best locations are, to talk about subjects. If this wasn't the best place to stick this post, I appologize.

I am a Christian fiction writer. I co-authored two books with my mom, Susan Page Davis, who is well known in the inspirational fiction genre. I have a new kids' chapter book series coming out shortly with a semi-fantasy setting (ancient/biblical times). It takes place in the real world around 930BC in a fictional nation on islands in the North Atlantic. It's a pre-Celtic sort of a society, augmented with some anachronistic features including weaponry and technology more appropriate to medieval times.

While these books are strictly chapter books, I'm interested in having it adapted to the graphic novel format. If so, I'll need to get paired up with a great artist. I want someone who has a real heart for the Lord Jesus, because that is important to me. If we do a colaboration, the style will want to be a fairly realistic art style (for instance, much like Prince Valiant, though a lower detail level would be acceptable if necessary). If you enjoy drawing North Atlantic seascapes, sailing ships, castles, armored warriors, horses, wild animals, rural scenery, mountains, forests, and teenage heroes in old-fashioned clothes, this is where we're at.

Here's an excerpt:


....Rakell mumbled something he didn't understand and touched his arm briefly in parting. Suddenly, she snapped her head upward and gazed intently overhead. Nylo craned his head and looked up the cliff as far as he could see, but the uneven crags, bushes, and ledges formed a complicated scene. Rakell grasped his arm tightly, trembling. "Dakon," she breathed.

"Dakon?" Nylo couldn't see anything or anyone above them, only the varied terrain of this section of cliff—the virtues of which he intended to utilize on his way up.

"Dakon," Rakell said under her breath, but intensely. Her nails dug into his forearm. He looked her square in the face, disturbed by the sharp fear he saw there.

"Is someone up there? Because I need to go. It's getting dark." Nylo turned and started to climb up onto the first ledge.

"Lo," Rakell shrieked. She grabbed his shirt, pulling him back with such force it amazed him. Catching his balance, he turned and looked into her eyes, which burned with an intensity he had never seen before, not even in Aunt Elynir. She grasped both his hands and uttered a dark string of words, punctuated frequently by the term "Dakon." She exhaled firmly, glancing purposefully up and down the beach. She released Nylo's hands and stood with a renewed energy, searching around like a hunter testing the wind.

The waves pounded against the sand, lapping at their feet. Nylo was flummoxed.
Time was running out, and she wasn't letting him go. He wondered if there really was something spooking her up above, or if it was only her imagination.

She gazed intently at the sky, tears streaming down her face, but not sobbing. She looked suddenly to the north and took off running in that direction.

"Wait!" Nylo ran after her, but she didn't slow. He thought it absurd that suddenly she could run. He caught up when she stopped at a seemingly sheer section of cliff. She looked upward and then, incredibly, began to climb the face of the rock.

"What are you doing, are you mad?" Nylo wanted to grab her and pull her down as she had done to him a minute earlier, but something in the back of his mind told him to wait and see what she would do. He watched breathlessly as she found toehold after handhold, her booted feet adhering to the slightest depressions in the stone.

"You can't possibly get up that way," Nylo said when she clung ten feet above the shore. "Come down!"

She looked down at him, her eyes flaming. She tossed her head with an upward gesture and kept climbing.

Nylo wanted to kick himself for letting her begin climbing in the first place, but now there was nothing to do but follow her. This couldn’t possibly end well. A grim picture of S'Gomi finding their dead bodies washing against the cliffs in the surf flashed through his mind. Gritting his teeth, Nylo sought the same handholds and footholds Rakell had used and followed her.

When he had made it fifty feet or so, and had still not caught up to her, he began to really doubt his sanity. She was twenty feet higher and climbing like a determined squirrel. Gone was the limp, shivering girl he had tended on the beach. Rakell was not from around here—how could she possibly know how to climb this particular cliff? Perhaps it was a skill she had learned elsewhere, but even an experienced climber could not scale a new wall with such confidence.

She looked down, evidently to make sure he was all right. The twilight deepened, and it became more and more difficult to see. Nylo concentrated on his climbing and was repeatedly surprised to find a new handhold every time he needed one.

The next time he looked up, Rakell could not be seen. He gritted his teeth and kept on until he reached a deep ledge, where she waited for him. She took his hand as he crawled over the edge and helped him stand. The ledge, a feature probably not evident to those above or below, gave them plenty of room to rest and catch their breath.

Rakell looked out to sea, then north and south, and up and down the cliff. She muttered something about Dakon, but her language was still a mystery. Nylo supposed they were more than a hundred feet up. After a moment, Rakell turned back to the cliff wall and started climbing again.

After another hundred feet of climbing, Nylo began to wonder if this path was not actually easier than the one he had used to get down. Never in his life had he known about it. Rakell clambered up the rock as if she knew the trail by heart.

After climbing for more than an hour, Rakell came to a stopping place where she waited. Darkness nearly covered them now. The sky was cloudy. The waves crashed below them. Nylo could barely see a thing.

He caught up with Rakell on a narrow ledge, and they rested, panting, for several minutes. He wondered how far from the top they were. The wind picked up, chilling him. He could only imagine that Rakell might be colder than he. She reached for his hand and squeezed it. Then, with a huff, she turned and started back up the cliff, feeling her way. He followed her, the dread in his heart nearly as dark as the cliff face itself. There was absolutely no way to go back down the way they had come.

Nylo's arm and leg muscles began to cramp. His fingertips became raw from gripping the rock and scant bushes that availed themselves for hand holds. Groping for a new grip, his hand smacked into the heel of Rakell's boot. Above the howl of the wind and the pounding of the surf, he heard her gasping.

"We must be near the top," he cried out. He shinnied his way up beside her and peered at her dark form in the scant light.

The girl hung desperately to the rock wall, convulsing and sobbing. Nylo's stomach turned. Whatever burst of energy had brought Rakell up the cliff seemed to have deserted her now. Clammy fear clenched his heart. He looked above, trying to discern how far from the top they were. He felt upward for cracks, depressions, or bushes. The wall above was smooth and sheer. It seemed to go on at least another twenty feet, though the exact distance was impossible to perceive.

"Lo," Rakell whimpered. "Lo, lo, lo." She clung desperately to a crack in the rock, but Nylo doubted she could hang on for long. To let go would be a sure and unavoidable drop to the abyss. No one could hold on forever.

He felt utterly without options. What hope could there be?

He looked about, seeing little but remembering the cliffs, the clouds, and the sea below. Such cold, unfeeling elements--he would receive no help from them. But what about the One who made it all? The Creator was said to help those in need, if they called on Him. Would He respond? Nylo had doubts, but there were no other options. He focused on the hazy idea of the Almighty One he kept in the back of his mind.

"Creator, save me!"

               A gust of wind chilled him through, but in that instant he felt a surge of strength. He heard no words, but felt a strong sensation of the idea, Let go. I will keep you.

Incredulously, Nylo loosened his grip on the crack he had been clinging to. His feet bore all his weight. The wind held him against the cliff, but he no longer felt chilled. His blood coursed through his body like hot soup—his hair stood on end as he felt every pulse beat throughout his frame.

Beside him, Rakell sobbed, but it was a sob of hope, not despair. Cautiously, Nylo slid his hand toward her. It came to rest on the stem of a small bush growing tenaciously out of a crevice. His fingertips just touched his thumb as they closed around it. He changed hands and reached for Rakell. He found her hand and guided it to the bush....

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  • Thanks for sharing your words and your ideas here.
    This is an ambitious project you are suggesting. Can you share some more details about what you are hoping to accomplish?
    What is your timeline and budget? How many comics/graphic novels are you imagining? Have you created comics before?
    • I'm sorry for the late reply. I've been working on editing the first novel and getting it ready for publishing, in chapter book form.
      Basically, I believe my story is a good adventure to make into a graphic novel. I like Hal Foster's Prince Valiant style, or something akin to that.
      I'm not sure yet what my budget would be--timeframe is very flexible, because, heh heh, until it happens, it won't happen. My budget may be higher than otherwise if I get an investor / patron interested, which I hope I may be able to do. Not necessarily for financial gain, but for getting the story out there.
      • Good to know. I only ask because the scope of the project is very large and would likely need a substantial budget just to get the art, coloring, and lettering in place. If you are planning to print copies that is another large cost.

        What comics have you created before?
        • I have never done comics before. :-)
          It would be nice to know what costs would be involved to pay / compensate an artist for their part of say, a 100 page GN? Obviously there are several ways to do it.... including but not limited to, 1. paying the artist a set amount per page or for the whole book... 2. Paying the artist royalties of a certain percentage off the sales or net sales of each book... 3. A combination of 1. and 2. , or 4. An artist or publishing company pays me for the rights, or pays me royalties, for the right to use my book to make their graphic novel..... (probably not the most likely scenario)
          • 100 pages is an ambitious start, especially if you have not done any comics before. Working with a full creative team (writer, line artist, color artist, letterer, editor) takes a lot of collaboration. Asking a team to commit to a 100 page project is a big ask. Page rates vary pretty wildly, but you are looking at $100-$125 for a full color page of artwork. Lettering will be another $10-$15 per page. Editorial rates (if you get one) are even more variable.

            Your scenarios are accurate and can give you some options for payment, but it is still going to be a big ask for an artist to receive backend pay on speculative sales from a brand new creator.

            You might be better off starting this project with a much smaller, 8-12 page teaser comic of a single chapter or overview of your novel. That will give you the experience of working with a comic creative team and you can see how it works.
            • Thanks, you're right, that is a really good idea! I may be able to break the story down into small installments, in fact, there's no real reason why not. I like it.
              We're wrapping up the editing on the first chapter novel. I have the second one written too, and partly edited. I intend for it to be a substantial series. It also may be that the first book might squeeze down to a smaller number of GN pages, in the 48-64 pages range. But the small installments is actually a good idea, and I think I could do that.
              The prices you give are no surprise to me, but in the neighborhood of what I expected.
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