Kinkade DeJoseph, a teacher at Bordewich Bray Elementary School, discusses the cover design of Carson High School senior Edwin Iza during a presentation in teacher Patricia Ababio’s graphic design class at Carson High School.
DeJoseph will soon publish the second book in his six-part fantasy novel series, “The Raven and the Crow: The Gray Throne,” under his pseudonym Michael K. Falciani following the release of his first book last June. The post re-incorporates artwork done by the students of Carson High School graphic design teacher Patricia Ababio after the initial partnership for her debut effort was successful.
“This one continues where the last one left off,” DeJoseph said of the new story. “It takes time for these things to release. I finished it last April and I’m working on a third book.
Its first story, “The Raven and the Crow: Dark Storm Rising”, featured the vigilante brothers Kildare and Zedaine who encounter Chameleon, a woman from the tribe who demonstrates psychic abilities and holds a riddle that can change the fate of the world. Meanwhile, Macklore, a wizard from Brisbane, is sent to the town of Gallanse and ends up being sentenced to death. Macklore must use her wits to survive and fight to stop the demented ruler Dragomir from ascending to the throne.
The two storylines, DeJoseph said, continue and merge in “The Gray Throne.”
The process has been a creative reprieve from teaching, but to give himself a break from the show, DeJoseph began work on an unrelated story last summer, “The Dwarves of Rahm: Omens of War,” which he describes as a “dwarf steampunk universe” aimed at giving his characters a more human quality. The book is slated for release this fall, and it has another novella coming out in late February, he said.
“My editor is very excited about each one of them,” he said.
But for his original “Raven and the Crow” series, DeJoseph was able to handle the project a bit more on his own and had just as much trouble determining his cover winner. DeJoseph spent time zooming in with Ababio students and in class to determine the concept for the cover. Although he could only choose one winner with a substitute, he said that in the end none of the students really “won” or “lose” in designing the final performance, because all of their ideas came to fruition and were reflected in a collaborative effort.
“I’m excited, and again, it was great working with the high school kids,” he said. “Ms. Ababio was fantastic. She is wonderful, really professional and a pleasure to work with.
For his winning design on “The Gray Throne,” 17-year-old Carson High senior Edwin Iza was awarded a contract with Three Ravens Publishing Co. for DeJoseph’s new installment while senior Morigan Ruffner’s design was selected as finalist for further use if needed.
Iza explained that it was not easy to create the right look at first, applying her Photoshop skills.
“Trying to do a book cover with everything he wanted was a bit difficult because I was initially taking a book and making it look real,” Iza said. “My favorite part about it on that book cover was seeing the image slowly come together like a puzzle. … When I was chosen I was surprised because some of my peers had great illustrations that would have could have won, but it all came down to how Mr. DeJoseph wanted the book cover to look.
Ruffner, who enjoys drawing as a hobby and devotes her free time to sculpting in the school’s pottery studio, said she enjoys more the intricate details of the task at hand, incorporating her skills in typography and the color studies she had learned in Ababio’s classes.
“He had several suggestions and requests for what he wanted for the cover initially, as well as an additional round of more personalized suggestions after our first designs were sent out,” Ruffner said. “My favorite part was probably working with the lighting in my room. I really like working with complex lighting scenarios.
While Ababio’s class styles were creative, varying in artistic choices from anime to comics, ultimately DeJoseph said he and his editor knew they should demand something a little more realistic. . They selected the final artwork with a secondary in case of future re-releases, he said.
“This time the quality was better,” he said. “(The students had an example) of what we were looking for…and (the samples) were just beautiful. … I was so impressed. It was a fun and heartbreaking process. I hope they will continue to do this. There is definitely a field for that.
DeJoseph’s editor, who also teaches at Dayton Intermediate School in the nearby Lyon County School District, has used his books in his classroom but has also worked in New York.
“She said, ‘I want these kids to see, just because you’re from a tiny little place in Nevada doesn’t mean somebody there can’t direct a movie or write a book'” , did he declare.
The new book will be available on February 18 on Kindle, in print and in Audible on Amazon. “The Raven and the Crow: Dark Storm Rising” also remains available.