Well, the time has come to do the big reveal - the new Defender and Hunter book covers are finished and I couldn't be happier or more excited to show them to you. On the Momentum blog they said 'These Intrepid Covers are Hot':
"Today we have the pleasure of unveiling the covers for the first two books in Chris Allen‘s Intrepid series. Starring the dashing Intrepid agent Alex Morgan - policeman, soldier and spy – Defender will be released on November 1, followed closely by Hunter in December."
Hotter than hot, here's the new Defender cover.
Here's what Hunter will look like.
While I've got you, a reader asked the other day: What's the difference between Defender of the Faith and the newly edited Defender? Other than the cover redesign, of course. I thought it was good question, so here's what happened.
I worked with Momentum's publisher and team of talented editors on Defender over a period of months, and after an editorial report had been completed we did a structural edit (looking at overarching themes) followed by a line edit (examining the language, line by line). We are signing off on the final proofs today and tomorrow.
One of the first things we discussed was changing the name to Defender to make it punchier - Defender of the Faith was taken from a line in the book to describe the Intrepid agents, but some people thought it had a religious connotation. Rather than needing to explain it, and potentially lose people along the way, we took it back to basics. This also makes the next in the Intrepid series, Hunter, sit nicely alongside Defender.
One of the changes during the structural edit was to look at the characters in a fresh light. Particularly Alex Morgan and Arena Halls, or Ari, who have a pretty strong connection throughout the story. We felt that there could be more conflict and tension between them, and so I wrote that in. I also modified Arena's background and internationalized some other characters like Tom Rodgers, the arms training expert.
In the line edit, we went looking for ways to tighten the prose and making the descriptions of scenes punchier. I also reviewed a number of conversations between characters and made their exchanges as realistic as possible. This is all with the aim of making the reader's experience enjoyable and seamless as they navigate their way through the story.
And for all of you who requested steamier romance in the novel? Now that 50 Shades has done it's dash, I think it's safe to say I'm better off writing thrilling action scenes to get your hearts pounding.
I'll update you in coming weeks on some of the other changes we'll be making, too, on our journey towards the new website -- due to launch around the same time as Defender, at the start of November.
Ps. Here's a video we pulled together of highlights from the year so far - a new publisher, fresh vision, new books, a new baby, and it's only October! Watch it on YouTube here.