It was challenging to come up with a way to distribute two pretty Rowena covers and two generic Pocket covers across three books, but with a little artistic inspiration from some of my friends and readers, we managed to come up with a consistent look and release The War in Heaven, The World in Shadow, and The Wrath of Angels in ebook format. Few in the SF/F community will be familiar with them, since despite the religious roots of the genre and the religious aspects of many of its greatest classics, most editors and reviewers openly disdain anything that stinks of a non-secular perspective. That’s merely an observation, most certainly not a complaint, as all three books sold out their print runs, three in the case of The War in Heaven.
In fact, the one thing I learned from the experience was that the style of a book’s cover is much more important than reviews from the SF/F media. I mean, we all know it’s important for a cover to stand out and be attractive, but what I didn’t realize was how the look of the cover tended to dictate how it would be stocked in the bookstores and perceived by the potential readers. Whereas the first edition cover, which was an original painting by Rowena that she and I designed together, was an overtly fantastic image – the ebook’s cover to the left uses the painting with a different layout and typography – the second edition was an insipid attempt to imitate the striking black style of the Left Behind series. (Needless to say, this was done over my protests). It was also reclassified as “Speculative Fiction” rather than “Fantasy.” Not only did this result in the second edition being placed in the religious fiction section instead of the fantasy and science fiction section where it thematically and stylistically belonged, but it was outsold by the previous edition by a five-to-one margin. So much for the benefit of professional marketing by a big New York publishing house.
In light of this lesson, it didn’t take a genius to throw out the Pocket covers and go with the Rowena ones when the rights finally reverted and the option to release them in ebook format with a new publisher presented itself. So I’m happy to be able to announce that all three books are now available from Amazon in Kindle format and Barnes and Noble in EPUB. They are not conventional “religious fiction”, however, because while most such fiction involves the retelling of religious stories by way of analogy (Aslan as Christ figure, Gandalf as Christ figure, Gaal of Anthropos as Christ figure, Paul Muad’dib as Muhammed, etc.), the Eternal Warriors novels use a Christian perspective as a conceptual framework from which the story then unfolds. For example, The World in Shadow contemplates the idea of how demonic possession might relate to the unfolding of a Columbine-style situation, whereas The Wrath of Angels looks at global geopolitics as the plaything of demonic princes. But whether they are classified as Christian Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, or my personal favorite, Christian Horror, I hope readers, whatever their faith or creed might happen to be, will find them to be different and intriguing.