In just a week or two, Book V, “The Temple of the Exploding Head” will be out and that will do it for the “Temple Trilogy”

It’s been a grind and the end result barely resembles the original draft I finished back in 2009. As with anything, the story morphed, went off in unexpected directions and changed before my eyes and quite beyond my control. What began as a small coming of age story, became a complex treatment on what it means to be a hero and all the responsibility that comes with it. I changed characters, amputated body parts (literally) and fussed with the villains without pause for nearly three years Now that the final piece of this puzzle is ready to hit the shelves, I can finally says it’s done.

LoE Second Series kicks off with the "Sands of the Solar Empire" in April (promo piece in production by Fantasio)

But now that we can move on from the Temple, we explore further waters of the LoE Universe with the League of Elder Second Series starting with “The Sands of the Solar Empire” in April. Same world, just a different batch of characters. The “Sands” is a very different story, much simpler and more swashbuckling than the Temple. Also, Lord Stenstrom of Belmont, the main character, doesn’t have some of the advantages the House of Blanchefort does, he has to get by on his wits and his skills. The surrounding cast is also rather odd: Private Taara, a vagrant and petty thief from Bazz, Lord A-Ram, a meek, timid fellow who can barely see, and we also return to Captain Davage’s old ship, the Seeker–much older and ready to be scrapped. The ship also appears to be haunted, squealing and groaning, which makes for great fun.

Book V, The Temple of the Exploding Head will be out by the end of January, 2012

copyright 2012, Ren Garcia

Nixies and Book 1 Giveaway

January 11, 2012

As production for Book V, the conclusion of the Temple of the Exploding Head trilogy comes to an end and we move on to the League of Elder Second Series, I’m in the mood for giving.

I love giving.

Carol Phillips has the cover lettered, James Barnes, the driving force at Loconeal, just about has the PDF ready (“Stop using TAB, Ren! Everywhere I look, TAB, TAB, TAB!) So, the curtain is about to fall on the Temple Trilogy. The LoE Second Series is just around the Corner.

With that in mind, it’s time for a giveway.

A “Nixie” is an artistic change that appears on a cover of a book or magazine that is inconsistent with the continuity of the story. Other people might use different names for them, but I use Nixie. You see them a lot on comic book covers–you know, where the villian looks different on the cover than he or she does in the body of the story–usually much more bulked-up, possibly wearing a different costume. They’re there to make the composition of the cover more interesting to the eye regardless if they’re accurate to the story itself or not.

And, we’re no different. We do Nixies when needed. Do `em all the time.

Book I Cover with Nixies

Take a look at the cover for Book I. There are two obvious Nixies on the cover–we put them there because we thought they were cool and made for an interesting composition, never mind the fact that the story doesn’t quite work out that way.

So, to the first two people who can correctly guess one or both Nixies on the cover to Book I, I’ll mail them out a signed hardback copy of Book I along with a few cool extras.

Good Luck

Bowl Naked


copyright 2012, Ren Garcia

TOTEH Artists: Eve Ventrue

January 6, 2012

Eve Ventrue

About two years ago, I received word of a young, budding talent in the art world and that I should attempt to secure her services if at all possible.

“She’s great!” the person said.

The name of the young artist in question is Eve Ventrue.

It seems like a long time ago that I first went into her website and marvelled at the gallery of amazing portraits on display. I sent her an email, and I wondered if she would reply–artists often-times don’t. But the next day I had an email sitting in my box written in halting English from Eve.

Since then Eve has been a steady force in the LoE universe, contributing many pics and has been instrumental in defining the look of several characters I’ve dreamed up. I still remember her as a shy young lady lacking only in confidence. Being a German, her English also wasn’t the best and I sometimes had to guess at what she was saying, but, since then Eve has become not only a trusted artist that I can rely on for creating stunning pieces of art, but a dear friend. I’ve watched her grow not only as an artist, but as a person as well (and her English has improved too).

I recently asked Eve a few questions about art and the artistic process.

What is your greatest influence? What artist(s) do you admire most??:

Eve: I admire lots of artists and I like modern digital art as well as the good old Classicism and traditional painters – therfore I would mention William Adolphe Bouguerau, Zdzisław Beksiński, Luis Royo and Kekai Kotaki.

Eve helped define the look of Kay, the Main Character in TOTEH

Eve has a great interest in gaming and gaming artwork–her gallery of portraits had “The Gaming Look” to them. I was hoping to tap into that energy. Eve’s amazing vision helped create the look of several LoE characters, most notably Kay, the main character of the Temple Trilogy. I described him to her as being “Handsome like his father and Beautiful like his mother.” Eve brought him to life as a handsome young man tinged with a beautiful fragility, like a flower.

How many hours a week do you devote to creating digital art?

Eve: Phew, this is difficult. As much as I can, which means about 40 hrs!

What obstacles do you frequently encounter and how do you overcome them?

Eve: The greatest obstacle is me and my self doubts and being short of time. Solving these problems is difficult, but I’ve learned to proceed no matter what, there is no other option, I guess.

This painting of Hannah-Ben Shurlamp is one of my favorite Eve works

There was always a note of shyness with Eve, a hint of tentativeness. I wanted to help bring her out of her shell by giving her challenging pieces of art to work on and allowing her the freedom to use her creativity in any way she chose. Soon there was a new Eve, a bold Eve painting with a madness to match my own.

In your daily life, where do you see inspiration??

Eve: Everywhere. It can be a tree, a rainy day, faces, a film, computer games or photos. Also music is a great inspiration for me!

Eve is a person on the move. She has written a fantasy book entitled The Venatore Legend that I hope she’ll let me translate into English for her some day.

Her amazing artwork was recently given top billing at Fantasy

Behind all the smoke and paint is a beautiful young woman of boundless talent

A Danish design studio has contracted Eve to do their artwork. Awesome, Eve–that’s my girl!!

To see more of Eve’s amazing artwork visit her website at:

And finally, the most important question of all:

If you were to describe Ren Garcia in one word, what would it be???

Eve: Lovely.

copyright 2012, Ren Garcia and Eve Ventrue