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  • RoAnna sylver

Chameleon Moon Relaunch Event: Cover Art Contest and Free Story Giveaway, All Through September!

COVER ART CONTEST: One $120 grand prize, four runners-up win $20 each

All winners get free copies of Books 1 and 2, plus at least 4 unreleased short stories!

SEPTEMBER FREE STORY EVENT: Everyone who does *something,* not just visual art, and not just a cover entry, gets a free, never-before-published CM Prequel short story!

One Grand Prize Winner Will Receive:

  1. $120! (It would help if you have Paypal or an equivalent thing so I can give you these monies.)

  2. Your art on Chameleon Moon: Book 1, Second Edition cover. (With cover artist/illustration credit, of course, I shouldn’t even need to say this but I’m an artist too, it needs saying.)

  3. Advance Copy of Book 1, 2nd Ed.! In both ebook and paperback (tho physical books might come a little later; I’ll try to time it to avoid this).

  4. Advance Copy of Chameleon Moon Book 2: The Lifeline Signal!(This will be electronic, possibly a formatted ebook, or possibly a PDF or straight-up word doc; depends on how finished it is, and what your device can handle. Talk to me!)

  5. Advance Copies of (at least! I got WIPs!) 4 Never-Before-Read*Chameleon Moon-universe short stories!

4* Runners-Up Will Receive:

  1. $20!

  2. *Can be more if I get enough amazingly awesome entries!

  3. A free electronic copy of Chameleon Moon Book 1: Second Edition

  4. Advance Reader Copy of Chameleon Moon Book 2: The Lifeline Signal

  5. Advance Copies of (at least!) 4 Never-Before-Read*Chameleon Moon-universe short stories!

Details under the cut!

Hi there!

I’m RoAnna Sylver, and I wrote Chameleon Moon. You might know it as a really cool book about a cast of entirely LGBT, chronically ill and disabled people with super-abilities trapped in a burning, nightmare city; surviving, being powerful and generally amazing. I like to call it the most hopeful dystopia anyone’s ever heard of, because it’s pretty Intense, but gosh I’m tired of overwhelming grimdark, esp when it’s so often marginalized people doing the suffering/dying – so this story is just unapologetically full of hope. (Dys-hope-ia, I also like to say. I like puns.)

And recently, my publisher closed, leaving me with my rights back, and an almost-finished book. It’s been happening all over the place for traditional publishers, especially indie presses.

However… I’m really not worried about this. CM was selling very well at the time, and I know it was very important to a lot of peoples’ reading/lives. Mine too. ❤ That’s why this story isn’t going anywhere (except forward).

Moving into self-publishing is not as terrifying as it could be. (Book 1 is getting a relaunch, which I am so excited for – that’s set for October. November, a ton of previously unpublished short stories, and December, Book 2!) I’m super happy and moving really fast, learning as I go, because while I’ve been published before and writing for a long time, self-pub is a different… art.

Speaking of. Book 2 is almost finished. All it needs is a cover.

Now, I AM an artist (I drew 5 of those pics up there!) but I also have a severe lack of spoons (I am disabled/ill/pushing super hard to meet those projected dates up there)… so I appreciate other artists’ time/energy/spoons more than I can say. I also know how amazing the people I know of here are, alone – if there is anything that my experience with Chameleon Moon has taught me, it’s that I’m surrounded by more talented people than you can shake a stick at, and you’ve always been here for me when I needed you.

So that’s where the Contest part of this event comes in. One winner with their art on the cover, 4 runners-up. Everyone gets monies, and free books. (Deets on just that in section below!)

But first is the celebration.

I love everyone who’s ever read my book and responded, not just visual artists, and reward them –everybody!


Literally, this is not a contest reserved for super-professional artists. This is actually not just a straight-up exclusive art contest.

Like I said… celebration. And celebration means everybody!

  1. Casual, just-for-fun fanart? Send it in. For real.

  2. Playlists? Gimme. (I made some a while back!)

  3. Character aesthetics/moodboards? YES

  4. Cosplay? TAG ME!

  5. Blog post or video saying basically anything about why Book 1 was important to you? Literally doesn’t even have to be a review, or anything formal.

  6. I don’t even know, guys, songs? Dramatic readings? Stage plays? Acting out a scene and filming it, but doing like, a surprise alternate ending or… I don’t know. Go. Go with the wind.

Seriously. No matter what you can do, style, level, ability, do it. I will be so loose in my definition of ‘fan work,’ I pretty much guarantee that if you create something and tag me, I will send you ‘Runtime,’ because I adore everything anyone makes for me/my books to just… an embarrassing degree. I really have no rules here. (I mean besides ‘don’t be a douche/keep everything respectful’ and if you do something wild i can’t even imagine but… feel the sudden need to disclaim, ‘pls be safe/do not land yourself/others in the hospital for this contest/event. You do not actually have superpowers. probably.’)

…That, and the one thing I can’t look at, legally is fanfiction. You can tell me you did it, and even send me the link or a screencap of the AO3 title or whatever, but I can’t actually read it, I’m sorry. …I really am. :c That’ll still get you the story, tho!

Almost anything will, I’m serious, even if you think you have no business doing anything here – I don’t care. I want to see it anyway. ❤ Stories are for everyone. And I want to share this one with you.

Runtime has a page/summary on Goodreads now, and will be released in October. So enjoy that!

(Just make sure I see anything you make/respond, or I can’t share the story. Also it’ll be on Dropbox until it’s officially published in October – don’t worry, you don’t have to download, or sign up, Dropbox is lying – or I can straight-up email you the file. Talk to me, whatever works.)


But if you want to give the cover a serious shot, and help me out beyond all words?

Oh wow.

If you have questions, please ask me. (I’ll fill you in best I can below.) Seriously, talk to me about any of this. (…Or suggestions. For this contest/event, or self-pub in general. I am so open and will listen, promise – this is the first contest I’ve ever done, and it’s an important one, so I want to do it right, for everyone.)

So, thoughts about the cover…

The original was beautifully drawn and I’m incredibly grateful for the original artist – but I’m not using it again, and there are a few reasons for that.

FIRST: You might notice a couple differences between the cover versions of my protags, and my versions. First of all, on the cover, our superheroine Evelyn Calliope is looking pretty light/washed out/white. She is not; her mom is black (we meet her) and her father was white. So having her look more true to this would be awesome, and pretty important. (Costume-wise, I love the dress she’s got, dramatic and layers are a Yes – though I always saw Ev with a slightly harder punk edge – for real, just go rock-star wild and have fun.)

SECONDLY: And if you look at the two images of Regan (lizard-man!) side-by-side, you might see that mine’s a lot more wiry, long limbs, slim build, made for stealth/speed/slipping around corners and hiding in shadows. (Even when he’s not using his almost-invisibility powers, he can just about disappear.) He is also not what you’d call an action-hero leading man. Regan’s Anxiety Mode is firing on all thrusters, all day every day, along with a heaping scoop of PTSD (super fun, lemme tell you!). Basically, design-wise – oh man, I’m gonna show my staggering Nerd Level here – he’s a lot less Trask from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and a lot more Ultimate Toad from X-Men.

(He is pictured at the bottom with seriously antagonizing antagonist Hans, The Ghost Kid Who Messes Everything Up. I don’t have many pics of him, but I probably will later, because he’s important. He’s also a Little… Rascal. So have fun if you play with him. He’ll be floating, possibly see-through. Definitely shit-eating grin.)

Lastly, Rose and Danae – the two ladies in the refs up there – aren’t on the original cover… but if you want them to be? I’d love. (That one gorgeous Rose drawing is by the amazingly talented @noelarthurian!) And… Spoilers, but if you wanna draw Danae with a left arm in the same style as Rose’s cyberpunk-looking legs – that’d be cool.

If you need more references, I’m still hoping to scrape some spoons together, and get some art of my own up soon – for Finn (taxi driver boy with orange hair, cute and happy except for the depression, lots of explosions) and Zilch (very chill nonbinary person made of several other persons) and maybe some other important people in this story. (And Runtime; my gosh Jay needs some love.)

Other Stuff to think about:

  1. A rly amazing artist whose style/feel I have in mind is Julie Dillon. I’m not saying you gotta match her skill level (bc come on), but think about this kind of color vibrancy, light, dramatic mood, blended fantasy/sci-fi #Aesthetic, and what? Tons Of Different Kinds Of People, of many races, ages, and abilities having adventures with magic and robots and stuff. This, this, this.

  2. While I do also dig the original’s painterly style, if yours doesn’t resemble this, don’t self-reject. I’m NOT judging this contest by absolute 100% professional skill. (Some of the best artists I know are ‘amateurs’ I’d love to have on my covers.)

  3. Or on popularity. (If you’re not well-known or super-established, if you haven’t been active for years, that is okay.)

  4. Really the most important thing here is how the thing makes you feel. Atmosphere, mood,communication of personality and character essence.

  5. Basically, make me feel like you know this story, and these people who are trapped in this city that burns constantly where the ground is crumbling under their feet, who keep trying every day to survive. That’s what was missing from the first, artistically lovely cover. (Aside from very important, accurate skin tone and build.) Expressions of who these people actually are, because their survival is a promise that if they can survive in there, we who are like them can survive too.

  6. My original cover dimensions were 6×9 inches. Something approximate would be Cool, but I’m not Married To This/editing software exists. But like… use your judgement here, Vertical Book-Shaped Rectangle is best.

  7. The original cover’s concept/composition was fine, and if we stay in that general area, I’m cool. But I’d also love to see some creativity, interesting framing (check my Dutch angle – tilted ‘camera’ in the Regan art above!), artistic experimentation is peachy-fine-awesome. Have FUN!

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