Michael Dante DiMartino shares his thoughts on the dynamic cover for Warrior Genius, and teases new developments among the geniuses.
The cover art for Warrior Genius draws on the visual themes of art and sacred geometry established in DiMartino’s Rebel Geniuses series. Heroes Giacomo and Milena — and their artistic bird-spirits — face off against the dictatorial Supreme Creator… but the Supreme Creator clearly has plenty of genius of her own.
Get an exclusive first look at Warrior Genius right here!
Interview with Michael Dante DiMartino
What is your favorite element of the cover for Warrior Genius?
I love how the horse-Genius looks! Powerful, majestic, and a little threatening too. The artist, Nicolas Delort, does beautiful work in scratchboard, which gives the cover a timeless feel that matches the book’s historical fantasy setting really well.
I also like seeing Milena and her crane-Genius alongside Giacomo, since this story focuses a lot on Giacomo’s growing relationships with his friends. He’s no longer the loner we first saw on the cover of Rebel Genius.
What can fans expect from Warrior Genius? What challenges will Giacomo and his friends be facing?
The tyrannical leader from the first book, Supreme Creator Nerezza, becomes a much bigger threat to Giacomo and his friends. Their quest for the Sacred Tools takes them to a new empire in his world called Rachana, which was inspired by Indian history and culture in the 16th century. In Rachana, warriors are the heroes and their Geniuses take the form of pegasus-like creatures.
What was the process of writing a sequel like? Was it easier or more challenging than writing Rebel Genius?
I found writing this book to be much more difficult than the first one. I think it was due to the fact that I had lived with the first story much longer before I began writing it. When I began Warrior Genius, I had a rough idea of where it would go, but I struggled a lot before I had a story I was happy with.
I had always heard from authors that writing your second book is much harder than the first, and now I know from personal experience that there’s a lot of truth to that.
Did you discover anything new or surprising about your characters while writing Warrior Genius?
It was challenging to give the growing cast of characters all interesting and satisfying stories of their own, while tying them into the main plot. As with book one, Giacomo and Zanobius are the two main points-of-view, but for Warrior Genius I added two new other POVs, both female.
One is Giacomo’s friend, the young painter Milena (who appears on the cover). The other is Supreme Creator Nerezza. It was kind of fun to get inside the villain’s head and see things from her perspective. I definitely discovered the most about her, since she was only a looming presence in book one.
Rebel Genius has a few really surprising twists. Should readers be prepared for more surprises ahead?
Of course! I’m always trying to surprise the reader (and myself) with the story and the decisions the characters make. There are a lot of dramatic developments for Giacomo and his friends on this new adventure.
For more information…
Warrior Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino flies into bookstores in Winter 2018.