Just finished a close study of the Todd Lockwood rendition of the centerfold for The Wards of Faerie, due out late this August. Boy, is she a looker! Okay, but doesn’t the word ‘centerfold’ suggest that image? Todd’s rendering is a reworking of the one that was included in The Sword of Shannara, way back when. It is a visualization of the little band of heroes setting forth on the quest that will dominate their lives for three books. It is rendered in color and with close attention being paid to the descriptions in the book and also to comments I made to him about the characters when he asked about what the readers should be seeing in each one. We chose a selection of five or six from some thirty characters that comprise the group which the images are based on, and hopefully you will not only be able to identify them from the book but will also see them as representative of how you see the characters in your mind. This was such a different process this time, 35 years later. The Hildebrandts worked with the Del Reys to come up with cover, centerfold and additional black and white images in my first book. I never spoke with them. This time, Todd worked closely with me to make sure I was happy with what he was doing. Really, he probably could have done it without me. I only had a few suggestions to offer. He got it right in almost every case even before he asked me for my thoughts. I want to say to all of you that I think he is extremely talented and I love his work on this book. I miss the days when fantasy, in particular, used images on a regular basis in their books. Now they seldom do. I don’t know that I will ever do this again, either. But for now, life is good.