Author Kathrese McKee: Interview & New Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal[1]

In late 2014, I read a young adult book that kept me up way, way late. I even read it on my kindle, which isn’t my reading route of choice. But I couldn’t put it down! Mardan’s Mark is the first story in an epic adventure fantasy series, and a page-turning read. So, so good!

Thanks for visiting my blog again, Kathrese! It’s great to have you here. I love your name, by the way. 🙂 Please share why you decided to switch covers.

In the year since the book was published, I’ve received numerous comments about the girl on the cover. Most people thought she looked too old to be Srilani. The other main character, Aldan, is slave to the dread pirate Rozar. (Sorry, I couldn’t help the reference to The Princess Bride.) Aldan gets equal time with Srilani in the story. So why didn’t he receive equal space on the cover?

I wrote the book with my own children in mind—three girls and a boy. I wrote it for my remedial Reading students, too, and all of my classes were predominately male. But one reviewer asked, “So tell me, if this was written for boys, why is there a woman’s face on the cover?”

Well, that comment really stuck with me. I don’t believe that male students need to see a male on a book cover to think they might enjoy a book. But clearly, I missed the boat with the original cover. Missed the boat. 🙂 Sorry about the pun.

I thought it was punny! 🙂 When it comes to the covers of your books, doesn’t the publisher choose?

Being an indie author, I am the publisher. And the cover is the most important piece of the marketing puzzle; people do judge a book by its cover. The bad news is that if I “miss the boat,” I only have myself to blame. The first cover was beautiful, and I’m going to miss it. But my first priority is reaching the readers who will enjoy the books.

The good news is that I can change the cover if I want to. That’s an option that an author with a traditional publishers doesn’t have. If the publisher puts a character with the wrong costume or hair color on the cover, that’s just too bad. In this case, I am really glad that I’m an indie.

The best part is getting to work with amazing artists who are passionate about creating great book covers. I love the folks at Deranged Doctor Design. They really got the genre, the characters, the look, and the branding right.

Makes sense. I appreciated the original blue cover with castle background, but did wonder about Aldan. I’m glad he gets cover time now, too. And you’re right. The new look is fantastic. They really nailed this story and these characters.

Without further ado….here is the new, gorgeous cover of Mardan’s Mark


2016-264 HANDOVER Ebook Kathrese McKee Mardan's Mark

Wow! It makes me want to read the story again. What about your other books? I’m so looking forward to the next book in this series.

Healer’s Curse, the companion novella, is getting a new cover too. Once Mardan’s Mark changed, the cover for Healer’s Curse no longer matched. Future books in the series had to go with the first book and the novella. In fact, the impending launch for Mardan’s Anointed provided the push I needed to hunt for a new designer and get cracking.

*Rubs hands together eagerly* So when is Mardan’s Anointed coming out?

Late this summer. Several events delayed the work on Book Two, but now, I’m nearing the end. In many ways, writing a sequel is harder than writing the first book in a series. Mardan’s Anointed has many twists and turns, and I’m looking forward to getting it into readers’ hands. If you would like to read the first chapter, you can subscribe to my site at to receive it.

What’s Mardan’s Anointed about?

Here’s the back cover copy:

“Circumstances part Aldan and Srilani from one another,

violence threatens, and lives are at stake.

Aldan returns to the land of his birth to overthrow a tyrant,

but first, he needs an army.

Srilani returns home to an uncertain welcome,

but then she must rule in her father’s stead.

War is inevitable and sacrifices are required

of Mardan’s Anointed.”


Sounds like lots of action and intrigue, which you do so well!

Thanks so much for stopping by, Kathrese!

If you’re a parent looking for an exciting, appropriate fantasy for your teens to read, check out Mardan’s Mark. (And please remember to leave a review on Amazon if you read and enjoyed the story. Positive reviews help authors SO much. Thanks.)


Texas author, Kathrese McKee, writes epic adventures for young adults and anyone else who enjoys pirates and princesses combined with life’s difficult questions. She is committed to exciting stories, appropriate content, and quality craftsmanship.


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