Christina Engela, Illustrated! #1

If you’ve kept up to date with my latest news, you’d be aware that I’ve just released my 29th book – “Dust“, book 3 in Panic! Horror In Space. Looking back, it’s been quite a journey – and looking forward, I know there’s quite a long way to go still before I run out of ideas or story material!

I’m an indie author and self-publisher. As such, I’ve grown to rely on myself for most things – I write, I edit, I format, I design covers, I build websites, I market, I publish – and I illustrate – all my own work!

That said, I decided to show you all some of the illustrations I’ve done over the years! Here they come – five at a time!

I seem to have entered this world with stories to tell, and as I’ve said before, I started writing stories almost as soon as I could hold a wax crayon! Over the years these stories became more refined (fortunately – ha ha!) and as soon as I started to self-publish them, I needed to provide some kind of visual reference to the reader, to give them an idea of what I was describing in words. To accomplish this, I picked up a pencil, some marker pens, and some paper… and roughly 25 years since the last time I sat and doodled and sketched at school, I started to draw again. The result? A few dozen illustrations – many of which were included in a number of multimedia projects related to my writing, such as book trailer videos I used to promote my books!

The process of completing these illustrations was quite a lengthy one – before I even got to the making of the book trailers! First I had to sketch each image out in pencil, then in thick or thin markers. Then I had to scan them in digitally and edited out little blemishes or other flaws on my computer. After that, I’d save the black and white images to use in future coloring-book projects – and used a graphics app to color them in digitally!

The final products were then used to make book trailer videos, or to brighten up my author website, and to promote and market my books. These images are not included in any of the books though, so if you want to see them, you’ll have to browse my website or read this run of articles!

The illustrations I’ll be showing you in what I expect will be a short run of articles, are the ones I like best, and I’ll be telling you a little about them while I’m at it!

Look, I realize I’m no Michelangelo – I know my limitations, but at least I didn’t make a couple of stick figures with speech bubbles and call it “art” – so save the criticism! Otherwise, enjoy! 😉 Comments welcome as always.

“Entrance” (from Panic! Horror In Space #1, “Static“)

This illustration is of the entrance to the mining administration building on the abandoned Terran outpost on Floridia-7!

The place had lain abandoned for decades already by the time Flane and the I.S.S. Mercury dropped by for the filming of an episode of the popular paranormal investigation cult-TV show “Specter Adventures” – and needless to say, Floridia-7’s reputation as being the most haunted abandoned Terran outpost anywhere in the galaxy was highly justified! Things began to go wrong for the Specter Adventures crew almost as soon as nightfall… well, fell.

The picture was intended to convey the decay and vandalism evident at the entrance to the administration building – a huge, sprawling complex of dusty, haunted, spooky corridors with paint flaking off the walls, broken windows, toppled and scattered furnishings and signs that things didn’t end too well for any would-be vandals!

It was a technically challenging image to me as I wanted to include perspective as well as the trail of paint or marker left by the graffiti artist who was dragged up while writing the word “HELP” on the wall – and across the ceiling!

“Put Ding Back #2”

The above image shows a space tug using a tractor beam to tow the small moon Ding – made entirely of titanium – back into orbit over the Terran Colony Deanna. The Australia-shaped gray area below it is Atro City, the capital of Deanna. Spanning the bay area is Bottlenose Bridge, one of the major landmarks of Atro City. The triangular shape shown as the point of origin of the shuttle is Atro City Space Port.

Deanna is famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) for being the only Terran colony that has a small moon that falls down occasionally. As if that weren’t bad enough, it is also known as the only Terran colony which bothers to put it back up again! Why does Ding keep falling down? Why, because it’s so small – only around 50 feet in diameter, that visiting ships often don’t see it and keep bumping it out of orbit! If you’ve read the Quantum Series stories, you’d know this. 😉

Although in the stories, it usually takes a dedicated team of between 3 or 4 space tugs to return the small moon Ding to its appointed spot in orbit over Deanna, this illustration was more simplified, for use in a book trailer video. As far as I can recollect though, I never actually used this one 😉

“Derelict Search” (from “Demonspawn” book trailer video)

This one comes from the book trailer video I did for “Demonspawn”, book 2 in Galaxii. It shows members of the crippled starship Mordrake aboard the ancient alien derelict ship they encounter as if by pure luck. They go aboard to search for materials and spare technical parts they might adapt to effect repairs to their own ship and to bail them out of their own desperate circumstances.

They find the alien crew long dead, the decks littered with mummified corpses – whole … and ripped to pieces… but by what? Terror lurks in the shadows… a theme I tried to include in this picture.

“Retaking Mercury” (from Panic! Horror In Space #1, “Static“)

This one shows the two main characters from Panic! Horror In Space – Captain Stuart Flane (Captain of the starship Mercury) and his Exo, Commander Vic Chapman – boarding their own ship via an airlock.

In that part of the story, both Vic and Flane – and a team of ill-fated ship’s security marines – had boarded a long-lost loderunner called the Kilgary, which had disappeared more than 40 years previously. While there, the dead bodies of the Kilgary crew mysteriously reanimate – and after a tooth-and-nail battle with zombies, only Vic and Flane escape! But that’s only half the task – as for some reason, the Mercury isn’t responding to their hails either… and the lights just went off! This image shows them passing through the airlock complex of the Mercury – having just made a daring, risky space-walk to get back to it, with a row of viro-suits hanging on the side, illuminated by their helmet lights. They proceed with blasters drawn, at this stage not knowing what to expect!

I tried to convey an atmosphere of suspense, mystery and tension in this image.

“Corsair Survivor” (Panic! Horror In Space #2, “Life Signs“)

This image shows a wounded Corsair survivor aboard a devastated Corsair raider, surrounded by his dead comrades. The ship is encountered by a deep space luxury cruiser, the Demeter, and the severely ill space pirate is mercifully rescued by the cruiser’s security detail and returned to their sickbay. From what the security chief can tell, it seems that all the Corsairs aboard the ship seemed to have started fighting each other, with the result that their foundling was the last survivor. Oddly enough, most of the Corsairs bodies appeared to have been draped with garlands of garlic and clutching crudely-made crosses in their cold, dead hands.

Well, I’ll leave it there for this time! Now you have seen 5 images that should give you a little insight into the stories I write!

P.S.

I included links to the titles these illustrations appear in, in the headings – leading directly to the books pages on Smashwords, where they are all currently available at massive discounts (up to 60%) during the lockdown season. 😉

More to follow soon!

Stay home and stay safe!


If you would like to know more about Christina Engela and her writing, please feel free to browse her website.

If you’d like to send Christina Engela a question about her life as a writer or transactivist, please send an email to christinaengela@gmail.com or use the Contact form.

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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2020.

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