A Fun Behind-the-Scenes Look at The Last Archer: A Green Ember Story

Hey pals!

I loved writing The Last Archer: A Green Ember Story. It was so much fun. It was a quick write, a quick editing process, and a quick cover creation (Zach Franzen, cover artist, and Andrew Mackay, designer/publisher). Everything else in the process was also QUICK. The sand? You guessed it: quicksand.


I got Zach on the phone and said, “Hey, we need cover art for a new short book.”

“Cool,” unsuspecting Zach said.

“So, we need it kinda quick,” I said smoothly like a smooth guy.

“How soon?” Zach asked like an innocent child about to be mowed down by a hail of mowing hail.

“Um…uh…like…a week,” I said, thinking about Genesis.

“Okay, let’s try it.”

Here are two of Zach’s hasty mockups of what the cover could look like.

Did we make the right choice?

Fun fact: Zach added lightning and rain to the cover of the book (which, because of the time crunch, he hadn’t yet read. That weather event wasn’t in the text.) What to do? The art looked amazing, so I actually went back and wrote it in. Collaboration!


Back to the story…

Zach said, “Let’s try it.” Josiah said, “Let’s try it.” Andrew said, “Let’s try it.” I said, “Let’s try it.”

Then we did. We tried a bunch of things that shouldn’t have worked, but they did. After the manuscript was done (and done well), our team went into high gear doing all the thousand things it takes to get an excellent book into your hands.

We shared a video announcing the cover and release date of Ember Rising: The Green Ember Book III, and then dropped in a little surprise. Here it was, er…is.

People. Got. Stoked.

We had a bunch of orders (to our store, a HUGE help to us) and we drove up to Ohio to ship them all in a flurry of nearly 24 hours of constant work so that everyone would get their books before Christmas.

Then, we rested for ten seconds before rushing into Ember Rising. And after that…touring! And after that…well, the next thing!

It’s all fun and awesome and exhausting and I love it.

The Last Archer was created and shared much quicker than normal, BUT I don’t feel like the quality suffered. I think it’s my favorite cover of the many wonderful covers Zach has done for us and I kind of think it’s one of the better-written stories. I have heard from lots of readers who say it’s their favorite.

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The Last Archer: A Green Ember Story


At My Store!

At Amazon!

At Audible!

Ask for your library to order several copies.

Thank you!

Here are some kind reviews some of you have left. Thank you! You can’t imagine how helpful these reviews and ratings at Amazon, Audible, and Goodreads are. And I’ve added some art from kids (yes, kids!) who love the story.




  1. I just googled the meanings of the latin phrases, I like them!
    The phrase for Ember Falls is kind of confusing.

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