What I'm going for for the cover of the sequel to STONE LORD, is a more dynamic diorama to reflect the darker, fatalist, subject matter. The moon is heavily emphasized, with Mordred taking more centre-stage and representative of the dark forces of the moon, with Arthur being the polar opposite solar hero.
The two line drawings are at the very early stage, and will probably be a contrast of the two, with much more detail added later. It will feature the Great Trilithon of Stonehenge, with its Altar Stone of green micaceous sandstone, different from all the other stones in the formation. The stone would have gleamed spectacularly in the Midwinter Sunset light.
Originally thought to have come from the Milford Haven area of the Severn Estuary, I made the decision to have the stone standing in the first book. I've heard all the arguments for and against it being upright or flat. There's still no clear way of telling, short of a new thorough excavation.
Aubrey Burl, an authority that has duly influenced my writing (and who provides an endorsement of STONE LORD) has wavered over the years between the two theories. I believe he was siding last with the idea that it was lying flat.
I am willing to keep an open mind, but in most cases the central focus stone of the majority of stone circles is standing, with the exception of the lunar shrines of Scotland--the recumbant stone circles. The 'Altar Stone' tag is purely an invention of the past few hundred years and should in no way be an indicator of what its position should be.
In fact, the angle in which it has fallen when knocked over from the fallen Trilithon does not sufficiently support the argument of it being upright. However. beeing a remarkably taller, thicker and different stone to the Welsh assemblage, I think it would have looked better upright to catch the last, dying rays of the winter sun on its micaceous surface.
Of course if it were down-lying you would be able to see the setting sun for that bit longer, and the current alignment would indicate that it seems right in the centre of the largely ignored 'midwinter sunrise' notch alignment, and in line with the NW Station Stone & Great Trilithon's positioning, provided the re-erected Trilithon is indeed in the correct position after Gowland's excavations in the beginning of the 20th century.
Anyway, MOON LORD will feature a scene towards the end days of Mordred's desecration of Arthur's temple, where a few of the stones will be intentionally toppled. I intend to make one of these the Altar Stone, by way of appeasing both camps at the same time. This gets me out of a hole and should work quite well.