If the book requires maps which of course most military books do if they are to be credible then the author usually provides his own, these are normally basic sketches but at times can be actual military maps of the period or such a map but anotated, Google Earth captures or even Powerpoint files anything to show the publisher what is required, permissions if required will be sought if old maps are to be updated. This is now where I come in, the editor or Duncan the managing director will contact me and ask me to look over the maps/sketches to see if there could be any problems, will the maps fit the page size, are they decipherable, are they overly complex or are they too simple, I also get the page size and whether the maps are to be black and white or colour. Once I say I can work with the information I am usually put in touch with the author and work with him from then until the final drafts are ready.
|Simple map, one of my first for Charles.|
|German army symbols WWII|
Once I have drawn the maps I send them back to the author for input, hopefully he points out any mistakes or more likely he wants to change, add or subtract something. Some authors know exactly what they want and these are very easy to work with, others will want small changes made but only drip feed these one at a time, this does not take long but can be frustrating after going back to the map half a dozen times. I have also been lucky in that only one person among the hundreds I have drawn for made me want to throw the towel in and tell him to go elsewhere, an incredibly rude person. I have worked with professors of history, military men from generals to captains, mercenaries, amateur historians and wargamers, also many who have fought in conflicts from WWII tank gunners to South African and Rhodesian defence forces, and due to the wonders of modern science with people from Peru to Australia and all points in between. I have only ever met two of the authors in person who came to my house to ensure I knew what they wanted, dedicated and very nice chaps.
|"Bloody Streets" patiently waiting for this in January.|
If the author is happy with the work I then do a final look through and convert the Illustrator files to .eps files for the typesetter, some only require high resolution .jpg's so I normally send both to the editor who then passes them to the typesetter. My job then is done.
I do not get copies of the books which contain my maps, which is fine as many may only have half a dozen or less in them and I do not have the room to store them if I did, also many are simply not what I am interested in. I was kindly given a copy of the WWII Eastern Front Atlas I drew. I do tend to buy books which have a lot of maps in or which I think special, I am looking forward to getting my copy of "Bloody Streets: Battle for Berlin" which I am told will have a separate map booklet much like "The Combat History of the 21st Panzer Division" which is now a collectors item, the hardback that is. Helion also acknowledge that it was me who drew the maps in their books, many publishers do not mention the cartographer at all, many authors whom I work particularly close with also kindly mention me in their forewords, this of course pleases me immensely.
How did it come about, well many years ago I picked up a set of American Civil War rules and enjoyed them so much I began to write my own scenarios and drew the maps in the style used in the rules. I bought Rotring pens and a drawing board along with other drawing aides, I then produced the maps for about eight of my scenario booklets. By the end I had found Illustrator and finished the last booklet with computer generated maps, still as close to the originals as I could make them, I felt a bit sad stopping actual drawing with pens but still have the Rotring pencil which I use every day in the PO. I then met Charles Singleton through his parents who are friends of ours, Charles is a wargamer and Helion editor and an expert in the warfare of the 17th Century, he was producing a booklet on the army and battles of the Marquis of Montrose and asked if I could draw the maps. A short time later when Helion were publishing his book the director Duncan Rogers asked if I would draw a set of maps for him. I said yes and was stunned when the maps came through, they were complex and nothing like I had ever done before, but I managed it and have worked closely with Helion ever since.
|One of my first professional maps.|