The Official Website of The Tellings of Xunar-kun Series!

YA / Adult Science Fantasy Series by Tina Field Howe

~ Book One: Alysa of the Fields
~ Book Two:
The TrailFolk of Xunar-kun

~ Book Three, in development: The Monx of the Roaming Star

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About the Cover Art

I illustrate my covers and interior graphics. My first foray into book illustration was with with a couple of international book assignments and a book produced in the US (more about this on her illustration website). This eventually led to the creation of my children’s picture book titled Snailsworth, a slow little story.

My background in anthropology and art came together in Book One, Alysa of the Fields, in which I created the sci-fi setting for the two tribes and their ways of life, their dress, culture, legends, religions, etc. I also created planet Xunar-kun, its creatures, and the many secrets of the planet’s history. In addition to writing the stories, I also illustrated the cover and interior artwork for the novels.

I create my finished artwork digitally (in Illustrator and Photoshop). This allows me to change colors, sizes, positioning, my mind (a lot!), and virtually any artwork component. I also repurpose the artwork, such as in the label for the book trailer DVD, bookmarks, audio book packaging, website, etc. Visit Tina Field Howe Multi-Creative to view a portfolio of my other work.

Book One Cover Art   Winner of the 2006 Dream Realm Awards, Cover Art category.

This cover depicts where Field Folk Alysa lives: an agricultural community called “High Point Homestead”. High Point is the northernmost of one of five cooperative agricultural communities. To the right is the stream to which Alysa “escapes", and beyond, a deep forest and its ancient trees. But she is forbidden to cross the stream into the migratory and “dangerous” Trailmen's territory. In the back, Winding Mountains dominates. And beyond, the moons - Donol-kul and Nanthan-kul - reach fingers of light into the darkness. Alysa’s wistful expression speaks volumes: troubled thoughts stir her teenage emotions.

In the left back of the artwork, we see the Great Hall, where the ‘steaders congregate and where their oral history is passed to the children. Many terraced fields flank the steep hillsides, and udommo graze on a meadow. The circular, ghosted image is a representation  of the “Planting Calendar”, the icon by which the Field Folk plan both their planting schedule and their lives. The dark sky and stars fade in the light of the moons.


Book One Cover Art


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The spine gives a detailed view of a tree alien to earthlings, and plays host to orange fungi and a blue-green “rockhopper”. 

Book Two Cover Art

Book two shows Alysa (5 years older) and Trailman Szaren on a journey outside the mountains, on a point high above the newly discovered lands to the south. Evidence of an ancient war, cataclysmic land shifts and devastation are apparent throughout. They are accompanied by Szaren’s peltee, Drongo (or is Szaren Drongo’s Trailman?).

On the right, Alysa and Szaren stand above wisps of clouds covering the Fallen Lands and land pocks far below. A mysterious light hovers in the distance, and four “pyramids” are visible. On the left is a broken bridge, remains of a small city, and an approaching storm, one of many that ravage planet Xunar-kun. Drongo stares off into the distance, no doubt her big nose twitching to capture all the strange smells.


Book Two Cover Art 


Purchase a poster based
on the bookcovers from
Sizes starting at 8” x 10".

The Characters

Alysa, of course, is the main character. In Book One, she must “find the champion who lives inside of her”. Haven't we all had to find courage at one time or another? Haven’t we all asked the question, “Who am I?” So does Alysa! In Book Two, she’s older and wiser but continues to face many challenges. She has many of the same struggles we earthlings do; that she lives on another planet doesn’t diminish them!

The model for the series is a lovely young lady named Caitlin Hatch. Tina photographed Caitlin in many different poses, then chose the one that would lend itself best to the story. She posed in blue jeans, an old white shawl, and some ugly black boots I had on hand. Her foot was propped on a box as if she were standing among rocks. Caitlin’s hair was not very long and was tied in a ponytail that fell just over her shoulder. I gave Alysa a very long braid. I drew Caitlin’s basic form, “dressing” her in signature Trailman’s garb. Click on the images for a closer look.

Szarens model was Matt Kapral. Szaren is a fearless Trailman, a hunter/warrior. Matt also posed in blue jeans, tee shirt covered by a power-blue insulated vest, backpack, and barefoot (as I didn’t have boots to fit him). Matt had a buzz-cut at the time, so I gave his hair that scraggly style the Trailmen are so fond of. Szaren’s life experiences are also tattooed on his ears and neck. Again, I dressed him as a proper Trailman! Click on the images for a closer look.

Peltee Drongo was modeled after Sammy, my Pembroke Welch Corgi (I haven’t yet told Sammy that Drongo’s a female!). Peltees are similar to earthly dogs, except that they have an exceptional ability to communicate with their master companions. They’re also very brave and hunt greatclaws alongside their masters. I gave Drongo longer legs (corgis have very, very short legs) and extremely tall ears.




Reference photo of PW Corgi Sammy for Drongo

RIP beloved Sammy (2003-2016)

Finished artwork of Alysa

Reference photo of Caitlin




Finished artwork of Szaren & Drongo

Reference photo of Matt



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Page last updated on April 12, 2016
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