Month: November 2013

Book Covers: Typography

Okay, so let’s talk a little bit more about book covers. Specifically, let’s talk about typography (we’ll cover background art on a different post.) Now, if you’re not a graphic designer, you may think that you don’t need to know anything about typography. Even if you’re an writer, you may not think you need to know it, either because you’re hiring another person to do the work for you or because a publisher has someone in their employ who will design the book cover for you. Please allow me to reassure you: you do need to know this stuff. Why? Because there’s some awful work being done out there, and some of it is being presented to authors who don’t know any better as ‘professional’ when it looks anything but. Some of this work is being done by publishers, so its a trap someone can fall into even if they don’t consider themselves to be an independent or hybrid author. Make no mistake: this is your brand, your marketing identity, your logo. It’s in your …

Dracula, or When Villains are Dumb

So I don’t normally post reviews here, but I’ve been watching the show Dracula recently, and I’ve got some comments I just have to get off my chest. It’s about villains, and I’ll use Dracula as an opportunity to discuss them. (There will be spoilers below.) So if I had to give the elevator pitch for the TV series, it would be: It’s the Count of Monte Cristo, but the Count is Dracula, not Edmund Dantes. Also: steampunk. It’s not a perfect show, but it’s entertaining and Johnathan Rhys Myers sure is pretty, isn’t he? Like the Count of Monte Cristo, the main story revolves around a mysterious stranger who arrives in town with a lot of money, some exotic servants, and a plan to get his revenge on the people who wronged him and his. The people who wronged him are in this case a big illuminati-like organization called the Order of Dracul (which if you’re paying attention to actual history, is the real-life ‘let’s kill all the Turks’ group to which Vlad Tepes’ …

How I learned to stop worrying and love Nanowrimo

Two years ago, I watched my husband do Nanowrimo. I mostly lounged around, chatted with other people, drank red wine, and was probably, in hindsight, entirely obnoxious and distracting. I certainly didn’t track any progress.┬áMike didn’t seem to enjoy doing the write-ins and didn’t think they were helpful. We stopped. This year I’m trying out Nanowrimo myself, although I admit I’m kind of cheating. I would have been writing anyway — I have two novels whose first drafts I was planning to finish this month, so I thought ‘why not combine these goals?’ This probably not quite playing by kosher rules, I’m sure, even if I’m not ‘counting’ any words that I didn’t write during this month (my total on Nanowrimo’s site, for example, is far lower than the count that I’m listing here on my blog.) ┬áBut now that I’ve actually been to a write-in with the intent to write — now I understand why my husband didn’t really like them as other than social circles. Not much writing seems to get done there, …