All posts tagged: Book

Manuscripts Sitting in a Drawer

So it’s been quiet… It hasn’t been, but I admit I’ve been pretty bad about blogging, so how would you know what insanity has been in my life? 2015 was a dead year in that regard. There was a lot going on behind the scenes, but nothing showing on the surface. Let’s chat a bit about what’s been going on, just between us. The first thing I want to mention is that the sequel to my science-fiction space opera, MAKING SHIVA, is on its final review rounds before an expected March publication. (I’ll post the cover here shortly.) I am anxious to let this one into the world, not only because it marks another advance in dear Mallory’s story, but because it also marks the last of the ‘old books.’ What are the ‘old books’ you ask? Well, many years ago, I got this idea into my head that I was going to be a writer. It was a bit of a lark, but I love books, love them to an embarrassing degree, so when …

Cover Reveal: Fractured Days

When I asked to help out with the cover reveal for the new book by Rebecca Roland (one of my fellow writers at World Weaver Press) I thought: absolutely! Rebecca’s a sweetheart, as well as an amazing talent. So a little about the new book: Malia returns home the hero of a war she can’t remember. The valley burning under the Maddion’s invasion, the fate of her late husband, the way she resolved the long-time distrust between the Taakwa people and the wolfish, winged Jegudun creatures–all of it has been erased from her memory. Malia hopes to resume training as her village’s next clan mother, but when the symbiotic magic that she and the Jeguduns used to repair the valley’s protective barrier starts to consume more and more of her mind, she’s faced with the threat of losing herself completely. A powerful being known as “the changer” might hold the solution to her vanishing memories. But the Maddion’s new leader, Muvumo, also seeks the changer, hoping the being will cure them of the mysterious illness killing off his people. Meanwhile, Muvumo’s bride …

A toast for 2013

This was the year everything changed. It started with a Cracked article. Yes, Cracked. Now, Cracked sometimes sneaks in life lessons with their weird history and nerd comedy, and at the beginning of 2013, David Wong of Cracked issued a challenge to his readers: make 2013 the year that you close (warning: Alec Baldwin says mean things in that clip.) No excuses, no bullshit, no tired old lines about how you couldn’t because (insert whatever excuse is your preferred reason for not getting it done here.) No trite promises quickly abandoned, no self-defeating battles with the mirror. 2013 wouldn’t be about what we are, but what we do. He left what up to the reader. Learn a language, a martial art, make a painting, write a book. Learn a tangible skill, create a tangible result, do something. CLOSE. Kick some items off the bucket list, figure out what makes life worth living and DO THAT THING. Not too hard to guess that my vow for 2013 was to finish one of the three books that had floundered …

Book Covers: Project Example

Okay, so in part 3 of this series, we’re now going to take what we’ve learned and apply it a real life example. Okay, a fictional example. A fictional example of fiction I totally made up. Even though I do in fact have a book cover on my to-do list right now (for The Culling Fields, the book I finished as part of NaNoWriMo 2013) I’m going to do evil, naughty things to the first example of such, and I don’t like the idea of doing it for a book that will actually see publication. Potentially awkward. Thus, let’s go with something invented for that purpose. “A Litany of Ashes” is a post-apocalyptic YA about a teenage girl in a small community that survives by its religious rituals, designed to keep at bay the demons of radiation and nuclear fallout. But when she begins to think the demons are literal, is she going insane or has a terrifying new threat arisen in the post-nuclear landscape? So it’s a bit A Canticle for Leibowitz meets Handmaid’s …

Why You Shouldn’t Listen to Me

(Or anyone) Okay, so like many writers out there, I have a lot of opinions about how the process of writing should go, what constitutes poor writing, and what works. I also see a lot of advice handed out by writers to other writers. Should you have an agent? Should you self-publish? Should you write in the morning before work or should you quit your job and devote yourself totally to writing, make or break. Should you write seat of your pants (a pantser) or use an intricate outline (a plotter)? Write anything just to get it down on the page or try to make sure your first draft is a jewel? Should you focus on characters, plot, what’s new, what’s original? Blah, blah, blah… Okay, so let’s lay a few things out there… First, when you read about a writer’s methods, you’re only reading about what works for them, in their situation, for the kind of books they write. Nobody has a lock on a mythical right answer or process that will transform you …

Book Cover Reveal – Blood Chimera

Okay, here it is, the cover for Blood Chimera. (See my post On Book Covers for the lead up to this.) The cover went through a lot of revisions: at least seven different iterations. The original cover even had an illustration of Jackson on the front (someone said it looks like a romance novel, and that was completely true.)  I played with putting a chimera on the cover comprised of different animals important to the story, but it looked like a fantasy book. Ransom note lettering? Too hard to read. Eventually I decided I liked Maureen Johnson‘s push for gender-neutral covers and came up with the idea of using a glyph of Cipactli. Once I hit upon that, the rest fell into place reasonably quickly. (For those interested, clouds and background blood smears were created in Corel Painter, the Cipactli glyph in Adobe Illustrator, and final collage, correction and typography in Adobe Photoshop.) I showed the prototypes to a lot of people — pretty much everyone I could find. Some people didn’t like the fact …

On Book Covers

I used to be a graphic designer. This isn’t exactly a secret, and I was a graphic designer for something like 20 years (a little over, but close enough.) I became something of a specialist in logos, which are often considered the hardest work a graphic designer can do. Nope. I wasn’t giving enough credit to book cover designers. This stuff is HARD. Keep in mind: I am an artist. I have that advantage over most writers — I still think this stuff is hard. Insanely hard. When I say writing the book was the easy part, that is nothing but blunt honesty. You’re probably wondering why I’m designing the book cover at all, if I have a publishing contract. The truth is: I don’t have to. I’m very lucky in that my publisher is open to the idea of letting me take a crack at it (even if they go with something else, which would be their contractual right.) As a graphic artist turned writer, I have it within me to be the most obnoxious of …