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Posts Tagged ‘Cover Art’

A Break (Sort of)

This weekend has been more about yard work and some very overdue spring cleaning than it has about getting back up to speed with where I left off on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

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Most of that has been due to the fact that two weeks ago we had to cut a very large branch off the Brazilian pepper tree (which shouldn’t even be where it is and wouldn’t be, except for some passing bird). The branch was going to break off and would have basically blocked the path from the house to the car when it did. So, a controlled removal was far preferable. Three trash days later (as of tomorrow, anyway) I will finally be able to say that all of that brush pile has been cleared.

Which will leave me, hopefully, time (and space in the trash cans) to finish clearing up the yard. With all the rain we had in Southern California last winter, it got completely out of control. Just about the time I’d decide to mow, it’d rain again. And the taller the weeds and grasses got, the longer it stayed wet. It’s going to take awhile to get it back under anything like control. As I go, I’m planting out some water wise plants, starting to transform what once was lawn (but not lately, with the drought) into something that makes better sense and will, hopefully, be easier to take care of. It’s a big yard and I hate to mow almost as much as I hate to vacuum.

Also, at some point soon, I’d like to be able to start looking for another dog. It’s been almost a year since I lost Aliza.

My first view of Aliza

The first time I saw Aliza

But I need have a yard a dog could actually run in, first. (Micah, at thirteen and change, doesn’t do all that much running any more. More like trotting.)

Digital Camera

There’ll be paths among the shrubs when they eventually do grow in, which should be more interesting than just running around a blank open space anyway. (Also, some of those weeds are foxtails and they have to go.)

Then, too, I really have to clear a path so that I can carry the ladder around to the side of the house and cut back the bishop’s cap vine that’s also grown out of control because of all the rain. Not only because it really shouldn’t be up against the house like it is for several reasons. I also need to get back there so I can put the screens up in place of the storm windows before it starts getting too hot. (We don’t really have storm window in Southern California. But we do have stupid louvered jalousie windows. I still have three that I haven’t yet been able to get around to replacing. It’s basically impossible to stop a draft with jalousie windows, so what I do have is some pieces of plexiglass in wooden frames that I put up in place of the screens, usually sometime in November. I need to be able to get around there to put the screens up about now.)

I confess, I also spent a fair portion of the weekend, while I was resting and cooling off, goofing off with a computer game. In between, though, I think I have finally come up with a new cover for “Wyreth’s Flame”.

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Though I haven’t done anything yet about uploading it.

But, at least one major task has been accomplished. So, yay for that. And there’ll be time to get back to work on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING during the week.

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Become: Brothers is now available for pre-order at only $0.99. Release date May 12.

Brothers

Two half-brothers born a day apart.

First born, Gaian is the son of the king and a goddess. His more-than-human strength seems a poor exchange for the support of a flesh-and-blood mother as he struggles to be worthy of Becoming a god himself. Or just struggles to rise above the machinations of the queen.

A single day younger, Benar is the son of the king and queen. Like his mother, he refuses to believe the story of Gaian’s birth. He struggles to fulfill his mother’s wishes by proving himself to be his father’s true heir. But frustration and guile prove to be poor weapons against Gaian’s unnatural strength.

Until a coming-of-age trial forces them either to cooperate—and become brothers in truth—or else one of them may not survive the trial.

Inspired the legend of Hercules.

Now, back to Become: To Catch the Lightning.

becomeblue

(See how those covers go together. 🙂 )

 

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BECOME: BROTHERS finally has a cover:

Brothers

Ta da!

Also, that new scene I was working on has been finished. (I teared up a little when writing it, so at least I think it’s good.) My critique partner was so right about needing that scene.

Now, it’s on to:

  1. Tthe blurb, which I’ve started.
  2. Finish the revisions.
  3. I might need to write one other new scene.
  4. Polishing edit
  5. And publish!

Then, I can get back to BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING.

Also, I’ve finished going through the spring refresh of my novels and boxed sets. There’s a handful of short stories and one novella still to go, but I can take those at my leisure. Though two of them may need some remedial work on the covers, too.

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Well, I re-enabled page flip on my DUAL MAGICS series.

Dual Magics 1-3 Boxed Set

Page reads are still zero. Wide distribution is starting to look more and more likely for me. Getting everything out of Kindle Select to allow that to happen may be a bit tricky. I need to look at the term end dates and make a schedule.

Meanwhile, in better news, I think I’ve finally got a good demo for the cover of BECOME: BROTHERS. One step closer. Also, I’ve started that scene I decided I needed to show the main character’s vulnerability. By started, I mean I’ve written one sentence, but I do have a pretty clear idea of how the scene needs to go. I’ve just been busy with other things.

And I’m also working on getting the new covers up for the Chimeria series.

ChimeriaBox

That involves changing them for the paperbacks, too.

So, yeah, busy. But mostly in a good way.

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First, results on the project to disable page flip are confusing. It seemed to be helping at first, but lately . . .

Page reads flatline

I have never had three straight days of zero page reads before. I’ll give it a bit more time, but I may have to rethink some strategies. If the only way I can have my books available through Kindle Unlimited is to let people read them without any reimbursement to me (currently Amazon pays between $0.0045 and $0.005 per “page”) then I may have to opt out and take my books back to wide distribution. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but it may be necessary.

Even if that’s what happens, I won’t count the experiment a failure. Firstly, if that’s the way things are, then I need to know that to make good decisions. Secondly, I think going through all my published books occasionally is a good thing. I may have to do it annually or at least biannually, if only to keep the links to my other books up to date. (I know there are simpler ways to do this that I may have to investigate further, too.)

At any rate, if I hadn’t been doing that, I probably would never have taken a second look at the covers for the Chimeria Series or for some of my shorter works. (“Wyreth’s Flame” is probably due for a new cover, too. And I may try to do a little something more with THE MUSIC BOX, to give it more of a fantasy feel.)

As far as covers go, after some struggles, I think I’ve got the one for BLOOD IS THICKER:

BitPurple

The cover for BLOOD WILL TELL still needs a little work, though.

Become3

Looking at the covers in a smaller size (like the thumbnails on Amazon), it’s clear that there are dragons on the new cover for BLOOD IS THICKER. But much less clear on the new cover for BLOOD WILL TELL, because the gold dragon doesn’t show up as well against the moon. I need to work on that.

And, of course, I also need to work on both the revisions and the cover for BECOME:BROTHERS. I’ve stopped temporarily at a place where my critique partner asked me to go deeper into the main character’s feelings about something. She’s right. After all, the character is modeled after Hercules to considerable extent. In order to work, in order for readers to care about him, I need to show his vulnerabilities as well as his strengths. I just need to think a bit on the best way to show that. It’d be easy to just go deeper into his head–and I will do that, too–but I think I also need a scene to actually show it first. And that’s what I have to think about a little bit.

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Wow, I got busy today and almost forgot to blog.

In my defense, I was (mostly) busy. Seems I opened a can of worms when I started updating all of my already-published books. Not that it didn’t need to be done. But, while I’m making the insides prettier and more, well, up-to-date, it seems silly to leave subpar covers on some of the older books and stories.

What happened was that I worked my way down to the Chimeria series. And, yeah, something needs to be done there. Starting with the first book in the series, BLOOD WILL TELL.

Blood Will Tell Cover

Not my worst cover ever. But not exactly stellar, either. In my defense, this was one of my earliest covers.

This is the unfinished version of the new one.

Become3

Unfinished because I’m not sure that I’ve got the right font, yet. Also, I may still move the dragon around a little. I like him better against the blue background than against the moon.

Then, I need to move on to the sequel, BLOOD IS THICKER.

Blood Is Thicker Cover

I have no defense to offer for that one. I’m amazed anyone ever bought that one.

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So, the last few days have been spent on that formatting issue that’s supposed to help with that page-flip glitch. And not much else. Sometimes, things just work the first time you try. More often, they don’t. Especially when they involve learning a couple a new software applications.

Despite a couple of online sets of instructions, it wasn’t nearly as straightforward as depicted–and it hadn’t looked that simple to start with. But . . . a former boss once observed that, with me, he needed to watch where he aimed. Because once I get my teeth into a task, I will rarely quit until I’ve succeeded. And, finally, last night, I did.

THE SHAMAN’S CURSE has been reformatted, though there’s one (relatively small) thing I may still need to go back and fix.

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The upside, aside from hopefully fixing that glitch, is that the formatting of the ebook should actually be improved.

So, one down, sixteen to go (counting boxed sets and short fiction). But, from here, it should be easier. I hope. I just . . . don’t really feel motivated to start on that list again today. Maybe a day of rest from that battle is warranted.

Meanwhile, I’m going to also get back to revisions on BECOME: BROTHERS. As well as working on cover art for it. Oh, and a blurb. (Just like writing queries–not my favorite part of this process, but necessary. Without a good blurb, the whole page-flip battle will be useless.)

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