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Posts Tagged ‘Cover Art’

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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So, the critique for “Become:Brothers” has come back already. That’s an advantage of it being a novella–doesn’t take nearly as long to read through and comment on. The verdict is good. It works as a story, though, of course, there are things that need to be changed or added to make it work even better.

I’ll be getting started on that soon.

But now it’s time to start thinking about cover art. I had a demo all worked up, but, the more I think about it, the less I think that the images convey the correct genre. So, I’m going to have to go back to the drawing board on that one. Plus, I need to make the cover as nearly consistent with the cover I’ve already done for BECOME as possible.

becomeblue

But the main thing is that it looks like this will work as a story. I’m always a little nervous about that with anything shorter than a full novel. Perversely, novels seem to be easier for me to pull off than shorter fiction.

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In the world of BECOME, magic and religion are inextricably linked–which probably makes sense. After all, BECOME is loosely based on the Greek myth of Hercules. So, in this story, all magic basically comes from the goddess. (Note: There are other gods in this world, but they aren’t important to the story. In fact, so far, only one other has even been referenced: a mountain god. And, for reasons that are made clear early in the story, none of them are likely to be the source of magic–at least not in the same way.)

In Greek mythology, Zeus had quite a few children with mortal women. Since I’m turning the story on its ear, in this world it’s the earth goddess who has a few children with mortal men. And, to each child and his or her descendants, she gives a magical gift. And that’s the source of all the magic in this world.

Since he’s the ‘Hercules’ in this story, Gaian’s gift, of course, is strength. Although, it will eventually become clear that there’s a purpose behind that particular gift, that will come to fruition in his descendants.

Meanwhile, as I try to work out exactly how the next couple of very important scenes need to go, I’ve been doing a little more work on the cover art for BECOME. When I’ve finished, I think I’ll like this version:

lightninghandblue

Much better than the original image:

Become4

I’d tried lightening this image up–and I may lighten the blue version, too . . .

Become 5

But it still felt a little too monotone for my tastes. Besides, it’s always best to modify the stock image in some way so that this book doesn’t end up somewhere right next to another one with the same exact cover image. (Yes, I’ve actually seen that happen.)

What do you think?

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And about half way through the clean-up round of revisions on WAR OF MAGIC.

WarMagicNew

So things are moving forward. Looks like probably September after all, though probably mid- to late September.

And I’ve started formating a boxed set of the first three books in the series.

DualMagics1-3

So, progress is being made.

Also, a brilliant new cover for “Heart of Oak” by Victorine Lieske.

Heart-of-Oak

Isn’t it beautiful?

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On several fronts.

I have the first fifteen minutes of the audio book for THE SHAMAN’S CURSE to listen to–again–and either make suggestions or approve it. It’s really good. But I want to listen again.

TSC Audio

And, now that I have a better idea of the right story structure for this story, I’m making progress on BECOME, too. (Also, I just revamped the cover.)

Become 5

Lightened it up a little. Not quite so dark and brooding. I’ve left the series title off, for now. I need to do some more thinking about that title.

I’ve also started getting critiques back on the final book of the DUAL MAGICS series, WAR OF MAGIC.

WarMagicNew

The second (partial) critique to come back is from a reader unfamiliar with the earlier books in the series. I always like to find someone who hasn’t read the prior books. Only they can tell me when I truly confuse a new reader. Of course, I hope new readers will start at the beginning. But I have no control over that, so I really need to try to make the opening chapters as non-confusing as possible. By the fourth book, reintroducing (in brief) all the characters and their relationships to one another, and a touch of the previous story (enough for going on with) without slowing the story to a complete stop is . . . well, tricky doesn’t quite cover it. Apparently, I didn’t do as good a job as I’d hoped at the start of WAR OF MAGIC.

So, plenty of things to think about.

I’m also starting to think I need to find some way to take at least a day or two off and recharge the creative well. That’s going to be even trickier to figure out, since the budget won’t get me very far right now. Thinking outside the box may provide a solution.

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. . . and a dollar short, as my father would have said. Oh, well. Yesterday was not one of my best. Time to get back on track.

I have some new ideas for the cover art for MAGE STORM. Nothing finalized yet.

And so now it’s time to dive back into the rewrite. I’ve got a scene ahead that needs some real work. And one (one I really like) that might have to be deleted. Maybe I can find a way to make it work. We’ll see.

I’d really like to get most of the way through this rewrite this month. Ultimately, I’d love to be able to put an excerpt and a preorder link in the back of WAR OF MAGIC when I publish that, hopefully in September.

WarMagicNew

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