Sunday, July 24, 2011

MOCk-UPS for The PRomise

Version 1--not one of my favorites. The girl fades too much for my taste.

Version 2--no fire.

Version 3--girl is too dark and severe, I think. But perhaps that makes it spooky?

Version 4--Silhouette is too young. It's YA but not middle school. Or does it matter? I could change to an older silhouette I suppose.

Version 5--Expression is good but I wonder if this would still work if she were a redhead?

Version 6--My favorite but I worry the girl is too old.

These mock-ups are so April can compare concepts side by side. Personally I like version 6 best.


We'll see what April likes. This book is a YA book on a witch who may or may not have a destructive power. The main character is a redhead with gold eyes. But that can be edited.

What is your favorite?

Death in the Grass-- Digital Painting

You know I love my digital painter. And yes, I've been painting again. Although the ghosts of Monet and Van Gogh beg me to stop. I have no real talent for painting. I loved my oil painting classes even though my instructor made all those put upon sighs as I painted. With the digital painter, I can embrace my badness and still get a thrill out of it.

This one is a bit darker than the others. I was thinking of those murder books I read. This is called "Death in the Grass". :) Yes, I know I should stick with writing.

But I'm having fun. :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Helping your Cover Designer

So you want a fantastic, unique cover? Everyone does. But as someone who helps authors get the e-book cover they want, many times the problem is that the author can't express what they want. Yeah it's ironic, isn't it?

A writer who can't tell me what they want.

So I decided list a few tips for writers to help you express to your designer what you want.

1) You'll need to have a summary of your book. And by summary, I do not mean link your designer to the 43 chapters you have or send them the eight page synopsis. A summary should be under 250 words. Under a 100 words would be great but at least under 250. Basically what you would put in a query letter.

2) Description of your character or characters. If you want someone who looks like your character on the front of your book, help your designer out. Give your designer physical description including hair color and texture (straight, curly, dreds), eye color, distinctive marks like facial scars or tattoos. If your character has distinctive clothes like a leather ninja outfit, let them know. BUT keep it 50 words or less. Your designer is probably working with ten other writers. The more you send, the less they read. A list is nice.

3) If you have a loose idea for your cover, please share it with your designer. But don't be so set on an idea, you have no flexibility. Perhaps you know you want a flying horse in a bright blue sky but don't get it so detailed that you dictate the color of every flower in the field below.

4) Have no idea what you want on the cover? Well tell your designer what MOOD you want on the cover. Say 'I'm writing a romantic suspense novel and I want the cover to be more romantic with just a little scary overtone'. Or 'I want it to be more of a thriller cover with a more stalking feel'. The emotion you want on the cover can help if you have no idea of what picture you want.

5) Send EXAMPLES of covers you like from your genre if you have some. You won't want your cover to be exactly like that but it'll give your designer an idea of what appeals to you. Then tell your designer what you LIKED about the cover examples you sent.

6) Don't reply to your cover examples with "I don't like it". Be specific. I think it's too dark, I wish the woman was younger. I wanted something in more romantic colors but I liked the expression on the girl's face. This helps your designer to edit. Saying 'I don't like it' doesn't let us know why you don't like it.

7) Get the right designer for what you want. Not all designers do the same thing. I do photo manipulation and layering. I don't do hand art. But if you hire a hand artist, don't hire one that does bright busy pictures if you want stark clean lines. Look at EXAMPLES of what they do. Just because you can afford them doesn't mean they fit your aesthetic.

8) Your designer should send you mock-ups. These are unfinished drawings or pictures to find out what concept you like. Many writers seem to be caught up in the idea that the mock up has to be exact and they'll reject them all. The mock-up is for the general idea or look of your cover. Hair color, eye color, shading of the picture can all change. If its a blond in your picture and you have a redhead, don't say no...say can I see it as a redhead.

9) Once you pick a concept/mock-up, the clock is ticking. If you change the whole idea after that, the fees go up. So be sure the concept works before you say yes.

10) If you can't, after two weeks and six mock-ups, get on the same page as the designer, either you can't articulate what you want or your designer doesn't understand what you want. Time to move on.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Killer Gnomes Cover--_LOLOLOLOL

This one makes me laugh. Murdering humorous gnomes. :) Still need to do the title/author.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My poem: 47th & Decoursey

I haven't put one of my poems on my blog in forever. So that's what today's Whatever is. My poem.

All my poetry is fairly personal.

47th and Decoursey

Standing on 47th and Decoursey

I think about dirty water

tree limbs

water moccasins

probably a drowning

should I miss impalement

on sharp fingered debris

I think about it

walk across the concrete corridor

my feet crunching the broken

beer bottles

to watch the water

dull, dirty

convulsed with snotty

balls of human refuse

it still moves

with sluggish motion

in its ditch of a riverbank

I watch it,

head bent,

sun burning my neck

heating my shoulders


how my stomach hurts

hard but empty

floating somewhere near

my throat

I can’t think

of any reason why


but for some reason

I shrug off

and shuffle back

to 47th and Decoursey

a roadway away

from home,

and empty dark rooms

where light won’t follow

I think about it

but I don’t trust the water

that it won’t spit me back

on the muddy bank

smelling of sewage

and dank dead things

yet very much alive

Do other people think

about such things?

Such thoughts

are never far from me...

just past 47th and Decoursey

Saturday, July 9, 2011

MOCK Gladys Covers for Book 2

Irene is working on the idea for book two of Gladys Tripalong. These are MOCk covers for Book 2. Basically we're trying to figure out how we want Gladys' to look. These are not final covers and have NOT been polished.

Mostly the hair sucks. LOL.



Irene mentioned she may start on book two soon for Gladys Tripalong and we're experimenting with Gladys's look for book two.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I am a person eaten up with doubts. Big ones, little ones, the doubts linger. Sometimes I think my covers, my book trailers aren't bad. Then I start to wonder if its really good enough or are people just blowing smoke up my butt. Nice is nice but without truth, no one grows as a person or a worker.

So then I worry that spending money on continuing school to get my Graphic Design degree is a waste of money.

What if I do all the work and spend all that money and have nothing to show for it?


Can you ever really be sure of what direction you should move in?

Of course I think the same things about my writing. I am just mediocre at so many things. Not bad but not the best. For once in my life, I want to be the best.

Is that wrong?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

digital painting inspired by Tattoo flowers

Could you use digital painting to make abstract covers?

I wanted to see if any of my odd digital paintings worked as abstract sci-fi covers. They don't really work but hey it was worth a try, right?


Monday, July 4, 2011

Digital Painter--sunset over ocean

Okay Im addicted to my digital painter

I know I have no painting or drawing talent but hey I am addicted to the digital painter.

Its so zen.

Today's mess. I should stick to poetry. LOL.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Unused Book Titles (Annual Posting)

It's time for the annual listing of book titles that no one is using. Every year I hear the same complaint, that there are no new titles. So every year, I post a list of semi-humorous unused book titles.


The Star Slut and the Earthling
Dolphin Attacks and other Fishy Stories
Alphabet Chicks: In Search of the Big O
Nekkid and Lovin' It

A Clever Cleaver
Death of a Celibate
My Humps: Sexual Confessions of Clubber
Dirty Little Mother Humper
Muffy the Man Slayer
Little Man & the Big Vagina

A Gun In His Pocket
Bombs, Blowouts and Bad Hair Days
Pistol Whipped
Chaste Kisses and Control Freaks

Stiffed: The Dead Man Who Loved Me
Killing By Candlelight
Kill and Tell Me All About It

Head Over Kills