Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Little Dose of Insanity

I realized recently that it takes a little dose of insanity to be a fantasy writer. (Okay, quick dash away from the computer to chastise my one year old for throwing a building block at my three year old's head.) I came to this realization one night last week when I was home alone and I randomly started brainstorming some ideas for book three (which has a tentative title TBA). I was pacing my living room talking to myself... and, I mean, not just talking, but having a full-blown back and forth conversation. So anyhow, I paused mid-stream and said to myself, "If anybody walked into the room right now, they would that I am totally nuts!" But that got me to thinking. I wonder how many other creative types have similarly borderline crazy habits? Is there a fine line between creativity and insanity? Perhaps. Perhaps... Anyhow, quick update: Notes for book three are coming along quite nicely. I've conceptualized a few important plot points and am excited at where the story is taking me. Revisions on The Oracle are moving. My two editors have finished their revisions, and I next have to combine their revisions with my revisions to push out a second draft. I am hoping to move the publication date up a couple weeks, but we'll see what happens!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Covers that Kill

Don't judge a book by its cover, right? Yeah right. That is, of course, exactly what most people DO. I've witnessed many book covers that kill in a good way, and many more that kill in a bad way. I would prefer that mine be the former, of course. But what, exactly, makes for a good cover? Firstly, and I got this from watching, of all things, a reality show this summer, the cover art should serve the title. It really is an act of marketing; draw the consumer's eye to the title. Have you ever noticed how many very popular authors have their names as the largest thing on the front of their books? (eg. Nora Roberts) This is because they have become SO popular that their readers no longer really care what their stories are called, so long as they are the authors. In the case of starting out authors, however (such as yours truly), the title should really dominate the scene. But that is not to say that the artwork should be boring, or, heaven forbid, cheesy. Cheesy covers can kill an author dead. Case in point, one of my favorite modern fantasy authors (who shall remain unnamed) has had the misfortune of having the worst covers imaginable put on her books. They are cliched in every sense of the word, and scream "I am a cheesy Christian fantasy novel," when the books themselves are anything BUT. She is an amazingly talented writer and crafter of stories whose books have often been passed over by people too embarrassed to be seen with them. Even I carry them around face down. Anyhow, I diverge... What I'm really trying to say is that I know my cover on The Six isn't anything to write home about, but I think that I at least avoided the cheese-train. I am working with, however, some very talented and wonderful student artists to craft new covers for my books, and I am confident that they will turn out spectacularly. We are aiming for simplicity, yet something eye-catching. They should appeal to both males and females, and they should be relevant to the stories. This is one of those aspects of the publishing process that most established authors don't get to take part in (as far as I've always heard, I could be wrong), and I am so happy, as a self-published author, to be able to have my hands in the process. Hopefully the end result will be covers that kill in a good way, helping my books to reach a wider audience, and helping my artists to share their craft with the world. And now, I realize, I have written too much. I'm sure that most of you have given up on this rambling blog post by now. If you have stuck with it to this point, my hat's off to you. You are either very bored, or a very big fan... or perhaps just curious... like a cat. (That's why my friends call me Whiskers). Oh boy, it IS late when I start pulling out Will Ferrel lines. Good night.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quick update

I don't really have much to say right now beyond wanting to assure all of you that I am working hard on revisions and enjoying the process. I'm feeling some frustration over a lack of time, as usual, but I know that I can pull together one full revision before school starts on Monday. I only have 75 more pages to read through to finish my first revision, and then I will need to go back and enter all my changes in the computer. I'm a little old fashioned about revising; I like to have a paper copy that I can mark up with a pen. Plus, I find that it is helpful to have to re-enter the changes on the computer because it forces me to go over those changes in my head one more time. I do have to say that I am greatly enjoying my own book. My brain is alight with all sorts of possibilities for the next installment and I am seriously considering getting to work on it shortly after publishing this installment. We'll see, though. Trying to write during the school year can be like trying to swim upstream; a lot of energy expended for not a lot of gain. But I might try... I might. I have so many OTHER stories in my head right now, too, that it's appealing to finish this series in less than six years. Well, no promises. More soon!