Shiny new idea

Every once in a while I get an email about this one book cover designer creating new designs. So of course, I rush over and check it all out. There was this one image that captured me, but I didn’t buy it in time so it got snapped up by another. It was just a picture of blood dripping down a woman’s face. I loved the image so much I had to think of a story to go with it. And I did. I’ve got a nugget of an idea and slowly expanding it.

Anyhow I still wanted to use the image and found it on iStock. I downloaded the watermarked image and experimented with some minor effects on and I think I got it just right. Does that mean I’m copying the designer? Anyway, the story is only one chapter complete so it’ll be awhile before you see it.

Getting back into the grove of things

I went on looking for some inspiration for writing and then (after a few hours, is it really 8pm?) I found three images that are perfect for my Young Adult trilogy – Laidley Letters. That was after I remembered I had already written the first book. So it will be easier to get back into that world. According to Microsoft I last modified it on the 22nd of Dec 2014! How could I go so long? Well anyway I’ve got my image inspiration and I’m going to start editing the first book.

Things to do this November

So October wasn’t so successful in terms of completing 5 book plans. But I did manage one 🙂 I got distracted by writing other stories instead of planning and work.

With the book plan I managed to finish, which is a YA whose story idea I only came up with in the last few months, I even went and found an image from iStockphoto which I think is perfect for it. Now I just need to write it up.

I seem to be all over the place when it comes to my writing. I blame Civilization 5, it’s an addictive bastard.

I’m intending to get back to editing Feet or Fins, which I have kind of burnt myself out on. There is only 35 more pages to go. I’m determined that this will be my 11th and final edit 🙂

I’m going to be working on a steam punk/magic story, return to write up the book plan for Laidley Letters 2 and 3, and plan out another YA about a story that I haven’t touched in years 🙂

Feet or Fins cover image

I’ve found my book cover image AND I’ve turned it into a book cover 🙂

And it has taken me long enough to do so. For at least 18 months I have been looking around for the perfect picture.Something that I thought represented my story the best. I wasn’t keen on getting a designer to make one because I figured ‘why pay for something I can try myself?’ and when it comes down to it a cover image is just a picture and text. And if that didn’t work out then I’d go to someone. It hadn’t even been until recently that I had been in a position to consider paying someone.

In the meantime I just cruised around some photo stock websites browsing for images I thought were decent for what was inside the book. At first I was going to go with Getty, but then they upped the prices and there was no way I was even going to consider it.

Hello!? I was a student and students have no money.

I remember being pissed that the ‘perfect’ image I had picked had been under $50, but then it was over $200. In my anger I just decided that I was going somewhere else. And I’ve forgotten what that ‘perfect’ image even looked like now. Ironically I ended up with iStock, which is owned by Getty but images cost less. Yay? (How does that work?)

So I created a lightbox (overly fancy word for folder) and began adding images. Soon I had around 70, but while I liked the images and thought they held sway with the book, they weren’t quite perfect. At the time I stayed off buying because while they were cheaper, I was still living on a student income. Instead I just browsed the internet for info on book covers. Then a few weeks ago I came across this article ‘Book Cover Design and the Problem of Symbolism‘. Reading it just seemed to make my brain click and I began looking for more images, this time with a slightly different angle. I found some I liked and bingo!

I found one that seemed to address the main issue in the book.

I copied the watermarked image onto my computer and began playing around with it on both and Within a few days I had something I liked and then I bought the large version earlier today 🙂 While it does take a bit of getting used to two different editing programs I think I made something pretty sufficient. I’ve been checking out publisher websites and while some of their book covers are way out of my skill set, others are quite simple (not meant in a negative way).

I pretty much like the image as it is so I’ve it and I’ve just laid text over it. I made sure to make the words are large so that they are easily readable as a thumbnail image. And here is the final product.

Feet or Fins ebook cover

My ticking brain

Currently I am in a place where I am tired, as I would call it, from editing. It’s not really burnout because I’m looking at the symptoms now and I don’t fit the bill. I think it might be fatigue from spending all this time and energy on one story.

At the moment with Feet or Fins I’m at a stage where I just want to get it over and done with. I have already chosen a cover image from and have been playing around with the watermarked picture on I’m not really good at working out Photoshop in general I have developed some basic skills that I think will make my cover perfectly reasonable. I’ve sent off my documents to get an ITIN from the US and I expect that to arrive in the post in the middle of next month sometime. The moment I think everything is ready I’m putting it online so I can then go off and work on other things.

But during my hiatus I’ve been working on another story. A young adult one. Some time ago I did a complete word vomit and wrote about 14 short chapters. In the past two weeks I have edited those chapters and finished a book plan of it. And have decided that I will expand it into a trilogy. For some reason I think these books will be less ‘intensive’ in writing because I am drawing on real life instead of making up a somewhat supernatural world with multiple viewpoints. Feet or Fins has a lot of characters and POVs, plus a lot of back story and I have to make sure that the supernatural elements had a good sense of verisimilitude. For me young this young adult book seems to be easier to write. There is only one main character to focus on and it’s set in current society. Apart from this book I have been struck with the writing bug for two new stories and I am occasionally adding the occasional tid-bit to other stories as well.

My brain never stops ticking.


Inspired to design

Just found a wonderful website detailing help for self publishers. I can’t believe that I didn’t come across it sooner. It even won an award for being the ‘Top Website for Self-Publishers’ from the Alliance of Independent Author. It’s called The Scarlett Rugers Book Design Agency and it has tones of wonderful articles that I’ve just been reading. It has really inspired me with designing my own cover image 🙂 So many helpful articles.