Category: Cover artists


Morning peeps!

And here is a particularly splendid post for you all to enjoy. As you know, I have a short story named “A Sprig of Holly”. It was written for the first Christmas Lites charity anthology back in 2012, a sweet little adventure / romance written in the style of a Scandinavian folk tale (way, way before Frozen made it trendy. Afterwards I released it as a freebie with the hopes of spreading the word about the anthology a bit – all four of the current Christmas Lites anthologies are written in support of the NCADV, the American National Coalition against Domestic Violence.

Now as it was only an ebook, I bodged a cover until such time as I could get a decent one done, and that bodged cover was this:

(you may laugh, now I’ve got a better one). Sprig of holly bodge cover

 

But despite this non-splendidness, this little story has grown and grown in popularity until it has become the most frequently-downloaded text I’ve uploaded.

Now for a while I have been playing with the idea of doing a couple of  illuminated copies of some of the more fairytale of my stories, and I’ve been looking for a decent artist who might be able to do the illustrations. Someone suggested I should go and look on deviantart and I have to say, there are a lot of talented people on there. One of these is Wesley Souza, and he agreed to do an ebook cover for Sprig. Now, the development of this cover has been really interesting and I totally love the end result, so come with me on a journey through time and space (or at least through the last week or so) and let me show you just how talented an artist I have accidentally found.

So this is what we started with. I described Greta, a girl who lives with her grandfather in a cabin in the mountains, and the snowmaiden, a  figure that Greta carves from snow. We looked at a few varied possibilities for Greta, but this was the best and the most striking visually. The blue lady behind had the right kind of remoteness for the snowmaiden.

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This settled, Wesley began to work his magic. First he put them on the right kind of background, a snowy mountain landscape.

IMG_1119Then he put in a sunrise behind the mountain…

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After that he did some work on Greta’s hair….

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Followed by the snowmaid’s hair, and Greta’s sprig of holly…..
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After that, look at the details of the trees in front of the snowmaid’s skirt…

IMG_1123And then the snowmaid’s body, as of course she is made of snow (and I love the details of  the frost-patterns on her arms and face).
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Finally we discussed font; placement, choice of styles, and colour. We played about a bit until it was right, and he added the sparkles, just to make it more magical. So are you ready? Because here is my gorgeous new cover, for your delectation:

 

600x800smashwords_by_wesley_souza-d8tlltz

 

For anyone who’d like to read more, it’s free at Smashwords and should be at Amazon here: http://getBook.at/Sprig .

Also, go check out the rest of Wesley’s stuff at Deviantart here: http://wesley-souza.deviantart.com/  as it’s pretty exceptional!

So what do you think, peeps? Better than my homegrown effort, no?

hehehehe.

JAC.

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Hi all:

Just starting the sorting and tidying of the post-Loncon detritus, and while I’m working up to the full report, I thought I’d give you a quick list of links to be going on with. The dealer’s hall was an Aladdin’s cave of cool stuff, and on the Thursday I ended up walking round it about sixteen times, as every time I finished a circuit they’d put some more stalls up when I got there again!

I wanted to buy  SO much stuff: virtuously didn’t, and in all honesty the only thing I really regret is not buying the fab pic of the ferrets pulling the Celtic knots to pieces from Sophie Klesen(?) which I shall link to later, but then it was more money than I really could afford so probably for the best.

Anyhow. Take a look at these, and appreciate the splendidness!

Art

http://www.margaretwalty.co.uk – the most beautiful, luminous art. I wanted to buy all of it but sadly it’s a bit out of my pocket! Go and admire though – they are fab.

http://www.tekeli-li.com – this is where you can find all the various links for the Sophie Klesen whose fabulous mediaeval stuff is really gorgeous. In real life it’s dripping with gold leaf, and so unusual! If you check out her FB page, the one with the ferrets is the one I was hankering after. Isn’t it cool?! I did ask if they had it in postcard form, but they didn’t so I got the “Not available” one instead because it made me laugh.

www.annesudworth.co.uk – evocative, almost photographic paintings. Lovely stuff. They sold almost before I got to them!

Books

 www.glasgow.ac.uk/thesaurus – the historical thesaurus of English. Synonyms going right back historically; very pleasing.

www.inspired-quill.com – the excellent people at Inspired Quill who kept us amused in our bookselling endeavours. Buy their stuff! I have done.

And the cyberfriends from the Amazon forums who I finally met in the flesh, authors all:

www.willmacmillanjones.wordpress.com

http://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/

and my good mate and shameless tribble-petter MTMaguire: http://hamgee.co.uk/

Tshirts and other stuff

www.islandofdoctorgeof.co.uk – a fresh kind of madness. Slightly steampunk, very random. I particularly like the sleeve badges pertaining to tea, but sadly they didn’t have just straight black tea or I would have bought it on the spot. There were several other cool ones I meant to go back for, but when I did it was shut – another close call for the credit card!

www.londonmetalclay.com – pretty things! I did in fact cave annd buy a really pretty necklace from here. I wandered past every day for the entire con and still wanted it at the end so, y’know, it might have accidentally hijacked my credit card.

www.genkigear.com – Well, there were these Tshirts and I really wanted them and they were funny, so I virtuously bought some for pressies, you know, and accidentally maybe one for me and then it turns out they had a green one with weasels on and my press is called Weasel Green Press so it would have been kind of rude not to….

Anyhow, there are some links for you to be looking at while I’m writing up the rest of it.

Loncon was a most tremendous experience and I met some tremendous people, had some very interesting conversations and learnt A LOT. Part of what I learnt was that I really, really love meeting people and chatting to readers. Sadly I am a bit rubbish at selling my stuff, but you never know – maybe people will go and see what I’m rambling on about if I feed them enough jellybeans… but more of that anon.

Sadly being quite STUPID I took no photos at all of my first ever con.

< F A C E P A L M >

Still, I’ll find some Twitter peeps and get them to link in the comments if I can so you’ll have a bit more of an idea of what was going on.

Yet again – watch this space…also, if I find more of my links I may update it later on so do come back and check – and if you know something I’ve missed out, that’s what the comments are for!

More anon:

JAC

Dear all:

Here comes the cover reveal, at long last – but first a couple of bits of info, if I may.

1) Places you can pre-order “Song of the Ice Lord” include:

Smashwords  – note – you can read first 20% here RIGHT NOW!!

Amazon.com (pbk only, can’t do Kindle pre-orders but CAN sign up for new release alert emails here)

Barnes and Noble is now up for pre-orders

Still waiting on Apple but watch this space.

2) Song is currently priced at $0.99 / £0.77 but will go up to $2.99 / £whatever is nearest equivalent at the beginning of July. This is because the regulars – the real die-hard fans who wait anxiously for new releases and buy them as soon as they’re out – tend to miss the chance to pick up on the deals, and THAT’s not fair. So here for you regulars is a special release-deal. I’ll update links as it appears on other sites.

3) Release date is 21st June, the Summer Solstice. Get it before then if you can, and if you’re on Kindle, put a reminder in your diary…

Right. Admin aside, the moment you’ve been waiting for….
courtesy of the talented and very obliging Kari Ayasha of Cover to Cover Designs

Song of the Ice Lord.

My precioussssss…..
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3D-stack-promo

Fab, isn’t it!

Dear all:

I know you’re waiting impatiently for Book 3, and regular readers will know that THAT journey has proved… sticky. (Currently about to hit 80 thousand words though, so it’s progressing nicely. A while more before it’s finished though – well you did request something lengthier!)

However, in the meantime, while I’m writing Book 3 and editing Song (for the Parallels series) here is a little snippet of gossip to be going on with – this year’s Christmas Lites anthology is on its way, and due to be released in the next few days! RAH!

The cover many of you will have seen already, but I’m going to post both cover and title illustration because I can! And below is a little more detail about the book itself – twenty-one short stories from twenty great authors (and me!) and I cannot WAIT to get my copy for the Smugshelf (home of my own paperbacks).

So if you’re looking for a Christmas present for a loved one, a great read, or simply the opportunity to do a bit of good at Christmas, watch this space, because Christmas Lites III is coming, and this time it’s personal!!

= = = = = = = = = = =

The Christmas season is upon us yet again. Yes, my friends, it is a time of giving, loving, and sharing.

Within these pages is a way you can help many people desperately in need of love, support, and goodness: the victims of domestic crime. By purchasing any of the “Christmas Lites” anthologies, you are sending every last dime made off this book to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The NCADV is an amazing charity that saves these people and lets them know there is still hope, still goodness, and still a reason to carry on.

This is our third year, and twenty-one authors have joined in Christmas Lites III, giving their time and their stories to these people – and to you. We all hope you enjoy our holiday tales captured in bite-size pieces. Whether you read this on the bus, before bed, or snuggled by the fire, please, do read – and share.

Authors in this anthology:

Addison Moore
A.F. Stewart
Amy Eye
Angela Yuriko Smith
Ben Warden
Cassie McCown
Elizabeth Evans
J.A. Clement
JG Faherty
Jonathan Tidball
M.L. Sherwood
Monica La Porta
Ottilie Weber
Patrick Freivald
Phil Cantrill
Robert Gray
Ron C. Neito
S. Patrick Pothier
Tricia Kristufek
Vered Ehsani
*Brandon Eye bonus story

Editor/compiler: Amy Eye of The Eyes for Editing www.theeyesforediting.com

Cover Design Kyra Smith
Title page Design Crystal Bozeman Clifton
Link to the charity: www.ncadv.org

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Hey all –

As you know, now that ODS 1 & 2 are both out, I’m about to release the paperback. It’s currently in formatting and should be ready to go to the printers quite soon, but in the meantime, I have a new cover to show you and in all honesty I’m too excited to wait any longer!

It was done by the inimitable Regina Wamba of Mae I Design, and below you’ll find her guestpost. I will say, when you’ve read it, do go and look at her design gallery – there are such beautiful pictures and book covers there that I keep having to go back and see if she’s got any new ones up!!

So without more ado, here is my lovely new cover:

 Image

 

It’s based on a photo of model Maria Amanda by photographer Helle Gry Schaub – and now that you’ve admired it, here is a little more detail about the designer…

 = = = = = = =

 Name: Regina MaeAnn Rasmussen Wamba

Covers for books by:  MaeIDesign (pronounced May I Design! It was meant to be clever!!)

Website / Gallery: www.maeidesign.com or www.facebook.com/maeidesignandphotography/

One-sentence biog: I don’t blog. You have to be able to write to blog. No bueno here!

Links:

www.twitter.com/reginawamba/

www.facebook.com/maeidesignandphotography/

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2873421-regina-wamba

Questions:

What is the first picture you remember making?

Horsies… I loved horsies. EVERYTHING was horsie related. And because it’s been a long time… I will say it again. Horsie.

When did you know you wanted to do art for a living?

Gah… FOREVER. I used to watch Bob Ross and think… now this is what I want to do. Now, not technically am I doing what bob did, but hey… I love creating. He made some great trees you know?

When you draw / make art, do you have a routine or habit?

Not really. I usually just find something that sparks a thought, which sparks pictures, which sparks me doing something creative. I have to have some sort of outlet with me at all times, otherwise scraps of paper get used as my canvas and that isn’t really all that efficient.

What kicks off the picture? Do you plan it or do you start with a line and see what it looks like?

Usually I just have a base, and then everything kind of just happens. 🙂

When you do bookcovers, what in the summary tends to catch your attention?

Sometimes the whole thing, but usually I have to read a bit more than a summary to get a “FEEL” for the cover…. I want to express your words in image format… It’s important that I get it right.

Of your various  artistic endeavours, which is your favourite?

Because I live in a teenytinylittlepuny house… I don’t have the space for a studio, so I don’t get to do paintings and such as often. But when I do, I enjoy probably drawing first, and painting second. And then my other favorite art form is photography. Boy… that is just FUN… I love all types of art!

When you make covers without a story, is that a different artistic process from when you have a summary to work from?

Yes, basically it is more free rein. I get something small to make something big. BUT I get more vivid imagery when I read more.

Do you have a favourite cover or picture that you’ve done?

I love my daughter’s picture of the dragonflies where it looks like her hair is on fire. I called it “Do you believe in Magic?” I love the colors, space and wonder in that manipulation. It was her one year picture, and I ended up just having more fun with it when I got home! 🙂

Do you read much, and if so what?

YES. I love to read! Love Love Love… I love historical romance, new adult and young adult paranormal. I love anything paranormal. But I also enjoy a good book if it makes me think.

 

Do you have an e-reader?

I have a Nook and and iPad!

Have you read and enjoyed any other indie authors?  

Oh yes! Cambria Hebert, Brynn Meyers, Hanaan Rosenthal, John Corwin, Jacob Walker, Penelope King… and this gets longer…

What are your views on self-publishing /  e-books?

I really only read on an e-reader, so all I really have are ebooks. 🙂 I love how much control authors have over their books… but I wish that it was easier for them too! There are tons of VERY VERY talented individuals!

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So there we have it! Did you like my cover? What do you think?

Thanks to Regina for her splendid cover and for guesting here – and to the rest of you, watch this space for news of the paperback, and if you’d like to be involved in the launch party (and I’m intending to have giveaways and prizes and all sorts), drop me a line….

Catch you later peeps!

JAC

People!

After much tweakage and work, the cover for the ODS paperback is ready to be unveiled!

The grand reveal will be in two weeks’ time on the weekend of 30th June, and with a bit of luck I’ll have some guest blog spots and maybe the odd freebie to tempt you…

So watch this space while I get back to the final proofing before the text is sent off to be formatted. Paperback here we come! Rah!

JAC

Hey everyone:

For those of you who have read Book 1, Book 2 of the On Dark Shores series is out!

Here is the blurb:

“Nereia is faced by a frightening choice. Copeland is getting dangerously unpredictable; and in the blind darkness of the sea-caves under the cliff, Blakey is about to make the acquaintance of the Archangel…

Sequel to On Dark Shores 1: The Lady and second in the dark fantasy series, this novella is gritty and gripping with a rich tapestry of characters and darkly evocative setting. Contains violence and drug-use.

The story will be followed later in the year by On Dark Shores 3: The Mother.”

It’s available on Smashwords as well as Amazon – US and UK and should make its way through to Apple, Nook, Kobo and the rest in the next week or so.

Anyone who wants it, head on over to whichever of those places sells the file you need – and if you’d consider leaving a review, whether you like or hate it, I’d really appreciate it, as reviews sell books!

I’m not going to do the whole publicity thing for this one as – next bit of gossip approaching – at the moment I’m working on the paperback.

Because Books 1&2 are only 40k words apiece, they’re too short for individual paperbacks. (From Book 3 onwards this will not be the case though!). What I’m going to do is put BOTH of the first two novellas together into the first paperback, and just call it “On Dark Shores” without the subtitles.

Probably this will cause a certain amount of confusion but I don’t think that can be helped, unfortunately.

Anyhow, the cover’s being put together by none other than the highly talented (and infinitely patient!) Regina Wamba of Mae I designs, and you should see it!! Well, you will see it soon enough, but it’s going to be FAB! Check out her portfolio here – and bear in mind that a couple of designs there are for sale… Must admit there are several there that made me go “WOW!” and I only wish that I could think of a story for the one with the blue ravens – love that one!

Rambling aside, what this means is that I’m going to need a big publicity push for the  paperback and I don’t want to get unduly spamtastic as that can be very tedious. That being the case, I’m not specially going to  publicise The Other Nereia per se, as I figure anyone who’s read On Dark Shores: The Lady already has all the relevant links in the back of the book to find it and anyone who hasn’t read either would probably do better to get the omnibus anyhow.

Which means that in effect, you faithful regulars are pretty much getting a sneak preview…

So, if you do enjoy it, tell anyone who’s read the first one – and if you don’t, tell me! And if you’re not inclined to read it at all, then go look at Regina’s site and enjoy the pretty pics, because she has some properly stonking ones up there…

Back to it! Bk 2 to format for paperback, bk 3 to finish and a couple of so-called “shorts” for the Parallels series to be getting on with in the meantime.

Catch you later, peeps:

JAC