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Friday, December 30, 2011

And Another! (Book Cover)

My friend and fellow writer J.R. Murdock, author of such great books as V & A Shipping, Billy BarbarianAstel, and a great collection of short stories called Murdockian Tales, asked me to create a cover for one of his new short stories called Grandpa's Little Red Barn. As of the date of this post it is currently free so snag it while you can. Also, those first two titles are available for free in audio and I highly recommend them. They're very entertaining romps, a great time. Some other covers for this great author are in the works - you'll see more on that in later posts in early 2012. I'll just say he's going to be busy cranking out lots of fiction next year. I'm excited. Next year will be the year of my debut novel and I have plans to also release a novella. Yes 2012 is going to be a great year for fresh fiction my friends. For this cover I was happy that J.R. had a clear vision of what he wanted. He knew what he wanted the font to look like, where everything should go, and he even provided the photo I used. I desaturated it a bit so it was no longer stop sign red, and then snagged some of the front wall to create the "RED" text in the story title text. It was fun and we both like how it turned out. I'm really excited for another cover I'm doing for him which is much more involved and included several painted illustrations to make the final image. It's going to be awesome!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Made Another eBook Cover

I did a cover for my friend Scott Roche. He's the first one to ever give me a crack at making an eBook cover, and since his first request I've been happy to do a few more for him and some eBook artwork for others. I love making art and if any of you need an eBook cover I'd be happy to give you a smokin' deal, or even trade for it. With Scott, I asked him to be a beta reader for my novel when it's done. He was happy to do it and I'm really glad to have him as one of my beta readers. On this cover I'll say that Scott had a clear idea of what he wanted which made my job very easy. An artist can ask for nothing more than a client with a clear idea of what they want. He gave me a few pictures to choose from and told me what he wanted. I picked the photo with the best composition. I found an image of an envelope, erased out the text on it and made my own new text on it. Then I added some lighting effects to it to make it blend in with the scene better. The folder didn't take up all of the space in the bottom of the picture so I copied some of the pavement, enlarged it and placed it over the blank space to make it look like the walkway kept coming towards you. I think it's a fun and awesome cover. It makes me want to read the story. Does it do the same for you? If so you can name your price and pick up a copy of the eBook in any format you need right here: Operation Barghest

Monday, December 12, 2011

Great Resources for Writers

If you're like me, you probably have several writing books on your shelf. You read them and revisit them and take notes from them and highlight them. Then when you're writing you try and remember what they said about something you're working on. The best is when you read something to watch out for in your writing, like using adverbs, and then go back to your writing to find it all over the place. Been there? While the best way to become a better writer is to do just that and write, there are some things that can turn on a light bulb and speed along the process of making you a better writer. Tools for your tool belt you can use when crafting your fiction. I have discovered that the writing itself isn't the hard part, but coming up with a great story can be a lot of work. One of my favorite things to do and something I really enjoy, but a lot of work. The two books I got the most out of are:

  1. On Writing
    by Steven King
So if you haven't read those then you should pick them up and give them a read. You'll thank me for it. If you don't want to lay down some coin to get great writing advice, then I also have two awesome resources for you that are free.

The first is David Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants. You'll find the subscribe button on the upper right of the page. David emails you often with great writing advice. He is a veteran writer and what he has to say is worth reading. You should also check out the Writing Tips page on his website. David writes all kinds of stuff in many genres, but he's most famous for his fantasy Runelords series.

The other resource I've come to love is from Michael J. Sullivan, one of my favorite new epic fantasy authors. He has been giving writing advice every week on his blog. A lot of it has helped me and the way he writes makes it fun. If you haven't read the first in his new Trilogy, then you owe it to yourself to read Theft of Swords. If you're not sure then check out a free short story in the same world he wrote called The Viscount and the Witch.

If you're still looking for more free resources to find great writing advice then check out my list of, you guessed it, "Great Writing Podcasts" located on the right column of my website. Thanks for stopping by, happy reading and happy writing!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Free Christmas Story

Last year I wrote a fun little Christmas story, and recorded it. It's also available as a free eBook. It is still one of my favorite episodes. Find the audio story and eBook links in the post from last year. I have an idea for a story for this year, but I'm not sure if I can find time to write it and record it. It would be about the elf who comes along with Santa to help him eat all the cookies left out by children once Santa is too full to eat any more. It should be a fun little story if I can find time to write it. Until then, or if I can't get around to it - please enjoy my Christmas story from last year. Happy Holidays everyone!