So I took my own advice from last week and shut down all my social media/distracting websites (there’s always that one site …) and took a deep dive into Photoshop.
I worked through two tutorials. The first was to create an illustrated cover using stock illustrations.
For this cover, I reused the butterfly image I had (see Friday’s free fiction) and the background. The only new element is the illustration of the girl’s face.
I put my name on this one, even though I have no story idea whatsoever. Maybe someday I will, and then hey, look! I have a cover!
Also, I often misspell butterfly as butteryfly. Pretty sure I didn’t do that here.
Then yesterday, I worked through another tutorial. The objective of this one was to create a sweet romance cover.
It’s definitely a romance, and a sweet one at that. How do you tell? They’re smiling, and they have all their clothes on.
This probably has more of a romantic comedy vibe, but I think it meets the requirements. (It’s not like I’m being graded or anything, so …)
You’ll notice it’s also penned by Callie Robb. Callie is my imaginary author friend for whom I design book covers. She’s way more prolific than I am. I’d be jealous, except none of us here believe she has a rich inner life.
So, I’m already peering into February because I have stories to post.
I spent some time in Photoshop this week, creating the images for each story, and I’ll get those posts scheduled ASAP. I like being able to set and forget, at least as far as having the stories magically appear on the blog. (And it’s not magic; we all know it’s not magic. It still feels that way.)
And February’s stories will truly be all about love, because … why not? We’ll have romantic love, star-crossed love, a bit of unrequited love. You name it, we’ll have it next month.
In actual writing this week, I did some writing on a time travel story and got a notion for a pirate adventure. So. There’s that as well.
International Talk Like a Pirate Day is in September. (Did you know that? I did not.) So maybe I can post the pirate adventure then.
More low stakes practice this week. This tutorial was on thriller covers (I think that’s fairly obvious, but just in case …).
This isn’t a real book. Callie Robb isn’t a real author (that I know of–Callie, if you’re out there and would like these covers, let me know). A Cressview Thriller isn’t a thing (again, that I know of). But it’s more fun than going with author name and fake series name.
In writing news, I worked on an exercise and a bit on the Coffee and Ghosts story. And … that’s it for this week.
Not a lot of writing this week. I’m playing around with an idea for Coffee and Ghosts. Not so much a sequel, but a look at what happens near the end of the series from Malcolm’s point of view (which is about all I can say without spoilers). I wouldn’t publish this but instead, offer it up as a newsletter bonus.
I am also thinking seriously about Coffee and Dragons, or as seriously as someone can think about Coffee and Dragons. The idea is starting to grow on me. I’m not sure how I’d pull it off, but I am considering the challenge.
I did take some time to have some fun with covers. If these were real covers, I’d spend a lot more time refining the edges around the masks on the cover models, maybe reconsider my font choices, and so on.
This effort was a practice go since I don’t write contemporary romance. Low stakes, just for fun.
Knight here is very Broody McBroody. Or maybe he’s mourning his unfortunate choice in footwear.
Mr. Prince here does look worried about being the prodigal son, no? Or maybe the oven timer’s gone off, and he’s concerned the crust on his par-baked pizza is going to burn.
This guy? This guy is what’s known in Romancelandia as an alpha-hole. You can just tell. Either that, or he really doesn’t like the new engineered hardwood floors.
And that’s it for this last full week of September.
Oreo, volunteer editor
I am diligently trying to keep myself out of the Photoshop black hole. Fortunately (or, perhaps, unfortunately), I don’t have a title for the first book or the series it’s supposed to be in, so there’s only so much cover designing I can do.
Yeah. I need a title, especially since I’d like to publish this year.
In other news, not only did I complete the outline for the novella, but I started the draft. I finished up revising/editing two short stories that I plan to send off this week as well.
All in all, it was a good writing week.
Jasper and Poppy … maybe?
Checking in late today. I fell into a Photoshop black hole, and I’m just now crawling out of it.
I splurged on a couple of Photoshop actions, and let me tell you… that’s hours of fun right there. Worth every cent.
I’m still looking for the right stock photos for my covers. The models don’t need to look exactly how I see the characters in my mind, but it helps if the attitude is right.
Then you need a supply of poses, preferably on an isolated background (or one that’s fairly neutral), and, and, and … you get the idea.
In actual writing news, I finished the short story I was working on. I’m now letting it rest a bit before I revise and send it off.
I also started outlining the companion novella. The main challenge here is to keep it at novella length. I hope to start writing it soon, possibly as early as this coming week.
Even more dancing this week. There’s one more meet on Tuesday, and then that’s it until January. Whew!
I did get some writing in, +5,000 words or so. And my story, Steadfast, in Flash Fiction Online, got the most amazing review here.
And now I need to go figure out Christmas, or at least wrap some presents before the tower of Amazon boxes in the front hall tips over and crushes someone.
- Series work (structure, brainstorming, research)
- Mark Dawson’s Ads for Authors Course
- Writing ~5,000 words