Jason and Lily Gets a Cover Update

posted in: cover reveals | 4

Any of you who pay attention to my rambles probably know that Jason and Lily is my personal favorite out of all the books I’ve written.  But you might not know that, compared to the other books in the series, it doesn’t get a lot of love.  Or at least not a lot of sales.  Out of the entire series, it has the best overall rating on Amazon, and people who read it seem to really like it.  But despite that fact, sales on J&L are sporadic at best.  I’ve tried practically giving it away at 99 cents for a long time and the price change did not seem to make a difference.  I’ve updated the cover once before to bring it more in line with the rest of the series, and that didn’t do much for it either.  But I’ve had a stinking suspicion all along that the cover simply wasn’t good enough.  I mean, I know it’s a prequel and all, but I don’t get why readers who want to read everything else in the series would not want to read the prequel that sheds so much light on things.  So, yeah, I’m blaming the cover.

The original cover…

…was meant to look like Lily’s journal… because the book is Lily’s journal.  That made a lot of sense to me, but it wasn’t very pretty or eye catching when it came down to it.  It also wasn’t quite in line with the other books.  Movin’ on.Cover of Jason and Lily

The current cover…

…is OK.  It goes with the series, and for me, it means a lot.  I’m willing to admit, though, that prospective readers might not get the oranges (having not read the book yet).  And I imagine if I were judging the book by its cover, I might wonder if it was about fruit farmers or something.  Clearly Jason and Lily needed a makeover.  I thought about this (and put it off) for a very long time.  I meandered through a range of possibilities, bouncing them off Pol.  Here’s what one conversation was like:

Me: How about sungoggles?

Him:  Boring.

Me:  Um… how about playing cards?

Him:  Boring.

Me:  A gun?  Throw in a glass of whiskey.

Him:  Also boring.

Me:  …An alligator?

Him:  How about an alligator wearing sungoggles drinking a glass of whiskey while playing cards?

 

We both liked the last idea, but, alas, where do you get an alligator who will do that kind of thing for cheap?

 

The thing that I eventually came to was that Jason and Lily needed to have Jason and Lily on the cover.  I don’t usually like to put characters on my book covers because I know we all like to imagine them for ourselves.  But this story is so much about people that it just needed to have them.  That led to more ponderances about poses and so on and so forth, and I kept putting it off.  Until… now.  At long last, I have a cover for J&L that I think finally does the book justice.  I am really over the moon with this cover, as I think it captures the heart of the story beautifully.  So, without further ado… here it is.   I hope you love it as much as I do.

Music and Writing

posted in: on writing, Uncategorized | 0

Warning: This post contains spoilers (The E Series).  Please be especially careful if you are reading this on social media, as the accordion formatting that will protect the spoiler content on my blog most likely will not transfer through to social media channels.

Most of the time when I’m writing, I prefer to have it quiet.  I am not one of those authors who constantly has music going during work time.  But every once in a while I do like to listen to music while I’m working, and sometimes that music can be incredibly inspiring and helpful to the creative process.

I was on Youtube the other day and happened to come across a music compilation that I listened to when I was writing Elegy and Endgame.  It’s called “World’s Most Emotional Music: 2 Hours Epic Music Mix: Volume 2” by Epic Music World.  The whole thing is great, and has definitely provided me with a lot of inspiration.  I thought you guys might enjoy having a listen, too.  Click here to go to the Youtube compilation.  (As an aside, that gorgeous thumbnail art on the compilation is by an artist that goes by the tag WLOP and writes graphic novels.  I am so drooling over this art.  WLOP, if you’re reading this, will you make The E Series into a graphic novel for me?)

There are two particular tracks on this compilation that I ended up really connecting to, and they are coincidentally back to back, right at the beginning.  In my head, they will forever be the “Oscar tracks”.  I’ll just point you at tracks two and three, which I can no longer listen to without seeing certain scenes in my head.  And… spoilers…

Track two: “Tears of War” by Collosal Trailer Music/Sup Pub music

This piece of music is so intense, it’s like having your soul pulled out slowly.  I connected to it immediately.  It had such a huge part in inspiring Oscar’s final appearance in DaMoynz.  Those deep, vibrating tones made me see this scene from Chapter 31: Shatter in slow motion:

Oscar…. One hand clutches his side.  Fresh blood rolls down his arm.  A drop gathers on his fingertips, releases, falls.  Cascading to the ground, it lands in a puddle of red that splashes his bare feet

 

Track three: “Fix Me” by Asith Perera

This is not the kind of music I normally find myself drawn to, but something about the lighthearted/heavyhearted feel of this track really got to me.  It was this track that inspired Oscar’s other scene in Elegy: the goodbye.  (Chapter 33: Brief)  When I listen to this track, I feel this undercurrent of grief and acceptance, but on top of all that there is joy and hope.  Also, I love the playfulness that mingles into this piece of music, which made me think of Oscar, and also inspired the leaves.

The wind swirls up, we let the leaves fly, and they spiral into the blue sky, lifting, lifting.  Our hearts go with them.

 

And one more…

Track Ten: “Civilization is Over” by Danny Rayel

This track was more of a thematic inspiration, rather than specifically attached to a scene.  For me, this music is tied into Eden and Apollon’s final stand somewhat (Endgame), but it is more about the overarching ideas of the inspiration behind that… specifically the impact that both Jonas and Oscar (and obviously their loss) had in shaping that future victory.  It’s about determination, grit, and meaning.  The following is from Chapter 37: For Them

I look up at Apollon, strength and emotion surging over me. “For Jonas,” I say.
He nods. “And for Oscar.”

 

What do you guys think?  Do these tracks fit with the scenes for you as a reader?  I’d love to hear your comments.  And if you want to point me toward any inspiring music that you just love, feel free to do that as well.

 

 

Present and accounted for…

posted in: random | 0

Have you ever had one of those years where Murphy’s Law seemed to be the primary force in existence?  One of those years where you actually found yourself pondering exactly which evil dictator you were in a previous life, just so you could understand what you’re being punished for?  One of those years where you constantly flashed back to Jack Nicholson saying stuff about everyone else being on a boat headed for an island, to have a picnic with noodle salad, and you wondered where the hell your own noodle salad was?  Yeah, it’s been one of those years.

Not that I want to get into (or even recall) any of it.  However, for those of you who have been wondering where I’ve been, please reference the above paragraph.

That said, I’m still alive, I’m not locked in a padded room, and I’ve only collected a couple of grey hairs along the way (screw you, universe).  Things are going so much better right now, so I am tentatively dipping one foot back into the neglected, stagnant waters of my blog.  I’m also getting back to writing, or at least editing (and so is my editor, yay!)  My second Fairytale Evolution book was supposed to be out ages ago (it even says so in the back of the first book), and yet… it’s not.  But it should be soon.  I’ll be posting more news on that in the near future.

And so here’s the part where I issue a big, heartfelt apology to those of you who absolutely hate it when an author you follow disappears for a while.  I get it.  I’ve been there.  And I’m sorry.  I can only tell you that I love writing to the depths of my soul, and I plan to do it for as long as I’m capable of it.  So if I’m not here, if I’m not writing, there’s a reason.

As I transition back into writing, I’m planning on keeping everything low-key so that I can focus my efforts on getting some books done.  You probably won’t see much of me on social media, or even on the blog.  I’m pretty sure that if you’re here and reading this, you’d rather I just shut up and write something, anyway.  So I’ll be doing that, and I’ll see you guys around.  🙂

Flipped: Release Party, Giveaway, Preorder Sale, and Gnomes!

posted in: launches and news | 0

Hey guys!  A few quick things to let you know about if you haven’t heard yet….

  • The release party will be on Saturday, Nov. 5th from 8-12 Eastern on Facebook.  I hope to see you all there!!!  https://www.facebook.com/events/126664014474462/  (The actual book release is Thursday, Nov. 3rd, but Saturday is a more convenient day to party.)
  • The giveaway for the one-of-a-kind art book edition of Flipped is up and running.  Enter here.  Sadly, the cover was destroyed (if you get my newsletter, you know all about that), but no worries!  I’m making a new cover and I’m sure it will be even better.  Due to the… um… devastation… of the first cover, there is a slight delay in the video footage of its making.  But if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the first video, which will give you a hint of what’s in store (it’s awesome).  Trust me.  You want this book.  So go enter the giveaway and support gnomes’ rights.
  • Yeah, btw, I’m getting really involved in this social cause– Equal Rights for Gnomes.  I hope you’ll join with me!
  • And you can still preorder Flipped for $2.99 on Amazon.  The price will go up after release on November 3rd, so best grab a copy now.  Plus, it’ll give you time to read some before the release party on Saturday!

That’s the main scoop!  Let me know if you have any questions.  I hope to see you all on Facebook on Saturday!  Woot!

Giveaway: A handmade book

posted in: Uncategorized | 4

Hey everyone!  Many of you may remember the handmade book I gave away to celebrate the release of Jason and Lily.  Well, I guess I just couldn’t get enough of the handmade book thing, because I’m doing it again!  I’m making a hand bound edition of Flipped to give away to one lucky winner.  This time, it gets even better….

 

A while back, I saw some gorgeous handmade journals from Latvian artist Aniko Kolesnikova.  She makes decorative polymer clay panels and affixes them to writing journals.  Well, when I was thinking of how to make this release special, and my thoughts turned to another handmade book, I ended up wondering if I could incorporate this same sort of decorative element.  So I did some research, and turns out… it’s a perfect fit!  As a matter of fact, rather than attaching a piece to the cover, my decorative piece is the cover.

 

Check out this video of the beginning of the process.  (And yeah, I know I sound like a little kid.)  :p

 

Like I said in the video, this is only the beginning of the process!  I’ll be posting more videos soon to show you the journal as it comes together.  The giveaway will be open to everyone, and it will also be up soon… so make sure you stay tuned for your chance to win this one-of-a-kind art book.

 

Fairytale Evolution News

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

20161018_195113“What’s that?” you say…

Why, yes, it is the makings of another handmade book.  This one is extra special, and it will be given away to celebrate the release of Fairytale Evolution: Flipped.  I think it’s going to be amazing!!!  I’ll be releasing more info about the book soon, including how you can win it!

And as of two minutes ago…

…I hit *submit* on the preorder of Flipped.  That means that the book should be available for preorder on Amazon within the next 72 hours, though in my experience, it happens a lot faster.  I will post links as soon as I see it go live.  Remember, release day is November 3rd!  Not too long, now!

Hope you are all well!  🙂

Fairytale Evolution’s Release Date

posted in: launches and news | 2

logo

 

It’s almost here!  After some discussion with my editor, we’ve agreed on a release date for Fairytale Evolution Book One: Flipped.  The book will be released on November 3rd, 2016.  That’s only a month away!

 

fairytale_evolution_flipped_red_cover

 

I’m soooo pleased to report that Pol has given this book his stamp of approval.  To quote, “Would you be offended if I told you I liked this book better than E?”  I wasn’t offended at all.  Now I’m just holding my breath and hoping that you all will enjoy it as much as he has.

 

Soooooo… over the next month, look for some fun pre-release stuff.  I’m not sure yet what I’ll get up to, but at this point I’m thinking maybe a cool giveaway or something.  Also, I’ll be putting Flipped on preorder as well, and I’ll post to let you know when that is available.  And of course, teasers!  More coming your way.  🙂