This is a culmination of my too many interests. It's is an in-between place. It's more focused than my Myspace blog, but less so than my author blog. Here you can find artwork, photography, writing, poetry, book covers, manga and pointless videos. All of these things mesh together to become a reflection of their creator in an in-between place colored like shadows and flavored like frappuccinos and chocolate. It's one heck of a world.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Anatomy of a Book Cover

Things have just been insane around my house this week. I have two book covers waiting approval, a third I am in the middle of, and two more in my inbox waiting to be addressed. I am in the midst of some plaid editing (You still don’t know what that is? that’s coz you didn’t go look, did you?) and I’ve gotten involved with a group of indie authors on Facebook. It started out as the Black Friday sale, and has now expanded into a full on Holiday sale - check out the cheap reads here: . We’re also discussing a kind of informal Facebook group to help one another out and such. You can go take a look at that too here: . I haven’t updated my website yet, or even started the December newsletter and then we’re having our family Thanksgiving tomorrow (Saturday) so my productivity is bound to be pretty low. People ask me “How do you do it all?” Answer: I don’t. If advice is what we ask for, then let me give you some. Pick one thing and stick to it. This multiple project life is for the birds.

Of course, I intend to ignore that advice and keep stretching myself thin because I refuse to give any of it up. Just sayin’. 

On a side note, a funny thing happened to me today. Well, it’s funny in a sick way. I will probably have to give a deposition over the phone in the next few days to prove I was not having a “secret relationship” with someone - or they could end up going to jail. Seriously. I feel like such a vixen. Interestingly enough, it is because they helped me with my first book some time back that has brought it all about. So does this mean that I can say “read the book that almost put one man in jail”? Oh for the way we were when the world made any flippin’ sense!

Now that I’ve bored everyone beyond tears, I am going to bore you further. NaNoWriMo, which means National Novel writing Month , is held every November and writers all over the world try to get 50,000 words out before December first. I didn’t have enough time to write, but I did get to participate in a way with LC Cooper. She wrote The Voices of Cellar’s Bridge: Katherin’s Hope for NaNoWriMo, uploading the “in progress” file to Smashwords every day, and so instead of just sitting down one weekend and zooming through the cover, I also did it in progress stages so that readers could watch both the cover and the book grow. It was a very cool project, but alas all good things come to an end and it is now finished. However, for your viewing enjoyment, here are the six stages:

As often happens, the concept was the author’s idea; I just drew what she asked. Here is the original sketch that , yes, is on tiny notepaper as I drew it during a Dr. Who break while I was at my brother’s house.
the sketch

Scanned and slapped over my handy dandy template, I started by blocking in the bridge in art media. Art media in Paint shop pro can imitate many different things like markers, pastels and more, but I usually use the oil paint, as I did here.
in progress 1

The sky in this version is actually a photograph with some blurry filters applied and is actually the same sky I used in the Butcher Harbor cover a few months ago. Another sneaky thing I did was with the charred wood texture. Looks pretty real, huh? That’s because it is. As luck would have it, I had just recently taken some photos of charred wood in the neighbor’s burn pile, so I chopped out a rectangular section of it and pasted that into a new layer and set it to Overlay. Yes, I’m giving away all of my secrets here, so take notes.
vs 2

Here the title got fixed, and you can see there’s more charred wood texture applied, as well as a sand texture (done the same way!) and a grass texture on that cliff top out there. Both the sand and grass are from photos I took in Virginia Beach a couple of years ago.
VS 3

And then I did the same thing to the weeds with a photo I took in College springs, Iowa, and added the smoke in the background with the ever cool Eye Candy plugin (seriously, they were worth the $200 I spent on them!) and then blocked in some misty-ness. But don’t get attached to it, because…

We’re all done and a lot of the mist went. I did add some foam at the base of everything and textured the rock with some photos from along the side of the highway. We also opted to add a red glow inside the bridge that represents elements in the story.

If anyone is interested in the book, which looks pretty interesting, to me, you can get it on Smashwords: 

Wasn’t that exciting? And now it’s time for the segment I like to call Random Things from My Hard Drives.

I haven’t taken any photos off since October, so I thought I would instead share a poem I wrote on request about the color Orange.

Light breaks over the horizon
like juice in a cup so bright
the yummy goodness is impossible to ignore
so bright and friendly
how can anyone be hysterical
while drinking of the citrus
even if they added
cloves to the juice
that is

(It was inspired by the same conversation that inspired Jonathan’s Blogophilia entry this week, so I thought it was appropriate! And yes, it is supposed to be weird.)

Fav song of the moment - Sail Away with Me - Sunrise Avenue


Sharon S. said...

that was a cool post about how the cover was made. About the, wow .

Joleene Naylor said...

@Sharon S.


I know~! It totally freaked me out!

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