Friday, February 3, 2023

Book 3 Cover Reveal - Part 2

Welcome everyone!

As we run up to the March 2nd launch date for my latest novella, I’m going to show you more and more about my book. I hope to do these image reveals at least twice a week. I hope you’ll join me for each one, cause they’re going to keep getting better as we go.

Today, I’m revealing one of the most iconic parts of my book series. If you check out the image below of my first two books, what stands out most to you?

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s the title and then the Red Eye of the beasts. I love that little touch, especially since it was first suggested by my daughter. It was all her idea to have the wolf’s eye glow red when I got the first cover draft for the Huntsman and the She-Wolf. Here's the very first draft of my first cover:

I don't think I've ever shared that before, but the final product came out a lot better, didn't it? So yes, I am very proud of my offspring's contribution. 

Anyway, let's get on to the present. Here I present to you– the glowing eye for Book #3:

As you can see, the new artists captured it perfectly. It’s a slightly different shape than the first two, which is what I wanted. I think it fits the theme perfectly and will instantly capture the audience’s attention. I can’t wait for you to see it in real life. It’s even more striking!

That’s it for now. I’ll be back next week with more. In the mean time, take care of each other.



P.S. I hope you made it this far. Project X is still coming along better than I expected. If things keep going the way they are now, it may be ready in to for my launch party. Stay tuned for more details!!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Book 3 Cover Reveal - Part 1

 Welcome everyone!

Today, we get to begin the march toward the launch of the third book in my Hunter’s Rose series! This book has been the most difficult for me to finish. I can’t wait to share it with you because I think you’re really going to enjoy it.

Out of all the books I’ve written so far, this one is the most personal. I think I’ve mentioned before that I keep a dream journal. When I started putting together ideas for The Huntsman and the She-Wolf, I opened my journal and started pulling anything that would fit.

The further I got into the writing process, though, the fewer and fewer of my dreams could make it into the first book. In fact, the only two entries that made the cut for Book 1 were the She-Wolf hoisting the huntsman into the air in Chapter 1 and Tristan falling through the porcelain wall in Chapter 15. I had to keep putting them off.

The Huntsman and the Vampire, likewise, had very few of my dream entries. When I sat down to begin Book 3, I decided it was finally time to share my visions with you. These are the stories I really wanted to tell, but I’ll expound on them in the future.

You’re more interested in seeing my cover, I bet. So, what I’m going to do is reveal a little bit of the cover at a time over the next few weeks. It will all lead up to March 2. I’m happy to announce that, that’s the release date for the book!

So, without further ado, here is the proof of life for Book 3:

It exists! Take close note of how it matches the covers of my previous two books below:

For me, this small strip at the bottom of the book is a HUGE deal. I’ve well chronicled how I’ve had to struggle to find new cover artists for this entry in the series. Finding a capable replacement has been extraordinarily difficult and contributed to the delay of launching this book. I’m very pleased with how well this new artist was able to capture the elements of the first one.

More reveals will be coming quickly, so stay locked in. I’ve got mountains of wonderful things to share with you!



Wednesday, January 18, 2023

They Had Me Scared, For a Minute

 Welcome everyone!

For the last few days, I've had swirling around me the dark and panicked question that I think all authors face as they near publication: "Did I do something wrong?" Last Friday, I uploaded my covers and layouts to the printer. In the past, when I uploaded my files, they would be processed and ready to go a few hours later . This time, however, that was not the case.

Saturday and Sunday went by, and my books were still pending processing. That was a little odd, because for the most part, stuff like this handled by machines. Algorithms, software, AI, all that stuff usually takes care of this sort of thing automatically anymore. There's hardly any use for humans, so despite the fact it was the weekend, I figured my files would still upload just fine.

They didn't. By Monday, the files were still not processed. Worse yet, when I checked them, the covers looked all askew, and the pages weren't visible. I started to worry. It was, though, a holiday on Monday - at least in America. The parent company of my printer is based in Canada, but perhaps it was the long weekend that was somehow delaying the finishing touches on my books. I took a deep breath and decided to wait until Tuesday.

Tuesday came. There files were still messed up! Worse yet, my hardback version still had a red X by it indicating it was not processing. I pored over my cover and layout files. Everything looked fine to me. The margins and alignments were correct. The sizes looked correct. I couldn't figure it out.  

I was in very dismal spirits. I wondered if I would have to delay my launch and have the books and covers redone because I missed a small detail somewhere. It was hard enough going through all this the first time. I didn't want to have to do it again. I resolved to call customer service the next afternoon.

I sat down to lunch on Wednesday and pulled out my cellphone to browse the news. Instantly it buzzed alerting me to an email in my author account. Praise be! It was a notification that my paperback was fully processed, and the digital proofs were ready for viewing. Not only that, processing had begun on the hardback.

WHEW! The digital proof of the paperback looked great, and I hope to view the hardback in the next day or so. Even then, I'm not out of the woods. I won't feel 100% confident the quality of the work until I'm holding the physical proofs in my hands. However, things are looking much better today than they did 48 hours ago.

Once both of the digital proofs are available, I can proceed with the cover reveal, title reveal, interiors, and so on. Stay tuned! There are a lot more updates coming over the next couple months.



P.S. I haven't forgotten about project X. I'm making good progress on it and hope to share more about it in the near future as well. Heh heh heh.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Layout is Done and I'm Ready to Upload

 Welcome everyone!

Finally, after all this time, the last and final step toward producing my book is here. The writing, editing, revising, layout, and cover are all completed and now all I have to do is upload the files for final assessment by printer and ebook companies. WHEW! It's been a long time coming.

I hope to do the initial uploads this weekend. Then the folks at Amazon have to check my files as do the folks at IngramSpark, where my books are printed. With there being a bit of a paper shortage now-a-days (what isn't there a shortage of anymore, right?), it will take a little extra time to get my proofs back, but by the beginning of February, I think everything will finally set.

So all that's left to do is choose a publishing date. I'm thinking early March before spring starts. That way, as winter lingers on longer than any of us would want, everyone will have a nice new book to read. I like the sound of that.

We're almost there, everyone. Hang tight, you're going to enjoy the ride!



Wednesday, December 14, 2022

First Draft is Layout Is Back

Welcome everyone!

I got the first draft of the layouts for Book 03, and they look great! I'm super excited to see them almost complete. To review, my original layout artist (and also cover artist) when bankrupt and quit the business shortly after The Huntsman and the Vampire came out. As a result, I've had to scramble to replace that invaluable service. Thankfully, mercifully, I have found some competent contractors to replace them. As a result, cover and interior reveals will begin soon! 

The next step is to request revisions from the layout artist. I expect those to be back before Christmas. Consequently, I think I can start revealing things to you after New Year's! Expect a lot of exciting things to be coming your way.

I want to thank all of you for sticking with me through this. It's been a trying time, lately. You're support has been uplifting for me. Google tracks my visits every day and gives me a report about it. It's so good to see how many people check back for updates on this website. I can't thank you enough. Love to all.



Wednesday, November 30, 2022

I Have Contacted A Layout Artist!

 Welcome everyone!

I've made contact with a well-recommended layout artist. My order is a pretty complicated one since I need it done in eBook, paperback, and hardback format. My books also have those lovely illustrations you've come to expect, so it's not just something anyone can do.

I hope to hear back within the next couple days. I'll be keeping everyone posted. In the meantime, happy holidays and I hope all is well with you!



Sunday, October 16, 2022

Proofreads are in!

 Welcome everyone!

I got my proofreads back! So, now it's time to finish up my corrections, and then it's it's off to the layout artist. Hopefully that will just take a few weeks. Then, we'll have to decide on a publication date. I don't think I want to publish around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Folks are just way too busy around that time to pick up a new book. We'll have to see what happens.

Once again, thank you for sticking with me. It's been a long, tough road. I'm looking forward to the end.



Monday, September 19, 2022

And So We Hit a Snag

 Welcome everyone!

We are still making progress toward publishing Book 03 in my Hunter's Rose series. However, my proof reader (the last editor to see the book before publication) has had some unforeseen personal difficulties arise. She must address those before continuing work on my novella, and I'm only too happy to extend our contract time. I know how hard problems like these can be.

I'm hoping to hear from her again soon. I'll contact her in a couple of weeks to see if the situation is resolved. I don't believe this occurrence will delay my book all that much. It's just another hurdle to overcome in a process that's seemed to have more hurdles than I ever could have imagined, haha!

So what does that mean? Well, the delay has opened an interesting opportunity for me. While I'm waiting, I might as well make good use of my time. I've started something I'm going to call PROJECT X. I think I'll be able to get it finished before my book is ready for corrections. It will need some extra work after that, but as soon as I feel it is in good enough shape, I'll share it with you. I think you'll love it, even though it's different from what I've been doing in the past. Intriguing, right?

Anyway, take good care of each other. I'll be back soon with more updates. Thanks for sticking with me!



Thursday, September 1, 2022

I Just Watched The Rings of Power!

 Welcome everyone!

I just finished watching the first two episodes of the Rings of Power series on Amazon. If you've ever read my author bio on my Amazon page or my hardback, you know that I am a bit of a Tolkien nerd. Proudly, a Tolkien nerd.

I have to say I enjoyed it a great deal. The scenery is gorgeous and very reminiscent of the Lord of the Rings movies. I loved the real sets and the prosthetics for the elves, dwarves, and orcs. The CGI dwarves and orcs in the Hobbit movies really took me out of the world.

Anyway, I do wish there had been a bit more action sequences in these first couple episodes. One thing I've learned about writing is that you really need to hook the audience early. However, given what I know of the history of this era, there should be plenty of battles and duels to come.

Anyway, if you have Amazon Prime, I highly recommend getting into this show while you wait for my third book. It is a real treat for the eyes!



Tuesday, August 9, 2022

The Cover is Finished!

 Welcome everyone!

The cover for Book 03 is now completed! It looks great. The new company I went with did an excellent job of recreating the motifs of the first company (see image below of my previous two covers). The look isn't an exact match, but since Book 03 marks a turning point for the main character, the change is fine with me.

When will I do a cover reveal? Well, I'm still waiting to hear back from my proofreader. Once she is done, then I can make the final corrections to the book and get it to a layout company. After that, it's just a few more technical, business-side stuff, and I'll be ready to publish. We're almost there, gang!

Be back soon with more updates.



Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Progress on Book 03 Cover is Underway!

 Welcome everyone!

I have some fantastic news to share today! I just received the first pass on the cover for my third book, and it looks great! I won't belabor the point since anyone who has read my blog for a while knows that my original cover artist is no longer able to work with me. As a result, I have been delayed in releasing my third book due to an enormous amount of angst concerning the cover. Well, that anxiety is relieved. I am so happy with what I've seen so far, and I just need to request a few corrections before I start the cover reveal. It'll be coming soon!

Now, a discerning eye will be able to not subtle differences between the first two books and Book 03. However, I think I'm just going to go with it. Book 03 has a very different tone and purpose from the first two books. While the major motifs for both the text and the covers remains the same, Book 03 represents a shift in my storytelling style. Therefore, it seems natural that the elements of the cover should shift too.

What this mean is: the covers for Book 04 and Book 05 will also have small, subtle changes to reflect the arc of the main character. Doing so will give me some symmetry in the way the books appear on a shelf. So Books 01 and 02 will have very similar cover elements. Book 03 will be unique on its own. Then Books 04 and 05 will look similar to each other. 

I hope that makes sense. And if it doesn't, you'll just have to keep coming back here for more updates to see how it all unfolds (wink wink). So anyway, the bottom line is this: the new cover is going to look amazing. I am so relieved that my new cover company could make it happen. Once all the final touches are done, I'll move on to finishing my proofreader's comments and then it will be time to publish!

I can't wait to share it with you!



Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Final Revisions for Book 3 Completed!

 Welcome everyone!

I'm so glad to finally share an update with you. The pandemic has hit us all in different ways. Isolation, confusion, exhaustion, and more have been our most consistent company these last three years. In the midst of dealing with all of these, I have continued working away at the third book in my Hunter's Rose series.

I am very pleased to announce that all edits are now completed. There will be no major or even minor revisions to the book. The story is complete!

There is just one more step: proofreading. Spellcheckers and grammar checkers have come a long way since they first appeared in the 90's. However, they are no substitute for a trained professional. I cannot stress how important is it to have a human being carefully examine your book to make sure that there is consistency in the spelling of names and use of accents in dialogue. No spell checker that I'm aware of can match the human mind in these instances.

In addition to the pandemic, one of the biggest issues I've faced is not being able to work with the same people who helped me with The Huntsman and the She-Wolf and The Huntsman and the Vampire. I've talked at length about how my interior artist and cover/layout company have gone out of business. These were severe blows to me.

I also thought that my editor would be unable to work with me again. She's recently given birth and launched her own novel at the same time. However, in a surprising and fortunate twist of fate, she was able to edit my book! I'm so grateful to have that consistency. Likewise, the proofreader I previously used has agreed to proofread Book 3! This is absolutely fantastic news. 

For a fantasy novella like mine, familiarity with the names and characters is critical for success. The fact these two women already understand my imagined world and my writing style has made and will make the final correction process so much easier.

Proofreading is the last step of writing. No further changes to the manuscript will be made once that process is done. All that will be left to do is cover, layout, and publishing.

I can't wait to share this book with you. It's going to be great! 



Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Edits ARE DONE and It's Off to the Final Readers!

 Welcome everyone!

At the end of any race or journey, seeing the finish line reinvigorates you in such a surprising way. I am very pleased to announce that all the major edits for the third book in the Hunter’s Rose series are now complete! Celebrate with me!

I have some negative habits as a writer, which I’ll talk about in future posts, and my editor is keen enough to spot them. I’ve corrected them as best as possible in the latest draft, and I feel the story is significantly stronger as a result.

So what’s left to do before publishing? I still have two rounds of readers planned. At this point, they’re not beta readers. I’m calling them Delta Readers since that seemed more appropriate given all the circumstances.

I hope to get the first round done by mid-October and the second done around mid-November. That means, sadly, that my book will probably not come out in 2021. That is slightly disappointing, since that was one of my goals, but honestly now is a bad time to launch a book.

I want to have launch parties and book signings when my third novella hits the stores. That’s just not comfortable or possible right now. Winter may be worse, we’ll have to see. So, it’s not actually a bad thing that I won’t release Book 03 this year. I think 2022 will yield better results anyway.

Thanks to all those who keep asking about how things are coming along with my writing. It helps. It really does. Keep asking. 



Tuesday, August 31, 2021

August Update

Welcome everyone!

I have many great things to share with you today. First, I hope this post finds you safe and well. Do take good care of yourselves during this time. I know circumstances are tough for a lot of folks in my area. I'm with you, in spirit.

Next, I'm making slow but steady progress on Book 03. This time of year is always crazy-busy for me, so the amount of time I can dedicate to writing is reduced. However, fixing the problems highlighted by my esteemed editor are coming along quite nicely. I'm very happy with how the story is shaping out. I know you will be too.

Moreover, I've finally settled on a title for the book! Hooray! I've had three working titles so far. The first got tossed out pretty early, but the other two have stuck with me almost the whole way through the process. Everyone who's read a draft of Book 03 has waffled on which title is best as well. I think my editor cinched it for me. A title has to set the expectations for the book. The title I preferred didn't do that, or rather, it set up the wrong expectations. Therefore, I'll go with my second choice which is really the right choice. There are so many people think the title comes first when writing a book. Often, it's just the opposite. It's the last thing you settle.

In addition to all that, I got to spend some time this past weekend with a very dear old friend. I haven't seen him in nearly six years. He's an intellectual, and the conversations we had were incredibly uplifting. I wish I could have spent days with him discussing literature, writing, history, and philosophy. If there is anyone who can challenge my mind, it is him. His words have renewed my writing spirit, and I can't wait for him to get the third book in my Hunter's Rose series.

Finally, I have one last piece of artwork to get for the interior. I don't know why I'm procrastinating on it. It's simple. Maybe that's the problem. It's such a humble object that I'm not giving it the respect it deserves. Hopefully, in my next update I'll be able to tell you more.

All in all, things are going well in Celandine Valley. I'm still a little nervous about my cover and interior layout. We'll see what happens. Think about me. Pray for me. Send good wishes. I'm definitely going to need them.



Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Just Ordered a New Piece of Art for Book 3!

Welcome everyone!

The march toward publication continues on. I'm about 20% of the way through making my edits for Book 03. These are the edits I received from my professional editor. As I go through them, I realize just how amazing she is at cutting to the very heart of the problems. I'm more excited about my book than ever.

Part of the process of finishing the book is to finish getting all the art. I'm mostly there already. 5 pieces have been completed which leaves only 2 left to go. 

Book 03 will have fewer illustrations than The Huntsman and the Vampire because it is a MUCH longer book. The first two books in the series are around 50,000 words. Book 03 will come in around 65,000! Perhaps, it is somewhat fitting that the middle of the series be the biggest, but the honest truth is, that's just how long the story had to be to get everything in I wanted.

So anyway, the 6th piece of art was commissioned today. I'm working with a great artist, and I'll have more to say about that in the future. I can't wait to share the good news with you!