Friday, 28 June 2013

A professional book cover.

I am jumping with excitement!
I've seen a rough copy of my book cover. The illustrator is doing a wonderful job. I wanted to share it, but was advised to wait until the colour version is ready... and guess what, I actually listened to the advice!

Would you like to know a little more about the illustrator?
Her name is Teresa and she lives in Spain.
Not only does she illustrate, but she produces the most divine watercolours.
She has a website HERE and a blog HERE

I'm the proud owner of this painting of hers, which I absolutely adore.

Of course, that's nothing like my book cover, but you'll love it when you see it.

You might ask why aren't I doing the cover myself, given that I paint?
When I was writing the book, I became very engrossed in it. So much so that it was difficult for me to see it objectively. When I ran the different colour teacups past you all, it was the only image I could conceive of, but yet, there was a nagging doubt that it didn't do my book justice.

So I spoke to Teresa and asked for her help. She took a sample of the book, looked at the genre I was writing in and went away to think.
Then she came up with seventeen options, all drawn out. Seventeen! These we whittled down to three. The more we looked and discussed, the more one stood out from the others. From that line drawing, she developed the idea until it became a cover image to be proud of.

Yet, she doesn't want it shared, because the work is not yet complete. Colour has to be added and type too. Teresa knows, as I do really, that the choice of colours and typeface can make or break an excellent drawing.
The amount of work she's put in to this cover is nothing short of phenomenal, so in respect to her professionality, I'll hold off until you get to see the finished article.

Every blog I follow on writing says  "good book covers sell books."
That was another reason for going with a professional. The people who know me would buy my book whatever it was covered with. The people who don't know me will be entranced by this beautiful cover, I hope!
Not long now..  All in the Leaves will be out, definitely before Christmas, this year. Thanks to you all, for cheering me on.

Friday, 21 June 2013

My novel - an update

Good morning friends.

What's been happening here? While my painting self has been taking part in a painting-a-day challenge for June (see HERE) my writing self has also been busy editing my novel, All in the Leaves.

Firstly, I edit a chapter, then it passes over to hubby for a continuity check and then it goes to the proper editor who scours it for all anomalies and sends it back to me, marked up in colour, ready for me to change again.
Honestly, it does feel as if writing was the easy part and this is the perfectionist slog.

The exciting news was that I spoke to Matt at ebookpartnership, who was as helpful as can be - and he gave me a quote for getting my novel formatted as an e-book,  and distributing it to all major retailers.
All in the Leaves should be available to purchase before Christmas - as long as we three keep plugging away at the edit.

How do I fit all this in? Honestly, I've given up watching the tv!  I've read lots of articles from other writers, talking of the anti social element of writing. I can see how easy it would be to become aloof from friends. Writing and editing is so very time consuming. I hope when you all get to read my book that you think it was worth it. I hope I think it was worth it!

Have a great weekend, whatever you're doing.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

My May paintings

Here's the roll of the paintings I made in May - just in case you missed a post over on my painting blog. HERE

Always on Duty
The Meeting Place
The Seeds of Time
Quiet Day at the Boathouse

 I hope you've enjoyed this second look at my artwork from May 2013.

Monday, 10 June 2013

A few books I've recently enjoyed.

I'm not a professional book reviewer, but I love to share what I've read with my friends. I like a book that entertains me, that has me turning pages and is believable even if it is fantastical. A little piece of escapism. These have been read in the last month.

Dragon Wraiths by Amanda Martin.
The story centres around a young girl who is approaching her sixteenth birthday, fully believing that the day will be her last.
Leah runs from impending doom, but on her sixteenth birthday, the fate she dreads turns into something most wondrous.
I'm not going to give away exactly what happens, in case you wish to buy the book, but I will say it is a fast paced fantasy, which does include dragons and humans, different time zones and different worlds.
The author self-published this book. There are a few minor editing errors, but you know, they didn't stop me loving the book.
I'd definitely read another by this author.

Cupidity by Holly Hepburn..
Cupid, the god of love, has been letting himself go. He hasn't been doing his job properly either, so is sent on a mission to redeem himself. Attempting to make one hard-of-heart person fall in love, Cupid pretends to be a writer doing some research. We are treated to watching him try speed dating,  dredging up old boyfriends amongst many other attempts at producing love for his intended target.
This is a novella, rather than a novel. Being shorter it can be read in an afternoon, but its not any less delightful for that.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching Cupid's attempt to succeed and the ending was masterful. Its such a fun, light hearted read. You'll be cheering Cupid on and wishing there were more men around, exactly like him.

Reckless Rescue by Rinelle Grey.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's well written and the characters very believable. It's a romance set on two different planets – neither of them Earth! The male lives on one planet which needs a certain gas to fuel its spaceships (not a dilithium crystal in sight!). He is also implanted with a contraceptive chip because there are too many on his planet.
The female lives on another planet where there are too few people and everyone is encouraged to procreate. If they don't, they have to split from their partner after eighteen months of trying. Her planet is rich in the gas that the male needs.
When his ship crash lands, he is cared for by our heroine. Together they have to find a way to repair his ship and find a place where they will both be happy. This is the first in a series, I'm hoping the next will hold my attention and be as entertaining as this was.
Another self published story – and excellent quality.

Wish You Were Here by Victoria Connelly.
When I started reading this book, it was a beautiful sunny day and I could imagine myself on a Greek island, which is where some of this story takes place. The characters of Alice and Milo were so very believable, as were Milo's gardening capabilities and his love of the land.  The make-a-wish coming true was a fun bit of nonsense.  The plain Jane finding her happy-ever-after made this a thoroughly enjoyable sunny day read. I'd read another by this author, too!

As you can see, I read two on my smartphone and two on my e-reader.
E-reader wins, hands down! The only time I'd use the app on the smartphone now is if a loved author is promoting a freebie solely on Amazon. Then I'd also have to read in small bites - and not as I prefer to do, hours at a time.
For my type of reading, its my Kobo, all the way.

I'm now looking for some new books to read. Do you have any recommendations for me? Look forward to them!

Monday, 3 June 2013

A walk in Davy Down

Yesterday we went to the local downland, a 32 acre spread which used to be farmed by the Davy family, but which is now a facility for the community.

Enjoy the scenic tour of Davy Down

The Victorian Pump House

a board walk around the pond

 The pond with metal crane

what could be round the corner?

a 14 arch viaduct, complete with train passing!

We didn't see all 32 acres, but thoroughly enjoyed what we did see.
Its a lovely parkland facility to have so close to home.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures.