Oct 312011

Things are finally moving on the book cover front.  The first round of concept pieces with which I was presented were interesting.  One of them I even liked.  Unfortunately, none of them had anything at all to do with my book.  However, what they did was get me thinking more about what I would be interested in seeing on the cover.  I spent some time on a couple of stock photo sites and put together a few lightboxes.  I’d never heard of lightboxes before Steve Jackson at Telemachus Press recommended them, and I have to admit, they are pretty handy for collaboration on projects like these.

If you’re curious, all you have to do is go to one of the stock photo sites and look for pictures that you think you might be able to use.  In my case, I found a few pictures of people wearing the type clothing I felt was appropriate for characters in my novel, with poses I though conveyed the attitude I wanted, and I found other pictures that I thought might work well as a background for them, and I saved the whole group in a lightbox.  So let’s say you’ve done the same thing.  At that point, you send the link for your lightbox to whomever you may be working with on the project so they can see the same pictures and you can discuss what you like and don’t like about them, and why you do or don’t like certain aspects of them.  For instance, I found a picture of a young woman wearing cammo pants and a tank top, holding a Kalashnikov draped over her shoulder.  Her eyes were downcast, looking exhausted, and forlorn, and she reminded me very much of the Megan character in my novel.  However, the picture was done in such subdued colors that it looked almost like it was done in black and white.  I also found some pictures of various backgrounds that I thought fitting for the novel – some deep woodland settings, a few abandoned playgrounds, etc.  My thinking on this was that I would like the “sad soldier” picture to be colorized (if possible) and superimposed onto one or more of the other backgrounds.

Of course, there is also the chance that we’ll be using a photo I took some time back on my own.  Before I had any idea what I was doing, I thought I would use my kids as models for possible cover art, and snapped several pictures of them in various poses, holding a few weapons.  One of those pictures has my daughter in a kneeling position, aiming a home-made crossbow directly at the camera.  Telemachus has sent me a concept piece using this photo in one of the deep woodland backgrounds.  I’m tempted to post it here, but I’m not sure of the legalities involved, since I haven’t yet bought the rights to the background artwork.  Guess I should play it safe for now.  :-?

ITMT, Telemachus also got the manuscript back to me on Saturday (October 29) for formatting review.  I just finished it late last night, and I have a few questions that I’ll have to call them about this afternoon, but for the most part it looks really good.  Of course, I also found a couple of minor mistakes that got past me during editing, so I’ll have to figure out what (if anything) I need to do about them.  I’m pretty sure I know what changes I need to make, but would like to run it past Lynn O’Dell just in case.  (Damn, I’ve grown dependent on her!  :)   )

Between format checking, and working on cover ideas, I really didn’t get much done on the writing front this weekend.  On the one hand, I feel like I’m still not making the kind of progress I need to, but on the other, I am still making progress.

Well, that’s it for now — short and sweet this week.  So until next time, keep reading, keep writing, and keep safe.

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