About book covers

Cover A Girl Named Sandy

Mimosa320Small cover Clara's Eyes A Girl Named Sandy

Dear reader,

Have you ever considered the work that goes into a book cover? We take them for granted, these works of art that tug at your attention and beg you to have another look.

I make some covers myself but the very good ones so far all come from the hand – or computer – of a very talented lady called Renée Barratt. A cover tells a lot about the story that’s behind it but there’s only so much space to tell it, and you also don’t want to give away the entire plot of the book through the cover. That makes designing a good cover a serious art form.

If I need a cover made by someone else I usually start asking at least 2 months before I need it. That is how much time can go into getting the cover right. You have to explain the story to the graphics designer, he or she has to get the idea for it, create a first impression and usually there are things not right. Which is understandable. As a writer you have the story in your head and somehow you have to convey the key elements of it to the designer. It’s a tough job sometimes, but when the cover is done it’s something to be proud of for both the author and the designer. And as you may be able to tell from the three images up here: I am very proud of my covers!

Now here’s a challenge

Dear reader,

Do you know Ksenia Anske? Say yes. Well done, dear reader. Of course you know the person who wrote such amazing stories like Rosehead and Irkadura. She is, like I am, a fantasy writer.

Why do I mention her? Of course firstly because she’s a great writer and a very interesting person (follow her on Twitter or Google+ if you want) and secondly because yesterday she posted this on Twitter:

TwitterYou know what I’m dying to do? I’m dying to write a book about a talking cat, once I’m done writing all these other damn books I planned.

This of course could not go unrewarded, so I replied:

Twitter@kseniaanske I’m going to write a book about a writer who plans to write about a talking cat after she wrote all the other books she planned

upon which I received this in return:

Twitter@paul__kater Deal. Can’t wait.

 

This has to end in a story of course, and here is how it starts:

“You know it’s not going to happen, don’t you?” asked Frankie the cat as he stretched out a paw. The claws came out as they were up for an inspection.

“Of course it will,” Francis replied. “I just have to get all this other stuff written, edited, proofed and published, and then I’m going to do it.”

“Nu-huh,” Frankie continued after licking his paw a few times. “By the time you’ll have time for that I’ll be through most of my nine lives.”

“Don’t count on that. I can write fast and furious.”

“And torment people on Twitter,” Frankie taunted her. “And you need to write another blog post. Will it be about me?”

“Shut up. You’re a cat. You know nothing. You shouldn’t even be talking to me,” Francis said as she pretended to slap Frankie, something she wouldn’t do as she knew his claws from various close encounters.

 

Hilda 17. Yes. Really.

Dear reader,

17A while ago I was in my car, driving home. I was thinking about life, the universe and everything (I know, I shouldn’t read The HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in my mind while driving) when I suddenly had the best idea for the next Wicked Witch book. And that’s not book 15 because that’s already written. It’s also not book 16, because that’s already written. It’s for book 17. Because that’s not written yet.

(I may not always make sense but I have my numbers in order. So far.) What happened, you may wonder. Or not.

As I was going along I was thinking about the e-mails I have received from some of you. (Yes, at times I get e-mails from Hilda-fans.) Without going into too much detail (as book 17 still has to be written) I thought that I should dedicate this book to the people in dire circumstances who find some joy and support in the adventures of the witch and the wizard. The hospitalised people, the people who are ill without having to spend time in hospital beds too often.

Hilda the wicked witch Their stories, some of them heart-wrenching, are so touching and incredible that this is something I feel I have to do. So Hilda book 17 will honour those people. To give them even more support from the witch and the wizard.

I sincerely hope that they are able to read this, that they hear about this in some way or another. You all are wonderful people and if there is anything I can do for you in my writing to make your life a little nicer then I will do that.

Love,

Paul, Hilda, William, Babs, Charisma, Obsi and Grim.

Pride. Pride? Yes. Pride.

Proud to be a writer

Yes, dear reader, it doesn’t happen often but today I feel the need to convey this. I’m proud of the books I’ve written and what they mean to many people.

I get e-mails from people around the world who tell me that my books make their life better. Among them are people who suffer from illnesses, and my books help them. There are also people who appreciate the books I write because they simply (is that really simply?) put them in a new world where they can experience new things.

I am proud of that. Happy for them. I am also proud that so many people buy my books and ask for more. It tells me that I’m doing something right. And even when I’m not getting rich of it financially, that’s fine. The emotions that come from the mails, letters and comments of so many people are worth so much more than money can ever be.

Maybe the only way I can put it is this way:

I may be a 5 star writer, you are a 10 star audience!

A huge step

Last week Saturday I took a huge step. It has to do with books.

I have published a Dutch SciFi which is doing somewhat quite well online, considering that I’m an unknown writer in my own country. (Yes, take some time to laugh. The English version is still in the works, by the way.)

Today I took a few copies to the local library, showed them and asked how it could be done to get the books on their shelves. It would be fun to have my books in the library of my own town. :-)
The people there were lovely! Very kind, interested and helpful! They had great advice, handed me a number of e-mail addresses, told me to get in touch with local newspapers and simply tell them about my book. Papers seem to love hearing about new talent. “You may even get interviewed,” they said. (OH NO!) And maybe there is an opportunity for me to do a reading at the library, or something like that.
After that I packed up the two copies of the book I had brought and… went to a local book store. I showed them the books and told them about me. They immediately wanted to put them up in their store. We discussed a price and their margin, and there the books went. Whoa Nelly.

I came home, pinched myself, said ouch and ordered a bunch more copies. Just in case. As an investment in what may come. I’m still in a daze about it… And yes, I sent mails to the newspapers and the Dutch Library Service to see if they want to read and rate my book for library purposes…

The Challenge by Cas Peace

Cas Peace

CHALLENGE TOUR

Dear reader,
Cas PeaceI have something special for you.

Do you know Cas Peace? (This is her on the left, by the way.)

She is the author of a very good fantasy series called Artesans of Albia.

 About The Author – Cas Peace:

Cas Peace was born in Hampshire UK, in 1957, and has lived there most of her life. Her first career was as a horse-riding instructor, and horses remain very close to her heart. She then spent 13 years working for the British Civil Service before leaving the UK to live in Italy for three years, 1991-1994. She speaks passable but by no means perfect Italian, and loves to return to Italy whenever she can.

Cas’s other great loves are anything to do with animals, especially dogs and horses, (she supports many animal charities) and also singing.

Cas loves folk songs and along with her husband, who plays guitar, has performed in many a Southern England folk club. Sometimes they even asked her back! She writes folk songs to accompany her fantasy novels, and offers them as free downloads from her website.

Website: http://www.caspeace.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cas.peace?fref=ts

Book Songs: http://www.caspeace.com/downloads/songs

Linked In | Facebook | YouTube | Blogger |Twitter |Website


 

Cas is bringing out a new book which I’m proud to share with you. It’s called “The Challenge”.

Artesans of Albia Series Synopsis:

On a foolhardy foray into a foreign realm, Taran Elijah is attacked by a terrible weapon known as the Staff. Killing its wielder, he escapes into Albia, inadvertently carrying the Staff.

Concerned by the vicious raids that follow Taran’s actions, Major Sullyan of the High King’s forces crosses into Andaryon to seek diplomatic resolution to the crisis. She is captured and tortured by Lord Rykan, aspirant to the Andaryon throne. Slowly dying, Sullyan escapes his clutches. She offers her skills to the Hierarch in defense of his throne, finally confronting Rykan on the field of battle.

Her handsome Captain and lover, Robin Tamsen, embarks on a desperate quest to recover the Staff. But Rykan’s greedy General, Sonten, is two steps ahead of him. If Robin cannot lay hold of the weapon before Sonten does, Sullyan’s life and the lives of all Artesans are forfeit.

The race for the Staff has begun.


TheChallengeNow about the new book.

“The Challenge” is book one of the Circle of Conspiracy which in turn is the fourth book in the triple-trilogy Artesans of Albia fantasy series.

Friend against friend, lover against lover, ally against ally. Conflict is coming …

Nine months have passed since Brynne Sullyan helped forge an alliance between the realms of Albia and Andaryon. A fragile peace reigns as both sides recover from the events of the previous year. Then mysterious raiders strike Andaryon villages. Attempts are made on the life of Albia’s High King. As Sullyan scrambles to find those responsible, unseen enemies threaten to pull apart everything she has worked for, including her marriage.

The alliance begins to crumble, and Sullyan finds herself caught between two monarchs: the king she’s sworn allegiance to, and the man she loves as a father. To betray either one would break her heart, but if conflict is inevitable, she must make a choice…


 

You can find this brand new e-book at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com, and the paperback is also available through Amazon.com.


 

Review Quotes:

“Cas Peace has a most beguiling method of pulling you into this very well thought out world she has created. You simply fall in love with her characters, and then you cannot put the book down.” P C Dodge, Amazon Reviewer.

“If you enjoy being whisked away to the realm of fantasy, I strongly suggest this unique, special read! Hands down, one of the best fantasy series I have ever read!”Ashley L. Knight, author of FALWYN

“I have just loved this entire series. Cas Peace is a master storyteller, providing a depth and breadth of information about her worlds and their people that is just staggering. Her characters are complex and multi-dimensional, and I have very much enjoyed reading this series. I am also looking forward with great anticipation to her next novel in this series. I heartily recommend this series to anyone who enjoys epic fantasy, strong world-building and beautiful storytelling. Highly recommended!” K. Sozaeva, Amazon Vine Voice and Top 1000 Reviewer.

Cas Peace’s Artesans of Albia trilogy immediately sweeps you away:  the drama starts with King’s Envoy, continues unabated in King’s Champion, and climaxes in King’s Artesan, yet each volume is complete, satisfying.  The Artesan series propels you into a world so deftly written that you see, feel, touch, and even smell each twist and turn. These nesting novels are evocative, hauntingly real.  Smart.  Powerful.  Compelling.  The trilogy teems with finely drawn characters, heroes and villains and societies worth knowing; with stories so organic and yet iconic you know you’ve found another home—in Albia.

Now there’s a fourth book on Albia’s horizon:  The Challenge, also Book One in Peace’s forthcoming sub-series, the Circle of Conspiracy trilogy, proof of more Albian tales on the way.  So start reading now.  I, for one, can’t wait to find out what will happen next.Janet Morris: The Sacred Band of Stepsons; the Dream Dancer series; I, the Sun; Outpassage


 

Trilogy 1 – Artesans of Albia

King’s Envoy

U.K.

E-BOOK: Amazon.co.uk

PAPERBACK: Amazon.co.uk

U.S.

E-BOOK: Amazon.com

PAPERBACK: createspace.com

PAPERBACK: Amazon.com

King’s Champion

U.K.

E-BOOK: Amazon.co.uk

PAPERBACK: Amazon.co.uk

U.S.

E-BOOK: Amazon.com

PAPERBACK: createspace.com

PAPERBACK: Amazon.com

King’s Artesan

U.K.

E-BOOK: Amazon.co.uk

PAPERBACK: Amazon.co.uk

U.S.

E-BOOK: Amazon.com

PAPERBACK: createspace.com

PAPERBACK: Amazon.com

Trilogy 2 – Circle Of Conspiracy

The Challenge

U.K.

E-BOOK: Amazon.co.uk

U.S.

E-BOOK: Amazon.com

PAPERBACK: Amazon.com


This post was made possible with the help of:

button-amy-tours

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 6

Nano 2014

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

The madness is over. The 50.000 words (well, a bit more in my case) are written.

Nanowrimo 2014 is officially behind me.

I’ve ended this month with a story of 83815 words which in all honesty is a lot more than I had dared to hope for. And the story’s not done yet.

So, here’s the last run-down of things that have flown or crawled by in this story. You may recognise some of them once the book is out. (Which won’t be next month, I can promise you that. I first have to get Hilda 15 to a proper end.)

  • We learn more about the origins about walking huts;
  • swamp gas can smell like different things;
  • Hilda makes a prediction about her future without knowing it;
  • there’s something happening with oranges;
  • there’s also a real magic show;
  • and there is a form of disappointment. Magic isn’t all fun and laughter.

I hope you enjoyed this little walk along the path of this year’s Nanowrimo experience!

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 5

hilda02_320

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

Welcome to the Nanowrimo report after 25 days of writing.

The word count for Hilda 16 is currently well over 75.000 words. The story is still going strong but it needs a lot of tender loving care because writing at this speed is demanding that the gods of Typos come over for frequent visits!

What’s been going on in there so far since the last update:

  • Some insight on how old magical people can become and how they do it;
  • still no idea how old Hilda actually is (and I’m not going to ask. Toads make even more typos than speeding writers);
  • the teacher that they lost? Is found and back;
  • If you’ve read Hilda – Snow White revisited then you may recall a visit to Scary Mountain. I’ll leave this hint at that;
  • purple pebbles;
  • a student isn’t coming back to school;
  • there’s something about a ring with a red stone;
  • and a mountain is crumbling.

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 4

Nano 2014

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

The madness which many people around the world lovingly call Nanowrimo is on track since 20 days. My story is still progressing nicely and I had the most amazing moment of synchronicity that I could hope for. Or not even that.

I was writing part 15 of my Hilda series when Nanowrimo started. Because of that I started writing part 16 even when 15 isn’t done yet. In book 15 I had reached a point where Hilda was struggling with something traumatic of her past.

So there I was, writing that specific part in her past in part 16 (which is about her youth) and at one point I was writing in 15 AND 16 simultaneously so I could get the feelings and emotions of both experiences perfectly aligned. How special is that? Very special, yes indeed; I’m glad you agree with me.

Right then, what has been happening since the last update?

  • They lost a teacher.
  • Forbidden rooms aren’t that forbidden for our witch, even at a young age.
  • Did I mention that I know who Hilda’s first boyfriend was? Well, I do.
  • Miss Hepatia Strunk wears pink.
  • If you’ve read “Charisma the young witch” then you’ll find out where the ring came from. Otherwise you will have to read Charisma. 😉
  • The word count so far is 62.980 words so this is going to be a larger than usual Hilda book, it seems. I’m sorry.
  • Something amazing happens with respect to Baba Yaga’s parents.

That’s it for this update. I hope you’re bouncing off the walls to get your hands on this book. In that case: happy bouncing, because it’s not finished yet. 😉

Nanowrimo. 5-day update number 3

School

Dear reader,

Nano 2014

The Nanowrimo madness is in its 15th day and I’m still going ahead full steam as far as work and other things allow.

The word count for the project currently is at 52362.

I can already promise you that this will be a very large new Hilda book. Forgive me if this upsets you, but somehow I think there is hardly anything to forgive. 😉

What new things have come up since the previous update?

  • An interesting twist in flying lessons, something that doesn’t involve a broom;
  • Hilda’s defence against boys trying to kiss her;
  • lessons about dragons;
  • meeting someone we’ve seen in a previous book;
  • Hilda learns something about attitude from someone who learnt something about attitude.
  • We learn about making a wand;
  • and a big secret is revealed. Who was Hilda’s first boyfriend?
  • Oh yes, there’s also this thing with a mirror.