Gardeners vs. Architects

I was watching some writing lecture videos today and found these Brandon Sanderson lecture bits. I watched about 5 of them, and I like them very much.

The one below is about gardeners and architects. Basically, if you outline your story in advance like I do, you’re an architect. If you prefer to start writing without a plan, you’re a gardener.

Sanderson does a good job of describing the difference between them and the drawbacks of each approach. Personally, I plan to remain an architect, but to each his/her own.

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A New Cover and a NaNoWriMo Update

Man, I don’t know if I’m going to make my Nano deadline. I’m at 42,000 words, which is nothing to sneeze at, but I have like 3 more days to write 8,000 words. Yarg. I’m still trucking, though, and I plan to continue trucking.

I redesigned the cover on my most recent release already. What can I say? I’m indecisive. This one was for Beneath Oceans of Sky.

On the left, we have the original. Rightie is the new one.

Oceans Christmas cover  Christmas Oceans cover

I think the new one is more interesting. I don’t know how I feel about the green. I tinted it that color to make it more Christmassy. It originally looked like this.

new oceans cover for color shifting

I still might use the gold color. I don’t know. I just really need someone who makes all the right decisions to follow me around all day and tell me what to do.

You might be asking yourself why I was working on a cover redesign when I should’ve been Nano writing. I worked on the cover when it wasn’t a good/quiet enough time in my house to write.

Now, I’m going to go write some more.

Behold the Pretties! Canterbury Classics

Because what I needed was DEFINITELY more books. Ahem.

I bought these at the Costco. They are magnificent. I’m in love with them and hope to one day have the time to read every last one, except for the duplicate parts. A couple of stories appear in more than one of them.

Please excuse my horribly grainy photos. I think the camera on my phone may be getting tired. It doesn’t seem to be as cooperative as it used to be.

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Interior cover of the SciFi/Fantasy book

 

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They even have built-in ribbon bookmarks. Be still my heart!

The Lovecraft book is my favorite, of course. I actually had to buy that one twice. The boy pretty much claimed my first copy as his own. I tried to remind him it was borrowed but then he gave me the puppy dog eyes. What am I supposed to do, not give the kid a book?

 

 

 

The Wolf Cover

I designed a second cover for one of my books. There were things about the first cover that I liked and some things that I didn’t. I’ll be the first to admit that I could stand to up my cover game.

Here’s the original cover.

des-ebook-cover

The book hasn’t really been selling all that well (am I supposed to admit that?), so I thought I would slap a new coat of paint on it and see if that did anything.

I wanted it to have a more adventurous cover, one that gave a taste of the danger in the book. The first cover really doesn’t do all that. The first cover really doesn’t say much of anything other than the fact that a bottle and plants are involved somehow. Not much of a draw when you get down to it.

Here’s the wolf cover.

wolf cover

As you can see, I kept the leafy bits and the fonts. I really do like the fonts. I also slimmed up the shape a tad. The other cover seemed too wide.

The cover redesign was actually pretty easy because the scene with the wolves was already in the book trailer. Here it is on YouTube in case you didn’t see it before.

 

I just snagged what I needed and mixed it in with the elements I wanted to keep on the original cover.

The new cover probably isn’t showing up on Amazon yet, but it should here within the next 24 hours or so.

Which cover do you like better?

 

 

 

Birthday Bloggin’

Today is my birthday! My 40th, actually. I’m grateful to be here and grateful for the people in my life. I get to write the books I want to write (for better or worse) and do many fun things.

As for the age? I’ve never thought 40 was old, really, so I’m good. Besides, I’m still a child on the inside in many ways with no intention of growing up completely. Exhibit A: my primary birthday request was Destiny 2 (a video game).

By the way, I have a new book out! Beneath Oceans of Sky is a middle-grade kids book that’s now available on Amazon. There’s no print edition as of yet. That should be along shortly as I wade through the items on my endless to-do list. The goal for that is for it to be out before Christmas.

The ebook is free for Kindle Unlimited and $2.99 if you aren’t. First a description, then a link.

The population of the Near
Grows by one every year.
Oceans of sky, mountains of bone,
Take care, children,
Not to find yourself alone

Three days before Christmas, Aurora wakes up in a strange bed in a meadow, beneath a sky that looks like an ocean. She doesn’t know where she is, only that she fell asleep in her bed and woke up somewhere else.

A bobcat named Yule and a wolf named Woe appear nearby, and they offer to take her to their king and queen. They don’t seem trustworthy, but what other choice does she have? Along the way, Aurora learns that she’s a jundhela, a weaver of windows that offer a view of what’s happening back in her world. Yule and Woe insist she ignore them and move on.

When they finally arrive at Lonesome Castle, Aurora discovers a battlefield of steam-powered robot soldiers fighting. The king and queen each want Aurora to join their side.

Aurora’s only hope is to find a boy named Dusk and convince him to help. One way or another, she must find her way home.

Click here for the jump.

Oceans Christmas cover

 

Working, Whistling, Cough-Shouting

I’m still alive, I promise. I’ve been getting a lot of work done. Work on my books, work on books by other people. It’s like a work extravaganza! I do have a brief rundown of stuff that should be out and available before the end of this year.

Desmond Winters and the Ghosts of Arbolettis – release date – approximately November, possibly December, possibly near the end of December.

Beneath Oceans of Sky – another middle-grade book – by the end of October or sooner.

Iyrico audiobook – hopefully by the end of September so I can get in on the people looking for ghost stories in October.

Destined for Darkness audiobook – Around the first part of November. I’m not actually doing this one. I have a very talented narrator on ACX working on it.

I’m cutting audio on Iyrico this evening which is one of my FAVORITE tasks (NOT). I found this lovely soundbite in which I was trying to clear my throat and what came out was this strange combination of shout and cough that sounded like a demon briefly invaded my vocal chords. I’ll save your ears, but here’s a picture of the sound levels. Normal speaking voice on the left, demon cough-shout on the right.

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The whistling part of the post title was actually a lie. I can’t whistle…like, at all.