Looking For New Faces (the cover journey III)

Sandro has just sent me three new layouts. Be the first to take a look, and tell me what do you think!

The New Hunk

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I’ll let you judge the model, but I only say that I would like bigger eyes. And I don’t like the font used for my name.

 

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I like my name much better, but I don’t know. I am not convinced, yet.

 

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I still don’t like my name, but I love the title. The only problem I see with the title put there, is that is going to hide the City of Men, but maybe is not such a big deal after all. I also think that the model’s forehead has a primate quality, but mouth and nose, oh my…

One last consideration, I prefer ma man shaved and disheveled, what about you?

Looking For New Faces (the cover journey III)

Still Editing, Still Drawing (the cover journey II)

My editor is way faster than I thought, and she is sending chapter after chapter, and I can barely keep up correcting The Priest after her. The result is that I worked double the hours yesterday to edit the next novel in the Ginecean series, Pax in the Land of Women. The goal is to have a polished manuscript for my editor to work on. I am one of those persons who try to straighten up the house before the maid arrives. Or I would be, if I had a maid (wonderful concept), and if I took any care in straightening up anything (my excuse is that I have teenagers). But I digress…

Meanwhile, Sandro, my most talented friend, is still working on Priest’s art cover. After much deliberation the following examples were created:

Third Batch

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I like the lateral title, it’s easy to read even when shrunk to thumbnail size. My name has a typo, and the font is too small. Nothing that can’t be fixed. The City of Men is big enough against the landscape, which I like a lot, but it gives the idea of a scifi novel (the pyramid creates a Stargate feeling). In the novel The City of Men looks like a mix between a gigantic Trullo, and the Sassi di Matera. Mauricio could benefit from a lower forehead, but again, easily fixed by a genius like Sandro.

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    Trulli di Albero Bello

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image                Rappresentazione dei Sassi di Matera

 

 

Matera     

 

 

 

Fourth Batch

Then, since Sandro doesn’t go to sleep, he produced more examples. None of them has the city, because he asked me to draw a sketch of what I meant:

 

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I like the font in the last one, but there are several problems with the layout:

  • my name should be all in caps
  • the shadow over Mauricio’s head covers his eye
  • the two shadows combined make the design busy
  • Mauricio has definitely seen better days Smile If I were the President’s daughter I wouldn’t want to run away with him… The half-moon crescent scar must go away!

Fifth Batch

Now it has become a game of find the difference:

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and this is how it looks thumbnail size:

 

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The half moon crescent scar is even more visible when shrunk, and my name is still too small to be read easily.

 

 

 

My Revision

So, I took my Wacom and put it to good use to better communicate with Sandro:

 

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Conclusions (for now)

We are pretty much deciding the sex of angels here, but I feel strongly about having the best cover I can get. And Sandro is an amazing artist, and will deliver perfection to me.

Still Editing, Still Drawing (the cover journey II)

The Cover Journey

Today I have been busy reading inputs from my editor, and looking at the covers my talented friend, the Italian artist Sandro Fiorini, has been creating for me.

Sandro and I have been emailing each other several times a day for the last week exchanging ideas and deciding on fonts. He hasn’t read The Priest, and so we are proceeding slower than we would otherwise. Also, as an author, I don’t seem to be able to describe my book succinctly enough for my cover designer.

I have decided to post our progresses and our failure in communication to show what an incredible journey is going from a merely formed idea to a final cover.

The Beginning

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Beautiful cover, but it gives the reader the wrong assumption about the genre. The Priest isn’t a romance novel, and the potential buyer would feel betrayed by the art. I had briefly spoken with Sandro about the project, but it is evident that I should have taken few more minutes to explain what I wanted.

 

 

Second Attempt(s)

I gave Sandro few details about The Priest’s story, and he drew three sketches.

 

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Needles to say my friend is talented.  Sandro should start drawing The Priest’s graphic novel right away.

I realized at that point that we were getting definitely closer, but few details were off, and that I needed to give Sandro more information about my work. First my novel’s genre isn’t romance or fantasy, but a combination of alternate reality and love story. The drawing style would be perfect for a fantasy cover, but it gives the wrong impression for The Priest’s modern day setting. Ginecean technology is similar to ours, so the futuristic jet was out of place. The City of the Men looks like a natural pyramid from the outside. Finally, the main character is a man, the slave Mauricio. I liked the idea of having a close up of the face, and the landscape as the background.

But Sandro’s time isn’t wasted because the general atmosphere and the attire in the drawings could  work for a scifi project like Green Glass and High Tide (working title).

Second Cover

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Well, I loved this image from the beginning. I like the sepia color, and I think that Mauricio’s face is sad enough, but his hair has to go. A slave doesn’t have time to style his mane. Also both the road and the city are too civilized. The City of Men is hidden in the desert and there is no road to get there.

 

Variation of the Second Cover

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Much better already. Maybe I would change the fonts? Also my personal techie commented that the proportions are wrong.

Second Variation of the Second Cover

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Changed the fonts. I would go bigger, and I would change something in Mauricio. The forehead is too visible?

For now I will send Sandro to sleep. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.

The Cover Journey

Editing Delight

I opened my mail today to find The Priest’s first chapter corrected by my editor.  I read every note she wrote with trepidation, and I am happy to report that there were only few of them.

Having your words corrected by another person can be unnerving, but it is part of the publishing process. It is also part of the learning process to become a good storyteller. Every line I rewrite now, it is a line I wont have to rewrite later, and the next novel I write will be easier to correct. The day will come when I’ll only think about the story I want to tell.

Today I am one step closer to realize my dream, and I am glad I never thought of giving up. I know the odds are not in my favor. I am an Italian writing in English. A nobody trying to get people to read her work. But, what can I lose? 

Editing Delight

Life Is Short

And that is why I decided three years ago to start writing. Creating universes and populating them with characters is something I have always enjoyed. So, one day I thought, why not today?

Almost six hundred thousand words later I have decided it is time to climb the next step. I have hired a professional editor, and an artist who is designing  my covers. It is my intention to publish on Kindle before the end of the year. Thinking that my work will be out for all the e-world to read is exhilarating, and terrifying.

What if nobody is going to like my novels? What if readers are going to write awful one star reviews? And worst of all, what if there will be no reviews at all because nobody is going to read my words?

Well, then I will learn from my mistakes, and I will write better stories.

When I decided to write in a language that is not mine, I knew that the road ahead was long and full of turns and hills. I didn’t know that writing in English was going to change the way I order my thoughts. I didn’t know I was going to like it so much.

Life Is Short

Bruno

I normally try to spin sentences and words to say something funny, but this time humor fails me completely. My five year old Beagle, Bruno, has been diagnosed with advanced lymphoma, and it saddens me beyond words. 

He is the sweetest dog and has been a joy all around. Given several choices, we, as a family, have decided for Bruno to undergo a therapy of prednisone. We know that his days are counted and he will stay with us for maybe a month. He seems happy, and he can still run in the backyard with his brother, Nero. He is still chasing squirrels, bunnies, and the rare joggers who wander in the trail behind his territory.

I am dreading the moment when Bruno won’t eat anymore, because it will be the moment we have to take the final decision for him. And I don’t want to.

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Bruno

Being Human Done For The Summer

At the end American Being Human (ABH) didn’t let its viewers down. And, since time is a precious commodity, SPOILER ALERT from now on.

So, Bishop is dead, but not at Josh’s hands . Sally and Aidan team up and take care of the deed, leaving the future dad closed in the safe room. And everything would be fine, but Nora shows up. 

After so many twists and turns ABH and BBH converge on the season finale. I liked that Aidan takes full responsibility of Bishop’s death. His character is growing in the right direction. Aidan is conflicted in his choices, and he is dark enough without being melodramatic. On a side note, Celine’s sacrifice could have been depicted better. After spending two episodes showing how cute she was with her French-Canadian accent, and how much Aidan cared for her, her death is anticlimactic.

Josh ends up infecting pregnant Nora. It promises drama aplenty for the new season.

Sally misses the moment and doesn’t go through the door, but in the process she acquires corporeal powers. Although her fate is still unresolved Sally becomes gradually stronger, and on the final episode she is the one who has accomplished the most. I like the way the authors slowly have built the ghost character through the season.

Time to watch BBH now.

Being Human Done For The Summer