Outside is foggy and grayer than usual. I’ve been waiting for a few sites to answer me back so I can plan my next book promotion, and so I had a few hours of idle time and started working on a possible cover for an omnibus. This is the first attempt.
2 Packages of Gnocchi (I used the small ones for this recipe)
3 cups of small Shrimps
Half cup fresh Pesto (homemade would be best, but if you are in a hurry one or two tablespoons of the pesto paste will work)
2 cans of black beans
2/3 Garlic cloves
hot pepper (if you like)
Extra virgin olive oil (don’t ask how much I used—you don’t want to know)
How to prepare this gnocchi delight:
Sauté one garlic cloves with some evoo, add the hot pepper, then the shrimps. Salt them and let them cook for a minute—or until needed. Remove the shrimps from the heat, keep the sauce they generated, and season them with the pesto. Then sauté the remaining garlic cloves with some evoo, pour the drained beans in the pan, check the salt, and cook them for several minutes. Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi as instructed. When they are ready, keep at least 2 cups of the cooking water, and pour the gnocchi and the cooking water in the pan where you cooked the beans. Add the shrimps as well and carefully stir them until the starch from the gnocchi transforms the liquids into a cream. Depending on your tastes, you can add more or less liquid to make the gnocchi more or less soupy. Buon appetito!
I am still trying to scratch the surface of the behemoth that is Expression Design 4, but one day at a time I am getting closer to it. Today, inspired by one of the paintings I created with Artrage a few years ago, I invented a title, added several textures to match the mood of the title, then worked with 8 layers to manage text and image. A professional would have found an easier way to achieve the same result, without drowning under a sea of layers. Because of the typeface I used, this cover doesn’t work well when scaled to thumbnail size, but I like its overall feeling. The image conveys a sense of playfulness with just a hint of dark memories lurking under the title. At least, that is what I wished to achieve with this project. And now, I want to write this story.
In my attempt to create new covers for my stories, I have been hard at work and must confess I am having fun. Below, is an example of what I have done for the past three days. I have yet to master Expression Design and Gimp, but I feel I am making progress toward the right direction. I had a few images left over from earlier projects and I used them to create a series of mock book covers. Maybe I’ll write this story one day.
My cover artist and dear friend Alessandro Fiorini has started a new exciting career, and I know it is going to be hard to replace him. Therefore, in case I won’t find his replacement soon enough, in the last two months, I have tried to learn how to use Expression Design 4 and Gimp to create book covers. Not an easy task, but I have been busy working on it every day. As I wrote in a different post, I wasn’t happy with Elios’s cover. I didn’t like the model’s face and the overall palette. I worked on the cover Alessandro had created for me, using Painter to tinker with the image, but the result wasn’t of my satisfaction. At that point, I was ready to publish the book, but Alessandro was in the middle of his transition to the new job, so I couldn’t ask him to remake the cover and I uploaded the image anyway. Meanwhile, I started a new cover from scratch, using Gimp, Expression design 4, Paint.NET, and Painter. Yesterday, helped by my patient husband, I finally reached a level I could be happy with. And if only Amazon would upload the new covers, I would be happier still.
Those below are the old covers—which, much to my chagrin, at the moment are still displayed on the Amazon page. Among other changes, I had to decide on a different typeface because Trajan Pro, the one Alessandro originally used on Photoshop, didn’t look the same on Expression Design 4. Also, I worked with a different Etruscan alphabet for Gaia’s cover because I couldn’t find the one Alessandro used.
Marie’s Journey, the fourth title in The Ginecean Chronicles, and my first young adult story, is officially out. Although I announced it the day it was published, life and other accidents got in the way of proper celebration. Usually, the holidays remind us of our loved ones who don’t walk on Earth anymore, but during those festive days I also lost a dear friend. I wasn’t in the mood to give my latest title the spotlight it deserved, and I let it gather dust for almost two weeks. Meanwhile, and despite my lack of enthusiasm, one copy was sold in Germany, and one in the USA. Today, I was reminded that publishing a book is never a solitary effort, and the people involved in its process should be properly acknowledged. Therefore, I wish to thank my awesome team, because without them my painstakingly written words would have never become a published novel. So, here they are: Amy Eye, my editor; Cassie Kelley McCown, my proofreader; Alessandro Fiorini, my cover artist; and Roberto Ruggeri, my strongest supporter, knight in software armor, and formatter. Grazie mille.