And we have a cover!

I am overwhelmingly pleased to be able to share with you all the final cover art for The Damning Moths!

Please head on over to the official website and bask in the pretties! Wait, that’s what I’m doing. You may join me in basking if you like, or just take a quick little look. Either way, I’m so excited!

The Damning Moths – Proudly announcing the cover art

This beautiful piece of illustration and design was done by Ty Scheuerman, my very talented husband. I could not ask for a more wonderful cover.

~A

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Look at me, I do stuff!

Wow, okay. Another week of forgetting to blog. I’m sorry! I don’t mean to get so caught up in irresponsibility!

I have been hard at work, several types of work no less. I had to submit final edits on “Harvest”, which went rather well (at least, in my mind!). The only thing I have to show for much of my time spent (aside from, you know, a pay check and food in my fridge, that sort of thing) is a great new bio and a very, very slick header for The Damning Moths. The Husband took my concept work and made it AWESOME. Yes!


Clicky-click for full size!

So, this is used on the Facebook Page for The Damning Moths, found here: The Damning Moths | Facebook
And the official website, found here: The Damning Moths
The bio is also on the website, right there under “The Author”. Fancy.

Oh yeah. Did I mention at any point the books have an official website? Haha. See above. I’ve been gloriously lazy about getting the description finalised and put on the site, so you’ll have to forgive the lack of content.

Beside that, it’s all pretty slow going. Whenever I think I’m on a roll, I look at the overall progress and am hit with a “WHAAAAT?” moment. Because things like, I’ll have been editing for hours, and added over 2,000 words to the book, but only progressed through a third of the chapter I had intended on finishing. Don’t get me wrong, everything’s awesome, but the one thing I stuggle most with when editing is guaging progress.

There’s no definitive word count to judge yourself on. Editing isn’t all equal value. Working through a really tough scene might take twice as long as just whipping through a perfectly acceptable section of the manuscript. Man, final edits are trouble. Worth it, but trouble all the same.

~A

Previewing the portrait

There are a number of you who have already seen this picture through Facebook! But of course, for the rest, I’m happy to blog and show you the preview of my most excellent photo shoot last Friday. And yes, sate your curiosity about the hair colour I chose! What do you think?

This is, officially, me being an author. Here’s a larger version, too.

My photographer was simply amazing. Kylie showed what she wanted from me with clear direction and has a wonderful eye for location and setting. We tried a few places in the historical and scenic port town of Fremantle, though the best shots ended up down a random little alley in front of this awesome wooden loading door, complete with flaking paint and worn bricks behind me. I love the colours, texture, and lighting. We had so much fun!

If anyone is looking for a photographer in Perth, I give the highest recommendation for Kylie. You can find her through her website, Photography by Kylie, or the Facebook Page for her business.

~A

Judging a good day

I saw a friend after she’d come out of a meeting. I made the light-hearted comment, ‘Must have been a good meeting, you’ve got a smudge on your face.’ And I meant that in all honesty. From my years of being a painter, and being a bit of a grubby outdoorsy type, I often judge an action’s success based on how messy you come out the other side.

I always painted with intent. Specific strokes, painstaking detail, blending colours together with my fingertips on canvas. I love the act of mixing paints, getting the tone you want. Adding just a drop of some colour you wouldn’t expect, if you weren’t experienced with paint, and getting the exact result you were after. I have never been a wild painter, with splashes and swipes. If a picture has paint dribbling through the background, I made each rivulet cautiously.

Regardless of my care, I always ended up splattered with paint, myself. And I wasn’t the kind of person to wear painting clothes or aprons, either, so there are numerous shirts and pants with the addition of a great green splotch or other (acrylic doesn’t wash off fabric). I would get paint through my hair, on my elbow, a spot on the side of my nose or in my eyebrow. And that meant it was a good day. I had painted. All was well.

Going outside and scrambling around often has similar results. Gotten twigs and leaves through my hair, mud over my pants, a scrap or two on my hands? A good day. If I’m all sticky from climbing trees, how could I not associate the mess with the excitement I experienced? Even now, you’ll probably find pen marks on me (how often I catch myself with the pen, or drop it, and get an errant line across my skin or clothes!), and I will feel certain that means I had a good day.

I tend to think some people would take it all wrong, though. Like I was making fun of them if I declare their mess a positive attribute. But truly, if you’ve been doing something that leaves you grubby, or your hair in a tangle, you’re probably doing it right. I like that. We should go run around the beach and get all sandy, or make pottery and get drenched in clay (two of my other favourite pastimes, no less).

We’ll end up dirty. That means we had a good day.

~A

Book websites and the art of covers

As regular readers know, I’m really big on making stories with a high degree of supplemental media; art, music, interactive websites, whatever works with that book. That, to me, is the ideal aim with most written work. Not because it needs it, but because it meshes together so well to create a larger experience for a fan.

Stephen King’s latest offering is titled 11/22/63. While I really kind of love making a date the title to a book, so many parts of the world work with the format of day/month/year, so it encounters the problem of not being universal. Nevertheless, the title is so interesting on its own, I actually clicked the link in one of my bookstore subscription newsletters just to find out what it was (I know, I’m awfully sheltered from industry news at the moment).

I admit, the cover art came as a surprise. The US get a very striking cover, torn paper, cream, red and black colour scheme, a nicely “aged” look. It’s a strong cover, good layout, very bold and appealing. I really love it.

Then we get… a lens flare? No, no, no, no, really. A lens flare, made to look like it represents some kind of time warp, since the story is based around a character who goes back in time and all. Having seen the fantastic cover art for the US release, I cannot express how disappointing the UK/Aus artwork is to me. The only striking thing about it is how someone could have honestly thought using a standard lens flare on this novel was a good idea.

It’s not that lens flares are inherently bad, it’s just they are so overused, and so basic. That artwork would have taken a proficient computer artist all of a minute to create, with no exaggeration. Of course that’s disappointing. What made them think our market is so different that we wouldn’t love the original US cover?

Complaints aside, there is a very neat website associated with this book, and it made me super happy to see other authors leaning the same direction and including a greater degree of content to accompany their books! Have a little click around 11/22/63 and see the awesome touches around the site!

~A

Crochet to the left!

Crochet to the right! I’ve been a busy little stitcher! And finally, a collection of projects has been completed, so now I can share photos of the crocheting that has kept me sane in between the madness of editing. Go ahead and click any of the images for a larger view!

First, is a really super snuggly knee rug or baby blanket. The green yarn is very soft, bulky and fuzzy. This was made with a v-stitch, then just single crochet for the border in a lovely variegated blue yarn.

The next knee rug or baby blanket is made from pale and dark blue bamboo/cotton blended yarn, with a segment of grey yarn for contrast. It is SO soft and has a really nice weight to it. This is just a standard granny square pattern, repeated until I was out of the bamboo yarn.

Carrot baby set! This baby beanie was requested by a friend, made with cute little curly carrot leaves. I whipped up the little carroty shaped bib to go with it, because the idea was just too cute!

And lastly, for now, is the most ridiculously adorable thing I’ve ever made: a flopsie-eared bunny beanie. The pink yarn is very soft, with little glittery bits through it. I really love the brown and cream yarn. Honestly, brown is such a great colour for baby things, especially as it goes really well with bright, rainbow colours.

With these four pieces finished, I still have a whole pile of other crocheting to get through. Good thing it’s a great activity to keep my hands busy while I’m trying to puzzle through my writing – any time I get a bit stuck at the moment, I just pick up the crochet and work on it until I’ve thought through my problem. Awesome!

~A

Of baby things

My lovely friend, Katy-Rose recently welcomed her firstborn son into this wild and magical world. He’s a gorgeous little man, and I had the decided pleasure of crocheting a baby beanie for him!

Katy-Rose requested a Halloweeny pumpkin design, which I was so super excited to make. Not that I wouldn’t wear a pumpkin beanie myself, but I haven’t really had a reason to crochet any of the awesomely cute baby things, except my personal favourites: baby blankies.

So as a treat for my interested readers, who have been asking for photos of things since I started talking about my projects, here’s the hat I made!

All I really needed to do was look up online the best way to make the lines for the pumpkin body, and that turned out to be very simple! It was a flat rectangle, and you just crochet into the back loop for every row. Non-stitchers will probably think I’m speaking another language, and that’s okay. Trust me when I say this was a very, very easy thing to do (much simpler than many other things I’ve crocheted).

The leaf and curly-q designs were just invented as I went, crocheting whatever worked to make it look right. The curly-q is just a chain with single crochets all along, and it curls naturally. Making the pumpkin shaped leaf was fairly basic, since I just kept adding stitches until it matched the photos I was working from of actual pumpkin leaves!

I’ll hopefully get some other pieces finished soon, and take photos to share!

~A