Tag Archives: gottagetpublished

The Problems of Covers…

I am having fun with covers for my No Man’s Land series….and when I say fun, I mean a mix of “wow this is awesome” and “why on earth did I think trying to make covers for books was a good idea?!”

I had been recommended Canva, so I had a play with it. It’s a fantastic tool; it lets you either pick a template or you can make your own, and from that, you can pick from a bunch of free images and fonts, move text around, add images and borders, change colours…it’s obviously not up to Photoshop or similar standards, but for a free tool, it’s pretty damn neat.

I had a go with it for No Man’s Land (the title keeps changing as I’m playing with a few) and I did a whole series like the starscape here – and I adore them. They’re absolutely beautiful and they work and…sigh. I really, really like them. Seriously. The entire series together is just gorgeous.

BUT.

Beautiful as they are, they don’t say “gritty urban fantasy”. They say “cute love story, possibly magic”. And that isn’t what I want – it’s not the market I’m going for.

Karin Lanven sketchbook work
https://www.lanvenart.com/sketchbook

So, back to the drawing board!

Or not. My next efforts were, frankly, shit. My main problem is that the urban fantasy genre is very human-figure-focused. Have a look at Amazon’s bestseller list, and you’ve usually got some sort of pouting, muscular female, probably some flame floating around, maybe a creature or two. It screams magic.

And I can’t find, or make, those sorts of images on a freebie cover creator that’s intended for literary & light reads or possibly, at a push, romance genres. It’s great and all, but it doesn’t do what I want for these books. (I think it would have similar limitations for children’s fiction, and most fantasy.)

So, I’ve put my hands up (in glee!) and asked a friend about a commission. The incredibly talented Karin Lanven is having a look at my notes  and rough ideas, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what she comes up with!

(On a side note: two people I’ve now spoken to about the covers have said, “Oh, then you need to write the books for those covers!” ARGH. Ok, they’re on the list…)

Desert Sands & Silence is published!

Desert Sands & Silence is released today!

Desert Sands cover

This is the next in the sparkpunk GreenSky series, set in a world of technology and magic.

Moel is a runner, a desert inhabitant who makes her living carrying messages across the sun-baked plains, content in her silence. But when a group of engineers from Meton are caught in a rockslide, politics abruptly brings Moel into the world again, and she meets others who have been pulled back to their pasts by Ziricon’s desire to gain the power of spark without the costs.

You can get the Kindle or paperback, and if you’re after a signed copy then ping me a message 🙂

Green Sky and Sparks front coverAlso, if you aren’t familiar with the series (although this is relatively stand-alone so you can read it without having read the others) then the first in the series, Green Sky & Sparks, is currently 99p on Kindle!

In a world of magic, wind, and electricity, Catter Jeck is offered the chance to explore a myth. Travelling from city to city, his search for the centre of the magic catches others in its coils. When the Lord Heir of Meton offers to continue the search in his flying machine, the consequences of their crash – and Toru’s accidental link to a dying Healer – suddenly become of central importance to all of their lives.

GreenSky Short Story: On The Clockwork Trail

steampunk universe coverI have another GreenSky short story available, in the Steampunk Universe anthology! It’s currently available on Kindle and will shortly be available in hard copy too.

(Also, the cover is gorgeous!)

Have an extract of the beginning…

It was the Glider that had distracted her. Usually, Kita’s eyes would be fixed on the trail; on the lookout for rocks, loose patches of sand, scree, anything that might be obstructing the trail. Even with the clockwork engine powering the wagons, they couldn’t get over every obstacle and it was easy to run the wheels into loose sand or a too-large rock. She was careful. She had to be careful.

But the Glider was drifting overhead, up in the endless green sky. There were one or two around routinely now; they were part of the mapping teams out of Huish, and could often be seen floating one way or another across the desert. She’d been lucky enough to see one doing some stunts a few weeks back, diving and whirling. The caravan convoy had stopped just to watch, all the drivers gasping as it shot down towards the desert floor and somehow missed the rocks by a flicker, whirling and spinning back up into the sky. Kita wondered how the pilot could even think straight while doing that.

But this one was just floating, slowly moving. She could see the wide canvas of the wings with their wooden struts and taught ropes, the faint shadow of the pilot hanging under it. No need for an engine thanks to the Mages that flew them, so they made no sound…they were so beautiful.

And her wagon hit a pothole.

You can get it from Amazon on Kindle and shortly in hard copy.