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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Custom Artwork for The Door Within Trilogy

I've always loved to draw. In elementary school, I was often the student who sketched away until the teacher crumbled up my drawing and tossed it. Probably didn't help that I did my own sound effects while drawing. ;-)

A few years before The Door Within was published, I found a digital art program called Bryce 3D by Daz Studios--UN-BE-LIEVABLE!! This software allowed my imagination to do everything it ever wanted to do. And…since the DW books have come out, I've had a blast drawing art to go with the books. Some of it (Yewland, for instance) really helped me to visualize the scenes I wanted to write.

Here are some of the images. I'm new to all this blog upload stuff, so these pics may end up rather small. We'll see. Hope you like them.

Friday, January 05, 2007

When the muse strikes...

I finished the Isle of Swords manuscript just six days ago. There was exhilaration but, truth be told, it was mixed with exhaustion. It's hard to describe how emotionally and physically drained I felt after the sprint to the finish line. But…

Just a few days later, I feel myself positively stoked with a new story idea. It's actually one I'd been wrestling with for a while, but new elements and plot points are coming together rapidly. And I have to admit, this could be big. This could be EPIC big. But most of all, it feels like fun. How do you know what God's will is for you? I can't speak for everyone, but it seems to me that if you find something you can do well, something that challenges you, kicks your tail from time to time, and you still can't seem to get enough of it…maybe that's God's will for you. So long as what you do lives up to scriptural scrutiny, that is. ;-)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Front Matter matters…or does it?

Working on the front matter for Isle of Swords now. With The Door Within Books, my editors and I agreed it was a good idea to include a List of Characters and Principal Settings, each with a pronunciation guide.

For Isle of Swords, my editors again have asked for this. We are also including two diagrams" a map of the Caribbean and a line drawing of a typical tall ship. We are debating a list of nautical terms: aft, keel, starboard, etc.

Interestingly, some folks didn't like the character/setting lists in the DW books. One even said, it bugged them--found it insulting.

I don't know. I think for a YA title, its good to have them. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

So much for rest...

Isle of Swords

The reality of being an author is, once the first draft of the manuscript is finished--a new dimension of work begins. And, I'm not even talking about the obvious edits and revisions which surely follow.

Here are just a few of the items I need to create/complete:

Front Matter including:
Character Names and Descriptions
Setting Names and Descriptions
Nautical Terms Glossary
Ship Names and Descriptions

Back Matter including:
Sneak Preview of Isle of Swords Sequel (Uh, I better think one up!)

Teaser Summaries and Taglines:
These are intriguing summaries of varying lengths: Single Sentence, Paragraph, Single Page, etc. Taglines are the "Bumper Sticker" version. Hmmm...a 330 page novel condensed into a bumper sticker phrase. YIPE!!

It's all fun, and it's all work. But what worthwhile isn't?

By the way, if you missed my earlier post, see above the potential cover for Isle of Swords. Post in and let me know what you think!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Isle of Swords is FINISHED!!

As of seven minutes ago, I typed out the last line of Isle of Swords. It grew into something much bigger and much more powerful than I ever imagined it would. God has a way of delivering surprises.

One Chapter Remains...

Wrote for 8 hours today. One chapter of Isle of Swords remains.

I don't know what it's like for most authors. Don't know how fast other authors write. But for me, if I write two pages in an hour, I am really flying--greased lighting flying. I've been praying and had others praying for me. Today, I averaged THREE pages an hour. This happened during The Final Storm as well. And I will always look back and remember what God did in these crunch times.

Two quick observations:

1. A.D.D. and writing don't mix. I am the worst case I've ever. What were we talking. Hey look at that cute kitten. Huh?

2. I need to get a more comfortable chair. Nuff said.