The Black Swan Inheritance Covers, plus Blurby Fun

Hear ye, hear ye! Well, actually I want you to do the talking and for me to listen! I’ve got a few different concepts thanks to your input last time, so I hope these new covers are a little more exciting than the last ones. Leiah said she liked the glowing feathers and seeing more of the swan. Rosh liked the original picture the best so maybe I should just use that but I can’t help fiddling with things! Bethany advised I work on the font, so I’ve played around with a few different types as you’ll see below. Wlloydjr suggested focusing on the texture of the wings, which I definitely like the idea of as it makes it much simpler, in an ‘uncomplicated and pleasing to the eye’ sense.

I’m still loving the photo, but as far as making it a cover I can’t really commit to any of the ones I’ve made. Leiah said that I should use a cover I’m happy with, but truth be told I just don’t know anymore! Help! Do I go with dark or elegant? I like both! And I think both hint to the story within… so I’m at a bit of a loss.

So I have some covers that are complicated, some that are simple, and I’ve included the original picture too in case people still like that one and want me to stop messing with it!

Black Swan Feathers Cover

Final Copy8Feather Texture

Black Swan

And just for reference’s sake, here’s the first cover I worked on:

Book1_3_without_beakI hope I’ve improved!

 What did you like? What didn’t you like? Whole picture or zoomed-up texture?

Once again, my book should will be released December 1st! This is the current blurb, completely different from the last one I posted:

The striking Black Swan is native to Australia, unrelated to the seemingly pure White Swan of Europe. She is found in the strangest of places – from ugly mines to cultivated farms, beautiful bushland to violent coastline.

Yet, she always shies away from humanity.

The Black Swan is always beautiful, surprisingly resilient and very, very powerful. Most Black Swans are wise enough not to use that power to challenge the status quo.

Most…

And this is the blurb that I posted a while ago and got great feedback on, but like the lazy busy person I am I haven’t gone back to edit the blurb based on those comments. Well, not properly at least – I did change the last line, and made a minor change of the last sentence of the first paragraph. If you’re interested in reading that post and those comments, you can find it here.

Anita had the kind of reputation in high school that no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right? Well, it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening. Turns out Anita’s over-active libido has become more than something hormonal – it’s magical.

The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer. No wonder the Black Swan had been driven to seclusion and banishment in the past. But Anita is determined not to run away – she is here to help, whether the medieval dragon-wolf or the undead cultists want it or not.

She will be no one’s pawn. She will rise to the challenge.

If she can just manage to deal with her own flaws first. Anxiety, panic-attacks, and bouts of bitchiness does not a successful diplomat make.

I should also mention that you can find all the posts to date related to my book under the “Black Swan Inheritance” category. Because I like to believe I have fans 🙂 Hey, you gotta be optimistic when you’re pursing a career in something creative, or anything you love.

To be fair, I will always write, regardless of what the future brings. But since I have the option to self-publish: YEAH! Of course I’m going to try that!

Shamelessness. It is incredibly liberating 😀

Influencing Your Characters Just Because You Can

This is the first time I’ve ever had my book professionally edited, and Leiah Cooper picked up something interesting.

See, I had almost finished writing my novel when something pissed me off. I don’t remember what it was exactly… oh wait, yes I do. The last manuscript I had sent off was rejected.

Yeah, that pissed me off.

I had almost finished writing The Black Swan Inheritance, a book about magic and conquering your own shortcomings with a bit of a romance slant. Actually, it had a lot of a romance slant – more than I personally liked just because I knew that sort of shit would sell. At least, that was where I was coming from when I started writing. As these things do, the characters developed a life of their own and I grew a little attached to them.

Then that other manuscript was rejected.

So what do I do? Since I was the goddess of this new world I created I decided, in the heat of the moment, I was justified in absolutely ruining the romance. Then I ended the book.

Yeah, I’m a very mature adult. Just be grateful I’m a writer and not, for instance, a mad scientist. Okay, I am a scientist, but as a geologist the best I can do is throw rocks around.

I did some of that too. And hammers.

Anyway, I finished the book. Over the course of the next few months I went back to it and edited, but somehow it never occurred to me to do justice to the relationships of the characters and give everyone closure.

Leiah brought that up.

I’m paraphrasing a little here, but she essentially asked, “Why has the main character reverted back to bitch-mode in the last few scenes?”

Um…

Because I was in bitch-mode when I wrote it.

Whoa, that was selfish of me. What was all that about authors respecting their own work? Yeah, I just threw it all out the window.

SO I am fixing that. I am going to do justice to the story. I am going to allow the characters to each have their place in the sun, to say their piece, to do what they want to do, not what I impose on them.

Aspiring writers, have you ever done this? Has something happened to you that has effectively driven you to write:

ROCKS FALL. EVERYONE DIES.

THE END

I expect George R R Martin goes through it a lot.

Messing Around with Covers for The Black Swan Inheritance

Well, I had thought I had done a pretty good job playing about with images for my cover of The Black Swan Inheritance. That was until I decided to take the result to my biggest critic – my mother. She didn’t like the beak.

Book1_1Book1_2

I liked it. I thought the cover looked pulpy and cool. But her comments were valid – I am not, after all, an artist. I don’t exactly have an artistic eye. And I can’t draw or paint or any of that. I do like to think I can write though, and I’m sticking to that idea no matter who tells me otherwise!

Anyway, to help my self-esteem and non-existent art talent, I tried again. This time, without so much beak:

Book1_3_without_beak2

And I really should stop there. I’m being helped by a friend who’s a bit more clued in than I am with the art thing so together hopefully we’ll be able to get something more professional-looking.

I had looked at lots of photos of black swans, but I do love this image (or you can see it below) which I originally found on rgbstock.com, but the photographer has asked me to reference and link back to the freestock.ca website. I think the picture is just perfect for my book. The black swan is just gorgeous and the blood-red beak and eye dominates the centre of the picture. I love the colours of black swans ^-^

So I’m kind of stuck on this image for now. Who knows, maybe I won’t even end up using it. Anything could happen.

Having said that, I have tentatively set myself a publish date of December 1st of this year. Just in time for Christmas! Maybe. Should be. We’ll see.

So, what do you all think? I know the font is rough, I just wanted to see what it looked like with all the bits attached. Anyone else hate the beak? Like the photo, don’t want to change it? Any other ideas? Let me know!

Feedback Please!

Hi Everyone. So since I decided to publicly celebrate finishing a novel, this sh*t just got real. Some people even wanted to know what my book was about, which was awesome.

Which made me realise I need to get some feedback!

Please have a read of the blurb for my book I cobbled together from some rejected pitches (which I thought were awesome, but agents and publicists know better (presumably)). I would also like to know what you think of the title. Any suggestions on anything will be taken on board.

I got this image from a blog called why we reason? I don’t think it’s been active for a while but I like the silhouette. P.S. the image links back to the site I got it from, so it’s all legit 🙂

The Black Swan Inheritance

Anita had the kind of reputation in high school that no one wants to carry into adulthood, especially since she wants to be a doctor like her dad. Now at university, she is determined to be good, but one little end-of-semester celebration can’t hurt, right? Well it can if she ends up having a one-night stand with a werewolf that triggers a dark awakening. Turns out Anita’s over-active libido isn’t just hormonal – it’s magical.

The Black Swan is a powerful legacy that brings both temptation and danger. Having now inherited the title and all that comes with it, Anita finds herself beset upon by ancient abominations that won’t take no for an answer. No wonder the Black Swan had been driven to seclusion and banishment in the past. But Anita is determined not to run away – she is here to help, whether the medieval dragon-wolf or the undead cultists want it or not.

She will be no one’s pawn. She will rise to the challenge.

If she can just manage to fix her own crippling anxiety issues first. Can’t help anyone if you can’t help yourself.

I’m not sure about that last sentence. Maybe I should keep it in third person instead?

I should also bring up that Liza Barrett over at Classy Cat Books actually does reviews on blurbs, which is a really clever idea and I wish I’d thought of it first. After all, a blurb is what draws a reader in, so anyone who writes should be evaluating blurbs this way. Blurbs can hook.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts! Would this be the sort of book you’d read?

I’ve finished my book + 50 followers!

Uh, okay, so I haven’t been as active in the blogosphere the last couple of days as I usually am. I just honestly needed a break, and I had promised myself I would get my manuscript for The Black Swan Inheritance finished by today. And I have! Yays!

Well, it’s finished as in I’ve finally rewritten the ending after having gone through and edited the rest of it (as far as the plot goes). I still need to read through the whole thing once last time to make sure it all flows and there are two chapters which need to be broken down into smaller chapters but SCREW IT! My story is done. The manuscript isn’t but the story is, so I’m calling mission accomplished! Ha!

I feel exhausted now. I was only working on it for a handful of hours but… oh write. I mean right. I haven’t drunk any water for that time! That’s kind of necessary isn’t it? No wonder I’m all loopy.

And for the second celebration: 50 followers! Wooo! Thank you everyone! I’m going to list you all here just because I want to say thanks to you all, and encourage you to check each other out because you’re all lovely people:

Hungry Club
http://hungryclub.wordpress.com
   
letsbeatmentalhealth.com
http://letsbeatmentalhealth.wordpress.com
   
Silver Threading
http://cmchesebro.wordpress.com
   
Dennis Cardiff
http://dcardiff.wordpress.com
   
smilyking1976
http://boss870.wordpress.com/
   
Auntie Doris
http://auntdoris.wordpress.com
   
Liza Barrett    
Lola @ Hit or Miss Books
http://hitormissbooks.wordpress.com
   
romance4thebeach
http://romance4thebeach.wordpress.com
   
criticaldispatches
http://criticaldispatches.wordpress.com
   
Anna Bayes
http://annabayes.wordpress.com
   
guyhugo
http://www.confessionsofahollywoodnobody.com
   
Karen
http://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com
   
Kait
http://weatheringthestormbp.wordpress.com/
   
Kendall F. Person, thepublicblogger
http://thepublicblogger.com/
   
theeditorsjournal
http://theeditorsjournal.wordpress.com
   
sheilarparker
http://sheilarparker.wordpress.com
   
Rosh
http://darlynnrosh.wordpress.com
   
Eliza
http://elizaworner.com
   
theworldoutsidethewindow
http://theworldoutsidethewindow.wordpress.com
bdhesse
http://bdhesse.wordpress.com
   
sheridegrom – From the literary and legislative trenches.
http://sheridegrom.com
   
Marsha J. O’Brien
http://marshaobrien.wordpress.com/
   
Rebecca Bradley
http://rebeccabradleycrime.wordpress.com
   
Sawa Minori
http://angelartstar.wordpress.com
   
rachelcarrera
http://rachelcarrera.wordpress.com
   
Lee-Anne
http://leeannewalker1.wordpress.com
   
Horrorville
http://matthewalesci.wordpress.com
   
E A M Harris
http://eamharris.wordpress.com
   
ciseranidem
http://whatithinkwhatisay.wordpress.com
   
Timothy Pike, host of Dream, Play, Write!
http://theimportanceofbeingedited.wordpress.com
   
I of July
http://htmm.wordpress.com
   
utahrob
http://flyfishingthehighcountry.wordpress.com
   
Carol Balawyder
http://carolbalawyder.com/
   
Susan Lattwein
http://susanlattwein.wordpress.com
   
MuseBoxx
http://www.shaunfurman.com
   
michelinewalker
http://michelinewalker.wordpress.com
   
mdtycho
http://views4africa.wordpress.com
   
bribruceproductions
http://bribruceproductions.wordpress.com
   
Brian Marggraf
http://indieheroblog.wordpress.com
dieterrogiers
http://300stories.wordpress.com
   
BR Kyle
http://havering.wordpress.com
   
Coach Muller
http://goodtimestories.wordpress.com
   
hessianwithteeth
http://hessianwithteeth.wordpress.com
   
Shelby
http://naturepreserve.me
   
Dylan Harnett
http://thedudewithablog.com
   
stepheusebi
http://stepheusebi.com
   
Cristian Mihai
http://cristianmihai.net
   
soireadthisbooktoday
http://soireadthisbooktoday.com
   
stephaniehurt
http://stephaniehurt.wordpress.com
   
Jarosław PlayWithLifE
http://www.playwithlife.org