I've always been fascinated by what someone sees when they read something of mine. A reader might have an idea what a certain character looks like from a book cover (although the cover may be nothing like what the author imagined since they're generally decided by the publisher) or even images posted by the author relating to the story or the inspiration. It should also give readers an idea of the setting/genre/theme, although that's something very open to interpretation. If someone writes 'castle' or 'forest', most people will have a general idea of what they think a typical one looks like, then adjust it as they read more details. For instance, perhaps they saw a light, silver birch wood, only to learn two sentences in that it's a dark, brooding oak forest, or a sweltering rain forest.
I can remember asking...no, pestering an author about his space ship, wanting to know whether I'd imagined it correctly, to the point of posting pictures that echoed what I thought. Luckily we knew each other well enough that I don't think I offended him. I never did get a straight answer though...
I can't draw particularly well, but I love to sketch out my ideas in words. That's part of why I write. The art comes in describing it enough to give an outline with necessary details without bogging down the story, and yet allowing the reader to use their imagination without too much effort. I've had the odd review compare my female MC to River Song from Doctor Who and even as the Doctor himself. Keir has been cast as Orlando Bloom and Aidan Turner. These kind of comments always fascinate me. But a couple of weeks ago, I received something that just blew me away. A good friend of mine decided to commission a piece of artwork as a gift to me, based on how he saw the opening scene to Keir . To say that I'm flattered is an understatement. The image is beautiful, but the thought behind it even more so.
I'm not going to tell you how close or not this is to the image that was in my head. I want people to form their own opinion. Some will be influenced by the official cover. But you can judge this one for yourself by downloading the first chapter for free from Lyrical Press Inc here or by using the Look Inside via Amazon. And if you do, I'd love for you to come back and tell me what you think of this picture then. Meanwhile you can check out the artist Jonathan Moore here. And you can check out the humorous comic strip about life in New Zealand done by my good friend Mr Reasonable here.
So, what else is new?
I've already announced it elsewhere, but to continue from last week when I said I'd had a request for a full MS, I can now confirm that I HAVE A NEW CONTRACT! Woo hoo! My scifi Gethyon will be out June 2013 with the science fiction/fantasy imprint of Champagne Books - Burst. I'm currently in the process of filling in paperwork, and already have my editor assigned and my two deadlines laid out. This meant that I dropped my Campnanowrimo project at the weekend, having reached 28K. I'm a little disappointed I won't get to finish it, but I was already struggling with the word count after feeling that When Dark Falls had a split identity problem, and that I actually appeared to be trying to write two seperate and conflicting stories. The stories won't be deleted, but what I have so far is going on my project list for next year. For the rest of this year, it will now be edits, promotion, finishing and submitting the sequel to Keir, and preparing my other sfr novella Tethered for submission early next year. I've also decided to go ahead and self-publish a short sfr story I did for a submission call that never happened. But more on that later...
My book trailer for Keir is up for voting in the August contest at You Gotta Read blog at #20. Please stop by and vote! I know, I'm not cute when I beg so how about this?
There's also giveaways still running on my blog here for two print copies of Keir. The Goodreads one is proving extremely popular and is open until September 17th. The other closes on the 29th August and is running on my blog - all you have to do is comment, and currently there's not much competition, but the closing date is sooner! The monthly Amazon tagging list will open on the 27th, with the party on the 30th. There's an additional note on the subject of 'malicious' tagging so please read the party post carefully when it's up.
Donna - interesting post on remakes. I have to say I groan a little each time I hear another remake/revamp is on the way. Maybe next year we'll see something new.
Sharon - love the post on world-building. That's one of my favourite parts of writing. :)