27 April 2010

Back of the head cover shot

As mentioned in Gallycat there's a new trend in women's fiction covers - the back of the head shots.

This is not a trend I hate, I should add, I actually like being able to imagine what the character look like, plus you escape that nasty feeling when the cover model looks nothing like the character in the book (well mostly, you still have hair colour to deal with, but one hopes the publishing team manged to get that right).

Even reissues are adopting the change.
old cover vs. new

Sometimes however, the trend is bucked.
Original design vs. final design

And don't think women's fiction is the only one getting this treatment.....

Music: Little Boots
reading: finishing 'Souless' by Gail Carriger
From Cyberpunk last week to Steampunk this week

20 April 2010

Hypothetical Library

The Hypothetical Library is a project by cover designer Charlie Orr. His goal: to work with a wide range of amazing, contemporary writers on a project outside of their normal body of work.

The catch -- these books will never exist.

He asks each writer to provide flap copy for a book that they haven’t, won’t, but in theory could, write, and then he designs a cover for it.

Hypothetical book 1:
By Colum McCann
Imagine if he wrote this book...
“In the 17th Century vast numbers of Irish men, women and children were forcibly transported to the American colonies by the British government. In this spectacular reinvention and examination of history, Colum McCann goes to the heart one of the great untold stories of our times as he follows a group of Irish indentured servants on their voyage to the West Indies, their plight on the Atlantic seas, their subsequent serfdom and their eventual liberation on the wave of a bloody revolution. This is a gripping portrayal of another century, another continent, another loss, told in McCann’s unique trademark prose, simultaneously stripped down and lyrical.”

Hypothetical book 2:
By David Lehman

Imagine if he wrote this book...
“Lehman’s access to classified FBI files lends authority to his account of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In addition to the official version of events as presented in newspapers and in the Warren Report, Lehman explores the most popular conspiracy theories of “what really happened on that dreadful day in Dallas when the nation lost not only its young leader but also its intellectual virginity.” His startling new assessment of Lee Harvey Oswald makes it clear why the conspirators had to have him killed.”
Lehman really got into the fun of this, proposing a full series: What Really Happened at Waterloo, What Really Happened at Yalta, What Really Happened in Dallas (November 22, 1963)

Hypothetical book 3:
By L Millet and K Suckling
Imagine if they wrote this book...
“This powerful and strange hybrid beast — part epic story, part incantation, part polemic and part memoir — by novelist Lydia Millet and her husband, environmentalist and philosopher KierĂ¡n Suckling, tells the story of a relationship between human impulses toward self-destruction and our perception of the sublime; of a relationship between past and current visions and stories of the apocalypse and the psychology of climate-change denial; and of the cultural, historical and religious implications of the world’s ongoing Sixth Mass Extinction.”

Personally this whole project rickled my fancy & the it doesn't end there :) No doubt I'll do another post later on with more updates.
Music: TV on the Radio
Reading: 'Crash Deluxe' by Marianne de Pierres
The final in this cyber punk trilogy

13 April 2010

covers & cigarettes

First couple of Sarah Palin covers I've been meaning to share for a while and keep forgetting.
Sarah Palin: An American Life & Going Rouge: An American Nightmare.
Yes, it would be easy to pick up the wrong book if you didn't read the cover carefully :)

And this fun idea from Tank Books: books in a cigarette box. I'm just waiting for the coolest cats in town to pull on their tight white tees and rolls one of these babies into the sleeve :)

Hip and good for your health :)

Music: Iron Maiden
reading: Another Julia Quinn - yes, I'm on a rampage through her back catalogue.
These are the kind of books that make me laugh during, and feel good when I hit the end.

08 April 2010

Good news

Short vs. long, and no I'm not talking about skirts or hair styles, I'm talking about stories.

I received a wonderful email in my inbox this week - The Wild Rose Press has accepted a short story (as yet untitled). Yay :)

So, back to the original question, long vs. short? My full length novel "Human with a Twist" comes out in July, and I found it a very different experience writing a short story compared to a full length novel; just as it's very different reading one.

As a writer: with a longer story you have more time to develop your characters and their relationships and adventures. In a short story you have to find a way to tell a whole story and keep everything believable, but do it in a much shorter space of time. I always think of short stories as stories in a pressure-cooker (up the intensity to finish quicker).

As a reader: One of the things I object to as a reader is that I always reach the end still wanting more. My short story is set in the same world as my novel and features a woman from the original novel. Although the short story is completely stand-alone, it means if readers (who suffer the same plight as me) want more, there is more - and a full length novel at that, to help ease the itch for more :)

In my opinion short stories are very good at two things:
1) giving you a full story if you don't have time to read a novel (e.g. on the bus)
2) giving you a feel for a writer you don't know. For instance at the end of last year I got hooked on Meljean Brooks after reading her short in "Must Love Hellhounds".

Anyway, when my short is titled, and has a release date, I'll keep you all posted & I hope you'll give it a try :)

music: Prince

reading: currently fighting with my eBook reader which is claiming corrupt data

02 April 2010

Happy Easter

Being the generous soul I am, I thought I would share some Easter eggs with you - the low calorie versions :)

How would you send a letter to the Easter Bunny? - By hare mail.

What do you call rabbits that marched in a long sweltering Easter parade? - Hot, cross bunnies.

The Easter bunny got caught in the rain. What did he use to dry himself? - A hare dryer.

How does the Easter Bunny stay healthy? - Eggercise, especially hareobics.

Why did a fellow rabbit say that the Easter Bunny was self-centered? - Because he is eggocentric.
What is the end of Easter? - The letter R.

How many Easter eggs can you put in an empty basket? - Only one, after that it's not empty anymore.

This last one didn't need a lame joke. An egg Artist who knew they eggxisted (okay, I caved to lame joke temptation). Very cool though.
Enjoy your Easter break everyone :)