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Fall into eBooks

spilling stories

Let me start with a bit of my own personal good news. “Becoming Animals” just won the bronze medal from the Readers Favorite! It’s my third book that won something. So I guess I can now write “award-winning author” next to my name… Woo-hoo? To get this award, I will have to go to Florida and to one of the largest international book fairs. I’ve never been to a book fair before (I’ve been asked several times to go to the Frankfurt Fair, but always turned them down), so I guess this is as good time as any. If any of you are from around there, please come find me! I will need all the support I can get! 2018 Miami Book Fair November 16-18 — these are the dates I will be there! (Making a plunge here…) …and one more thing… look for my short story, “The Soil of my Ancestors,” in the Kyanite Press, a Journal of Speculative Fiction: Winter Digest 2018 – Fables and Fairy Tales, available on December 1st, 2018. This too is my little good news for the day. Thank you everyone! These last few years — the 2016 presidential election season and the Trump’s presidency — have been torturous when…

LEGION: Women of Sci-Fi

Legion Women Authors of SciFi

This month on Instafreebie, a group of women writers organized an ebook giveaway. There are amazing stories in this collection (and even two of mine). I hope you take a look and download a bunch… …and as you do, consider the design of a science fiction book cover! One of the interesting side benefits of these giveaways is the ability to view a bunch of covers all together. What do you see? Which books jump out at you? Can you spot problems with book design? I can — a lot of the typography doesn’t work in this size — too small or too convoluted in font selection, making either the name of the book or the name of the author unreadable. Another problem is color — some covers are too muted and lack contrast to stand out in a group. Others have too much detail and are hard to take in at a glance. First impressions matter — readers (as all humans) take in visual information quickly and make judgments based on emotion first (and then come up with reasoned justifications for those feelings). The job of a book cover designer is to make a good first impression, to allow…

What’s in a Cover?

Coding Peter Suddenly Paris 2 Covers

The design of the cover can make the book… or so I was told. Certainly, bad covers don’t contribute to sales. But good covers are difficult. And the thought on cover design has changed over the years… just like fashion. Since I tend to design my own covers (and I’m an artist and a designer), I wanted to put together some ideas, if not rules, to follow and some background of how to think about book cover design. Because if you don’t do your own, you still need to communicate what you want with the person that does. Book Covers Through Time To appreciate a cover, it helps to understand its roots. I won’t go back far, since my genre is science fiction, just a hundred years or so. Consider the cover evolution of Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”: There is a movement from frills to realism to a strong graphic look of the more modern editions. While for the 1800’s editions, we might find it difficult to identify the genre of this story, by the time we hit 1960s, there is no doubt that this is a science fiction or fantasy novel. The cover alerts…

New Book: Lizard Girl and Ghost

Lizard Girl & Ghost

This is probably the strangest story I’ve ever written. The idea for the book came from reading endless articles on “singularity” — what would it really mean to pour one’s soul into the machine? What are some implications? What would it feel like? So this story is a cyberpunk adventure into life beyond death as we know it. I hope you’ll give it a try. Here are the first few chapters.

Sci-fi and Fantasy Novels: Download One or Every Single One!

Innovation: Sci-fi anf Fantasy

Have you taken the reading pledge challenge yet? No? I didn’t — seems silly to limit myself to some arbitrary number of books. I read voraciously and across many genres, although sci-fi is my guilty pleasure and a goto place for when I’m feeling blue. Science fiction and fantasy are interesting genres. People have such strong opinions about them: “I only read literary fiction.” or “I consume only non-fiction.” And yet, what is literary fiction but a socially-approved book? A classic? Shakespear had written a lot of fantasy books — Macbeth had witches, A Midsummer Night’s Dream had spells and magic, The Tempest was set on an enchanted isle, Hamlet had ghosts. Go back farther in time and read a few Greek plays — gods, witches, medusas, magical beasts of all kinds… And what’s the Epic of Gilgamesh if not a fantasy novel?  Fantasy is a great way of transporting a reader into another realm and showing real emotions and complicated social dilemmas without getting trapped in a politically incorrect or culturally inappropriate minefield. Fantasy allows us to talk about our prejudices and absurdities of some of our beliefs by taking away trigger words and situations. What a powerful genre. Science fiction takes fantasy one level…

YA Extravaganza eBook Giveaway

2018-01-01 YA Extravaganza Giveaway

For the next seventeen days, all these ebooks are available for a free download by their authors via the BookFunnel: https://books.bookfunnel.com/ya-extravaganza So have some fun and cuddle up with your phone or anther reading device and ride out the Arctic Weather Bomb with a good story! And if you like any of them, please leave a review. Thank you and happy reading!