Monday, March 19, 2012

Cover artist

I haven't really talked about my new position as Art Director for Snubnose Press mostly because it would involve uploading a lot of images and I'm too busy writing. (Don't believe me? I just finished A Mouth Full of Blood 1st draft and submitted my story for Pulp Ink 2 for consideration. See? I'm working)

Now, the good folks at Snubnose (in other words - Brian) have uploaded a Pinterest board of the range of Snubnose covers. Included are mine as well as the covers of original artists Boden Steiner, Ben Springer and John Horner Jacobs. The real fun is that Brian did what I kept meaning to do here on the ol blog, which is to put up alternate covers and unused versions of things that evolved or changed completely. I have a few more in my archives that I'll put up here, I guess starting now.

Below is the first draft of the cover of what would become Dig Two Graves. I still like this design, but obviously the name changed so this was out. Then below that was my minimal Saul Bass-esque take on Dig Two Graves, which again, I still have fond feelings for. Love to know what people think. I keep flexing my muscles with cover design and I feel like I'm getting the hang of it, knowing what works, what doesn't.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What's in a name?

You can't copyright a title, and that's a good thing. Sometimes a title works perfectly for more than one novel, especially years apart. I'm not precious about it.

When I decided on Split Decision it fit the story of a boxer caught between two difficult decisions. It echoes the outcome of a boxing match and the quandary Jimmy finds himself in. Perfect.
I haven't mentioned it here before, but there are other Split Decision's out there. A new one just went up. I find it fascinating.

I haven't read any of the others, but it's fun to think how utterly different books with the same title can be. And did the other authors feel as perfectly in sync with their titles? I'm sure they did.

The new one seems to be squarely in the 'Chick Lit' category. The brightly illustrated cover says it all.

There are two YA novels, one about gymnastics and one about baseball or something. One is some sort of psychic bondage novel. (?)

The one I'm really fascinated with is this one. While I wholeheartedly endorse the cover, the book description sounds horrifying. Did anyone else know there was a whole subgenre of "stepdad" erotica? What kind of weird fetish is that? It takes all kinds I guess. Again, I haven't read it. The writing might be great, y'know if you like stories about young girls and their stepdads having sex. Weird.

The sad thing about all this is that as of this writing, three out of five of those books are selling better than my Spit Decision. Yes, even that one.

Sheesh, I feel like I got gut punched worse than Jimmy did in chapter 6. Good news is I have way more reviews than they do. All 5-star too. Not that we couldn't use a few more. Just sayin', if you've read it - chime in.

Undaunted, work continues on my second Fightcard book, A Mouth Full Of Blood. I hit the 25,000 word mark and I'm almost done. I'll have a first draft by the weekend and then I can turn to a few other things that are pending, then go back and revise with fresh eyes and get this thing out by summer.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Free Fightcard!

For the rest of March we at the Fightcard team are giving away books! That's right, if you order either of the first two Fightcard entries, Felony Fists by Paul Bishop or The Cutman by Mel Odomyou get the other one free! Buy one, then mail your receipt to and you'll get a Kindle file by return mail. What a great way to get into the series with two excellent books for 2.99!
As a bonus you also get the first issue of Fight Fictioneers, the Fightcard and sports pulps round up.

And since we're talking Fightcard, I figure this is a good opportunity to debut the cover for my new entry, A Mouth Full of Blood. Can you believe I got away with that title?
It's a sequel to Split Decision and I'm almost done writing it. I really put Jimmy through the paces this time. There are back alley brawls, a missing girl, some unregulated fights, an innocent boy and some very guilty men. Look for it later this summer.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Want to write?

I have a few weird things in my office. Okay, more than a few. (Heart in a jar? Check. Human skull? Yep. Fetal pig wrapped in a snake? Sure do!)
I don't even know when I got two old issues of Popular Mechanics but I find them fascinating. In leafing through them for possible book cover fodder I found this and it entertained me to no end. Who knew it was so easy?