They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. There’s some truth to this and, as a general rule, it’s good practice to not judge the worth or value of something by its outward appearance alone. But, English idiom aside, the cover of a book should match what’s inside, give you a glimpse of the story or the information contained in the pages. A good cover will draw a person to a book they’ll enjoy. A poor cover will mislead or be overlooked altogether. So, you see, for an indie author, choosing the cover art is a monumental task.
I’d never heard of Garth Stein or The Art of Racing in the Rain when I spotted a copy on a table in Vernon’s Bookland, and I don’t normally buy books without some kind of recommendation, but I was irresistibly drawn to the cover (that’s Enzo with the goggles and scarf). I bought it, loved the story and the writing, laughed out loud on numerous occasions, shed some tears, and was permanently touched by Enzo’s story, all thanks to a good cover. Continue reading →
The plan for my novel, House of the Blue Sea, was that it be set in Spain. Problem was, I`d never been to Spain and, at the time I was starting on the initial draft, I couldn’t see how I’d be visiting there anytime in the near future. I had a dilemma. Then, one day, driving home from another inspiring writing class with Rona Altrows, it came to me … Mexico! It had the elements I was looking for in a location: warm during Canadian winter, oceanside, exotic, Spanish-speaking, romantic, and I’d been to Mexico–twice! On top of that, it lent itself to an interesting addition to my main character’s backstory … she doesn`t fly.
Ever since she’d written a report on the Mediterranean in junior high, Sandra had wanted to visit Spain, but when she swore off flying in her early twenties, she gave up the idea of travel to Europe, unless she wanted to drive across North America and take a boat over the Atlantic.
In November of 2014, I flew to Los Cabos and spent nine days exploring the southeast corner of the Baja Peninsula researching the location for my novel House of the Blue Sea. Below is the fifth and final segment of the what I learned list:
Take time to smell the flowers! And any other aromatic items in your setting.
In November of 2014, I flew to Los Cabos and spent nine days exploring the southeast corner of the Baja Peninsula researching the location for my novel House of the Blue Sea. Here’s part four of what I learned:
Keep a little space in your luggage for that thing you just have to take home. Is a hat, a mug, a stone or some other item key to your story or your inspiration? In my case, it was a small piece of heart-shaped coral, just a little keepsake of the Baja beach, until it turned into part of my cover art. Continue reading →
In November of 2014, I flew to Los Cabos and spent nine days exploring the southeast corner of the Baja Peninsula researching the location for my novel House of the Blue Sea. Here’s part three of what I learned:
Check out the local architecture. You don’t have to travel very far to find people living and working in structures much different from what you’re familiar with. Take note of what buildings are constructed of, their size, shape, colours and style. Continue reading →
In November of 2014, I flew to Los Cabos and spent nine days exploring the southeast corner of the Baja Peninsula researching the setting for my novel House of the Blue Sea.
Here’s part two of what I learned:
Whether you’re travelling to another city, another country or another continent, pay attention to what’s different from where you live. And it doesn’t hurt to take note of things that are the same, like Yoda and reindeer.
It’s been an exciting journey from a story idea formed in a snowy field in February of 2010 to a novel release scheduled for February of 2016. Six years … of writing, learning about writing, attending conferences on writing, talking to other writers about writing, revising writing … so yes, a lot of writing.
And, in addition to all of the above, a bit of research. Merriam-Webster defines research as “the collecting of information about a particular subject”. That about covers it and, luckily for me, in some cases this means walking beaches, watching sunrises, and drinking margaritas. Continue reading →