How I choose covers for my Novels …

Posted 20 February, 2017 by dragonscaleclippings
Categories: books

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Have you ever wondered how indie and self-published authors go about choosing a cover design for their book?
Well, until I started publishing myself, I didn’t really give it much of a thought! I looked at the current designs in my genre – fantasy – and decided to do something different. The main reason was because I wanted to be known as a Speculative Fiction Author, rather than either a Fantasy or Science Fiction Writer. The term Speculative, encompasses both …
I think the most difficult cover to design was Dragonscale Leggings. The first version of the paperback had a pale blue background with a picture of an upside down potato peeler on it. It was VERY pertinent to the storyline but not very sellable. At the time (2008) I had no idea that you used pastels for romance novels. And Dragonscale Leggings is definitely NOT a romance!
So, coming up with a new, relevant idea was difficult. Whilst watching Glastonbury 2016 and seeing Muse perform, I was inspired by their brightly lit backgrounds making the band members into silhouettes. That’s what I want for my cover, I told Jonathon B. Hoyt. JBH, however, had some additional ideas, which I hadn’t thought of. I didn’t trust anyone else to get Dracomagan’s strong pose right, so JBH photographed me in various poses until we came up with the one that graces the existing front cover. JBH then worked his technological magic, incorporated his ideas, and wow! That looked different from anything else I’d seen!
I now feel that Dragonscale Leggings is more precisely placed in the YA / Fantasy market. What do you think? (And yes, a new paperback version is due for release sometime this year …)

Inspiration for Vintrig’s Kingdom came from Kombmaker’s portfolio. As soon as I saw the sketch, I thought of Vintrig’s Kingdom; the pale landscape, the high castle, the bleakness in the very air …
But, as I discovered, when I produced my impromptu Poster for the run up to the launch, the sketch was VERY light. I managed to “sharpen” it in Pixelmator, but, alas, have no idea how I did it, and have not been able to replicate it since!
JBH once more saved the day however. I was very clear on how I wanted the cover to look. It had to be pristine white to reflect both the eternal snow as well as Isu Magan’s virginity. The words were to be in jet black to reflect the monotone scene Isu saw every day. But I also wanted a thread of red entering the cover, to give a hint of the colour that Sama Conn brings to the Castle, as well as predicting the dire events of Book Two (yet to be published).
With all my covers, I like to produce something different. I don’t want them to look the same as all the other books, even within the genre. I remember as a teenager going for the books that looked different from the others; and that’s what I’ve been trying to achieve.
Do you think I’ve succeeded? Which of these books would you buy?
© Freya Pickard 2017

Interviewed by Sporkette!

Posted 17 February, 2017 by dragonscaleclippings
Categories: interview

Tags: , , , ,

A huge thank you to Sporkette for inviting me to her blog and interviewing me there!
Please check it out at Patricia Spork.
You can leave any comments on this post if you like it!
PS Dragonscale Leggings has a new price of just $3.00!
© Freya Pickard 2017
Have you seen the videos I’ve made about my writing! Check them out at YouTube

Orion

Posted 13 February, 2017 by dragonscaleclippings
Categories: freyan verse, Guest

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The first Freyan Verse for 2017 is written by my friend, Jenny Poulter. What do you think? I love it!
For a full explanation about this poetical form that I have invented, please visit Freyan Verse. Feel free to write your own!
I’ve started making some videos about my writing! Please check them out at YouTube

Lovely touches of humour …

Posted 8 February, 2017 by dragonscaleclippings
Categories: review

Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve just finished Rusalka. Loved it! All the stories gripped my imagination, forcing me to read on in anticipation. Your brilliant descriptive style, with lovely touches of humour, brought each character and situation to life so vividly for me. My favourite was The Rusalka Ritual itself, followed by most of the others, but particularly A Picnic at Knowles, with Dracomagon’s golf game! It’s a long time since I picked up a fiction book to read – other than a play – and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Keep them coming! D Henty

I received this lovely review of my first short story collection on Monday morning. What a wonderful way to start the week!

Have you read it yet? If not, it’s currently just 99p / 99c at most online stores this month.

If you have read this book of mine, I would really appreciate a review of it if you have time!

Have you seen my VERY short video about it at You Tube?

99p at
Amazon UK
Kobo
99c at all the European Amazon sites as well as
Barnes & Noble
iTunes

Although I have requested that Amazon US reduce the price to 99c, the lowest they seem to be able to get it is $1.22.

Please Share!

© Freya Pickard 2017

Understanding: poems with explanations

Posted 7 February, 2017 by dragonscaleclippings
Categories: EPod Interview, Escape Pod Emulations

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

When M. Sakran told me about his collection of poetry and asked me to write an introduction, I was intrigued!
The title in itself, tells you a lot about the collection – Understanding: poems with explanations. Why explanations? So, I read on. I’m not going to repeat my introduction here – you can read that in his book! Instead I’m going to tell you a little about my reactions to his poetry.
Understanding struck a chord with me because a lot of the poems explore death, cancer and suicide, as well as other situations that most people might not feel comfortable with. This is not to say that the collection is depressing. It is a very clever collection that makes you think and opens your eyes to other possibilities in interpretation. I loved how although I liked my interpretation of his words, sometimes, M. Sakran had half a dozen different thoughts going through his head while he wrote the poem. In a way, Understanding is a study of the creative process as well presenting some intriguing and thought-provoking poetry.
He uses both blank and rhythmical verse, sometimes with rhyme that does not detract from the meaning of the poem whatsoever. His poems are generally short and have a powerful impact with their words. His imagery is intriguing and his use of prose poetry in Distortion and Waiting are particularly effective.
Here and On The Floor were the 2 poems I identified most with having been through cancer myself. But Finality and Ridden also touched me, having seen an elderly relative die last year. And in Darkness & Dawn, the reader has nothing but sympathy for the suicide victim.
M. Sakran is an empathetic poet whose creative process is as fascinating as the poems he produces.
His books can be purchased at
First Try
Understanding
You can read M. Sakran’s EPod Interview at 20170206
You can follow M. Sakran at
MSakran.com
M. Sakran’s Blog
© Freya Pickard 2017

Escape Pod Emulation for M. Sakran

Posted 6 February, 2017 by dragonscaleclippings
Categories: EPod Interview

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Today I’m extending a warm welcome to the poet M. Sakran. He’s here as part of my Escape Pod Emulation series!
M. Sakran tells me he spent a lot of time wondering which five items he would take with him in the Escape Pod and also wondering whether he should take real items or imaginary ones. In the end, he decided upon these…
A box containing religious items, which, as a self-contained item, could be considered one thing, and is something I would definitely need for any long journey.
A zero gravity complete toilet kit, since, in an engineering oversight, the escape pod does not seem to come with such facilities.
A very high tech rechargeable robotic dog (either rechargeable by direct connection to the pod or via a built in solar panel), which would provide a source of interaction, responsibility, variability, and entertainment.
A large bag of hand selected multi-flavored jelly beans, which would provide a daily treat to be looked forward to, a break in the monotony of the energy bars, and would be practical as well as fun in zero gravity.
A bag of small magnets, with covered adhesive on one side, which would provide a way to connect the other items to the walls, would increase the usability of the robotic dog, and would provide something which could be used as a toy, as well as in other ways, in a zero gravity metal sphere.

M. Sakran is a poet who has previously appeared at my other blog Pure Haiku. He has two poetry collections under his belt and has recently finished a humorous creative nonfiction book about colon cancer, that will hopefully, be published someday. He is also currently posting chapters from his science fiction novel The Finch which is about two friends, their flying ship, and the adventure they have.
Come back tomorrow to read my review of his collection Understanding: poems with explanations by M. Sakran. This a self-published collection of twenty original poems, with explanations of each of them. The main purpose of this book is to help readers expand their understanding of poetry through the explanations..
You can follow M. Sakran at
MSakran.com
M. Sakran’s Blog
His books can be purchased at
First Try
Understanding
And if you’re wondering what on earth an Escape Pod Interview is all about, please read Escape Pod Emulation.
© Freya Pickard 2017

The Rusalka Ritual & Other Stories just 99p!

Posted 1 February, 2017 by dragonscaleclippings
Categories: special offer

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

This month’s Special Offer is The Rusalka Ritual & Other Stories!

It’s 99p at Amazon UK and Kobo. On Barnes & Noble and iTunes it’s reduced to 99c. And on most of the European Amazon sites the price has also been reduced to 99c.

Although I have requested that Amazon US reduce the price to 99c, the lowest they seem to be able to get it is $1.22 which is still a reasonable reduction from $2.99.

Five tales set in fantastic locations; an arid canyon, a smoke-wreathed ale house, a moonlit sea, a haunted inn and a golf course. Five tales encompassing human emotion; expectations disappointed, self-sacrificing love for the unlovable, will power that overcomes dark enchantment, bravery in the face of evil and fear of the unknown in hum-drum life. Five narrative voices ranging from a young child, a redeemed murderer, a strong-willed young woman, damsels awaiting rescue and a retired banker haunted by death …

Find out more in this short video at You Tube

Please Share!

© Freya Pickard 2017


%d bloggers like this: