Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Hero's Journey, A Blogfest, and an Interview

A TON OF STUFF is going on today. It figures. I don't post more than a few times a month and then, bam! Everything happens at once.

I was interviewed over at the A to Z Challenge blog. It was a ton of fun and it should be up today. Please go check it out, it was really cool. .

Today is more of uber awesome Did I Notice Your Book blogfest. Check out my entry at the end of today's post.

And  I've got a guest poster today. My first ever. PT Dilloway is celebrating the release of his new novel, A Hero's Journey, by doing a blog tour. He's here today to talk about the cover. I'm thrilled he asked me to do this. I've been looking forward to this book for a long time.

UNDER THE COVER

First of all, thanks Rusty for having me on your blog today!

We’re all acquainted with the expression not to judge a book by its cover.  Most of us are also probably acquainted with the fact that this advice is hogwash.  Everyone judges a book by its cover!  Think of it this way:  if book covers weren’t important than every book would just have a plain white cover with the title and author name.  So obviously having a good cover is very important.


That’s why I was so glad when I asked Rusty that he agreed to do my cover for me.  For my three self-published books I’d done the covers myself, but that consisted of taking a stock photo (or in the case of my novel Virgin Territory it’s a photo I took myself) and throwing some text on it.  That works fine for literary novels where you don’t really need anything too specialized.  For literary fiction you can generally get away with a picture of some shoes or a sunset or something like that.  If you don’t believe me, go look up literary fiction on Amazon and see for yourself.

The problem with a book like A Hero’s Journey though is that you can’t do that.  You could have a photo of some shoes or a sunset, but it wouldn’t really make sense.  It wouldn’t really convey to the reader that, “Hey this is a superhero book!”  That’s what you really want the cover to do, give the potential reader some idea what the book is before they open it, or in the case of buying online, click on the link.

And as far as stock photos go, there isn’t that much out there that’s helpful.  I mean when you’re creating a specific character like the Scarlet Knight, you can’t really expect a stock photo to look the way you want. The best you can hope for is to find a piece that might fit:  a helmet, a sword, a cape, or maybe boots.  Still, it’s not quite the same as having an original cover.

Unfortunately when it comes to drawing I am completely worthless.  The closest I can come to drawing anything is to make characters on the Sims 2.  Which is why I was happy when Rusty agreed to do the drawing for me.
PT's sketch

The obvious hitch was to decide what exactly to draw.  I finally got an idea, though unfortunately for me it came at about four in the morning.  I got up and spent a couple hours before I had to go to work sketching something very, very crude to give Rusty an idea what I was thinking.

He took that and ran with it big-time.  You can see the finished product.  There was some wrangling with the publisher over the size of the text, which took a few weeks to get to the point where they finally accepted it.

Finished painting
Obviously I’m really happy with how the cover turned out.  It’s a heck of a lot better than some stock photo.  It really gives the prospective reader a good idea of what the story involves.  If you didn’t have a title or description or anything you’d still have a good idea it’s about a woman who’s a superhero in a big city. Maybe you could even figure out her superhero name just from the picture.  I mean she’s got red armor on, right?

I hope you enjoy the cover as much as I do and the rest of the book too.  You can buy the book from theSolstice Publishing website here as well as Amazon, B&N, and other retailers.  To find out more about A Hero’s Journey including character bios, deleted scenes, and a visitor’s guide to Rampart City visit my blog at http://www.ptdilloway.com

Thanks to Rusty for hosting me today and for drawing the book’s awesome cover!

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I appreciate PT taking the time to discuss the cover, they can be hard work to do. He is also going to be GIVING AWAY ONE FREE PDF COPY of his new novel to one lucky commenter, so let him know you want it down below.

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FINALLY, DID I NOTICE YOUR BOOK? That's right, in a brilliant game of internet scavenger hunt, Alex J Cavanaugh and Ciara Knight have challenged bloggers to find a book, mention it, and see if the author can find it.

Fun game. So Ben S Dobson, author of Scriber, please come find me. You've got until the end of the day today to win.

The blurb:
 
Disgraced scholar Dennon Lark only wants to be left alone in his self-imposed exile—an exile that ends when a rebel army wielding impossible powers launches a series of brutal attacks on villages across the Kingsland. Forced from his home, Dennon is drawn back into a world he wants nothing to do with. His research into the kingdom's lost past—the very research that sent him into hiding—may hold the answers to a great many questions about the rebels. Questions about their shadowy motives; about their mysterious abilities; and about their ever-increasing numbers, constantly bolstered by those thought killed in their attacks. And only the King's infamous warrior niece Bryndine Errynson and her company of female soldiers trust him enough to help him find the truth before the rebels burn the Kingsland to the ground. Following a trail of historical clues across the kingdom and pursued by forces they don't fully understand, Dennon and Bryndine may be the realm's only hope. But in order to preserve the Kingsland's future, they must first uncover its past.

34 comments:

Ciara said...

I like the cover. Great pick, Rusty. I can't wait to see if Ben Dobson finds his book.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rusty, great artwork as always.
Ben - find your book!
And yes, your interview is up and live at the A to Z Blog and getting comments already.

Kyra Lennon said...

I love the cover, and the one for DINYB! :D

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Saw your interview with Alex at the A to Z Blog. You do good work.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Great cover. Ben is an author I'm not familar with.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Is it just me or is the sketch pic not showing up right? Just as well for me so people won't see how terrible it is.

Misha Gericke said...

I like Scriber's cover. It's simple, but the white motif immediately catches the eye.

Nice cover for The Hero's Journey, Rusty. :-)

Sherry Ellis said...

That's a pretty cool cover. I'll go check out your interview.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great pick! Loved the cover you drew, and the cover on Scriber!

Marta Szemik said...

That's a very nice cover Rusty. Good pick. Scriber intrigues me.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Rusty,
The cover of Scriber does tell me what to expect to some extent.

Didn't know that some publishers allow writers to have their cover done outside of their artist/s. That's pretty cool. Sounds like a good story.

E.J. Wesley said...

Amazing cover for AHJ... but I am a comic nerd and kind of biased. :-)

Scriber looks interesting as well.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Love that cover!

lbdiamond said...

Nice cover work!

LynNerdKelley said...

Wow, you sure did end up with a lot going on in your post. Isn't that the way things work out, though? I love that cover. It's different, but eye catching.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

As superhero fiction is my favorite genre to read, I am definitely putting this one down on my TBR list. And I hope Ben stops by today, too!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Wednesday kind of exploded all over you, Rusty! But you're up to the task...so many things going on.

Nancy Thompson said...

Nice cover! Yes, the artwork must fit the genre. Try doing one for a thriller that shows action and tension all in one image.

Andrew Leon said...

Rusty, the Cover Master!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Rusty ... love the gothic style cover .. feather and ink .. sounds an interesting read .. cheers Hilary

Christine Rains said...

Great pick! I love the cover.

Ink in the Book said...

I love the cover of this one! One of my manuscripts has a quill pen and ink well, too:)
Thanks for sharing this one with us!

I'm your newest follower saying hello:)

Melissa Bradley said...

Congrats PT! I wish you all good things with this book. The cover is amazing, Rusty, you do incredible work.

M Pax said...

The art with the superhero is amazing.

Sounds like a great read you picked, too.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Love the artwork. Interesting pick for the blogfest. I love the cover, very elegant yet not too complicated.

Brinda said...

Of course Dennon will have to trust a woman. :)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Yes, a beautiful cover. No I hadn't heard of it.

The Golden Eagle said...

The art for The Hero's Journey is amazing; and I like the way the author's name looks like it's engraved into the ledge she's half-standing on.

Great blurb for Scriber! I've never heard of that book before.

~Sia McKye~ said...

I bet my son would like Scriber. Interesting storyline.

I love the cover for A Heroes Journey. Love the contrast of a dark world and colorful hero and the font adds a certain cachet to it all.

Cindy said...

Scriber sounds interesting. And I always did like the cover you did for A Hero's Journey.

For some reason, I can't see PT's sketch?

Hart Johnson said...

A Hero's Journey has a GORGEOUS cover! I love the contrast, the bright against the. I like the Scriber one, too.

Tammy Theriault said...

Following from Alex's blog, and i really like the cover!

Jay Noel said...

As always, fantastic job on the cover.

Did Ben find your post???

Ben S. Dobson said...

Well, I'm late to the game on this one, but thanks for mentioning Scriber anyway! And that's a nice looking cover for the Hero's Journey, too.