Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – The Story of My Book Cover’s and Their Illustrators

April 12, 2022
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With a multiple of genres in my repertoire, I have utilized several book cover illustrators to achieve the best cover for each book. All of them have a unique style and process for creating the images. As an author the book cover is a vital tool to attract our readers. It needs to reflect in a quick and simple way the genre of the story and entice our readers to take a look.

Which cover(s) do you like?

Rumble’s First Scare

This cute little monster was the result of a mental image of mine. I asked Matthew McClatchie to bring him to life. This was achieved with my writing down a description of Rumble, as best I could and of the images for each page within the picture book. It took multiple emails back and forth until Rumble emerged. This is the excitement of working with a great illustrator, a mind meld as it were.

Ockleberries to the Rescue

I commissioned J.E. McKnight, a fellow author and artist to help me with this project as I required ‘real’ sketches of animals and Joe’s pencil and ink drawings were perfect for the chapter headers. We used nature photography for the majority of the images, as a basis for the images and a couple were a collaboration of my poor attempts at sketches and Joe’s interpretation of the subject.

Clickety Click

Again, most of the images were in my mind’s eye but the protagonist was a ‘real’ girl, so I asked Linda J. Pedley of Wildhorse Creative Arts & Photography to help with the chapter header images. I described what each scene should incorporate and then Linda drew them in pencil and ink. Again, it is the worth of a great illustrator to draw what an author’s mind envisions.

Creature Hunt on Planet Toaria

I had such fun with this project as it was open to my imagination to create an alien world and who better to use than Matthew McClatchie’s unique technique? From my previous experience with Matty, I knew he would interpret my ‘mental images’ and badly constructed collages to make them come to life. 

The Rython Kingdom

I found the illustrator for this novella via a Facebook friend. At the time, Winter Bayne utilized an online program for images and models. While working together we created the book cover from several different images I felt were important to the cover. Alas Winter no longer offers her services, so I am glad I got to work with her.

Rython Legacy

Unable to use Winter Bayne on this sequel, I was at a loss as who to turn to in order to achieve a similar cover. Luckily, through a Facebook contact I was able to connect with Wren Taylor Cover Design, who knew Winter. She utilizes the same sort of program and we collaborated well on the image to tie it to the first book with an orb shape.

The Twesome Loop

This image was again a collaboration with Winter Bayne, where I wanted several images merged. An olive tree, an old stone well and the lovers. She was able to find models dressed in period costume for the original couple in this reincarnation based romance.

Life in Slake Patch

I was vacationing in England when the original book cover was finalized for this novel, so emails were numerous. Linda J Pedley of Wildhorse Creative Arts & Photography managed to create a scene using multiple images I sent. Subsequently the cover was changed to the current one by Wren Taylor Cover Design to align with my other adult novel covers.

The Commodore’s Gift

Knowing the process and our mutual understanding I once again used Wren Taylor Cover Design to create the cover. It is the culmination of numerous images merged into my vision. There are many items within the cover that required closer inspection. Can you find them? A clockwork bird, a clock, a propulsion device, deep sea divers helmet/octopus, and a heart.

My current detective series has covers already designed by Wren Taylor Cover Design, but they will only be revealed once the trilogy is finalized and published. Yes, I know I’m teasing.

Bibliophile’s Collective Tuesday – The Creation of Life in Slake Patch (Speculative fiction)

November 16, 2021
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I was excited to be the Author of the Day on Many Books talking about Life in Slake Patch, my speculative fiction novel. You can read about how the story was created, a glimpse at the characters and the extended time it took to write the story. Here:

If I did not answer a question you would like to ask, please put it in the comments and I will happily reply.

Happy reading and take care.

Are Your Novels Pigeon-Holed Into Genres – Do You Want To Break Free..?

April 28, 2014
mandyevebarnett


articles 

For many authors pigeon holing our work into specific genre’s is difficult and this fact is reflected in the sub-genres that are being created almost daily. We can also use a technique where by we utilize several ‘genre headings’ in our description. Such as the list here: https://www.worldswithoutend.com/resources_sub-genres.asp , which only deals with fantasy and sci-fi, but however gives you some indication of how the selection works. So there is a method open to us to use our genre description as a way to entice more than one ‘type’ of reader.  Romance readers would never go to the horror section first but if the description was something like – romantic suspense – then maybe they would pick up your book.

It is a matter of looking at your story and defining the main theme, even if it is underlining thread throughout the narrative. My novel, Life in Slake Patch is an alternative world order but basically has a young man trying to change the ‘laws’ so he can be with the woman he loves. It can be described as speculative fiction but romantic speculative fiction is better.

I am sharing an excerpt from my Life In Slake Patch speculative fiction novel. (Still awaiting representation.) LifeinSlakePatch 002Evan is leading a posse to find the rebel band, known as the Tribe.

 

As the cluster of riders approached we saw there were nineteen or so horsemen. We would have no trouble fighting them off as our party was made up of thirty men. Then another shout was heard; there were more horsemen coming from the east, another ten or more. We would have to co ordinate our efforts if the attack was to come from two flanks. The four out riders dispatched earlier were almost indistinguishable from the surrounding landscape to the south and I hoped with luck they would reach the Garricade compound in a couple of hours with some hard riding. In the mean time we had no choice but to hold fast.

As the riders moved toward us it was plain that all were young men and just before they reached our barricade a rallying cry rung out.

“Brothers fight for supremacy.”

Gripping my dagger even tighter in readiness, I shouted orders to my men.

“Stand firm behind the wagons, let them come to us.”

The clash of metal against metal and wood against wood filled the valley air. Cries of pain rung out as wounds were inflicted and cries abruptly silenced. A shadow blocked the sunlight above me; I looked over to see a horse’s belly level with my head. Swiftly I turned to look up and face the rider. He was no older than myself swinging a baton toward Peter’s head. I let out a cry and dug my dagger deeply into the rider’s thigh and pulled with all my might. The rider’s scream of pain seared through the air as he fell from his mount. I held him fast with a foot against his chest and my dagger’s tip pushed into his neck.

It was then I noticed the deafening silence around me. Looking up, all faces were turned toward me as if everyone had become frozen. One by one the Tribe riders weapons began to drop to the ground, my men took advantage of the opportunity and grabbed their opponents. As the Tribe members were secured my victim groaned.

“Don’t fail me brothers’ fight.”

But he could see all heads hanging down in defeat turning away from his stare.

In truth I was shocked it had not occurred to me or any one of us before that there might have been a leader to the Tribe. We had thought it was a few disgruntled young men wandering the plains, surviving by stealing. This man must have recruited his followers. I looked down at my captive.

“What’s your name?”

“I am, Aiden, leader of the Tribe and proud of it, you down trodden oaf.”

At the insult I could feel my muscles tense and pressed the dagger deeper into his neck. He cried out again and I released the pressure.

“Secure this man with the others. Medic Jones, please tend to the more seriously injured first.”

How did you categorize your novels?

Do you use a multiple genre (sub-genre?)

Thank you for reading and as always comments are always welcome.

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