Successful novels quite often have sequels. Since I had so many great shots with my model, I couldn’t resist. The composite is a mix of photo realistic and mosaic art. When I do covers I quite often do the full jacket just in case the author decides to go to print. I’ve found it’s worth it in the long run, and authors usually appreciate seeing the potential of going that route.
Here is a model that also is a singer. Perhaps she has no aspirations to be on a world tour, but doing an album cover was fun nevertheless. Here was one of those hair tosses that you say oh yes, and as you can see, the lighting had red and blue gels. This is a thousand dollar shoot for $2.98. So when you have one success, you always try for two. I’m not as crazy about the second cover, but […]
This July the Fort Collins Digital Camera Club had its annual portraiture shoot. I’m not a portrait photographer, nor do I have the equipment, but I have a good friend in the club that shares his setup, which helps. While he’s shooting with a D810 Nikon, I’m still shooting with a D200, so there’s no way I can compete in quality of images. Still, the D200 is plenty good enough for the Internet. Above is a Vogue mockup, just […]
This is one of those jobs that I thought was neat and I never heard back. Yes, some of book cover design is a big waste of time. This was also a photoshop challenge in that the ship wasn’t wrecked in this particular photo. The ocean scape is one of mine, but the derelict ship had to be distorted to fit the space, and then there was the reflection. Lots of work for nothing. So, if you’re an author and […]
This is one of the most challenging covers I’ve ever done, not because of the difficulty, but because the author oversaw every detail. I mocked up more than 20 fonts for the title, all very time consuming, which made it go way over budget. I don’t deal with the money since I sub-contract with Brian Schwartz at ePub Conversions. With all of the hassle, the end result was actually very pleasing.
Hikes in the mountains here in Colorado often afford such shots, although once again this has been composited in Photoshop. The path was the main attraction. This is one of those covers that went quite easily, but it not what I call eye catching. In design, more often than not it’s just satisfying the client.
Here is a case where the author paid good money for a shot of the milky way and was adamant about using it. I prefer my own renditions of the sky, but that’s because I create space art. The foreground image was one of mine. The overall effect is stunning, however I wasn’t fond of the title font, but these aren’t always a choice the designer gets to make.
This was a setting in the everglades. Since I’d never been there I didn’t have any images, but they types of trees were easy enough to find, and then I did some photoshop magic with a favorite sunset. I then used a filter, watercolor I think, and thus I created my scene. Since it wasn’t a wrap around, I just took one of the colors from the sky to create the rest of the jacket.
This is a winter scene I concocted by compositing a frozen lake, some frosty trees, a background, and a wintery sky. The author and his dog were added, and the shadow was painted in. Thus another one of my images being used for a book cover.
I have to admit saints are a big thing with me, but St. Malo’s was a favorite shot of mine while conducting a fieldtrip south of Estes Park, Colorado. It’s always nice when your photography pays off and you can actually put an image to use.
This is one of the images supplied by the author. The colors pop, and the title fits surprisingly well in the layout, like it was meant to be. It’s always nice when that happens.
Because of subject matter, you don’t just automatically get permission to use a product. Manufacturers weigh the consequences. So it was with finding a revolver for the front cover of Donnell Wilson’s Hypocrites In His Midst. The solution, make your own make and model. Is it any wonder that authors that think they might be sued opt for solutions where no one can point a finger. The more you are aware of copyright and liability, the more you see big […]
Sometime you’re lucky enough to do a series. In such cases you already have established a look and a theme, and more often than not, even fonts stay the same. In this series I got to spend my time on artwork, which is always my favorite part. Maybe one of these days I’ll be adding more.
Some designs are more of a challenge than you can ever anticipate. I Walter was just my first with author Mike Hartner, who had visions I think of Hollywood productions. Book covers don’t have access to set designs and actors and actresses, or multi-million dollar budgets. But still you do what you can do, and often with a little compromising a compelling cover comes out of the process. Not so with several other attempts on subsequent novels, although Mike was […]
Sometimes you just have to be crafty. There are so many titles that authors get lost in the melee. A good cover design can make a difference. Of course as I’ve learned, that’s only the beginning when it comes to marketing, and ultimately, marketing is often more important than content. This composite for Jon Gregory was fun because his vision required some ingenuity so as not to go over budget on artwork. Using the tools in Photoshop made a difficult […]
Fortunately I’m a photographer and have been enough places that I could find a road in country that could pass for the high desert. This is a story that rings American Graffiti, and thus the hot rod. The intense sun is an indication it’s summer. The sky is intentionally blended so that the text shows. In design, there are numerous elements to consider.
Not often do I get to be so creative. The background is from my space art, and then the brain was one of those experiments with blending modes that turned out far more compelling than I ever hoped for. The people in the bubble are all connected. I’m always hoping one of my covers will make it to a top one-hundred seller. I’m sure the authors I do covers for wish much the same. I always design as though the […]
This is another instance where the author supplied the background image. The chopper and the drone are images from royalty free sources. They are both altered from the original. This is where compositing is very critical to make the images look like they fit. If I hadn’t composted this myself, I couldn’t say for sure that it was composited.
Sometimes an image is supplied by the author. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do with the image. In this case it seemed that turning the image into a a work of art somehow made it more compelling. The Monticello Project was one of those covers that went together like a snap. The colors, the fonts, and the feel seemed to fit the story right off.
It is not unusual to go through a number of iterations to reach a final product. So it goes with creating book covers that will help sell a book and give the reader something to ponder. I like book covers that help tell the story, and so many covers out there do nothing but give you the title and the author. Sometimes that’s enough if you’re James Patterson or Clive Cussler. Still, I’d rather see a scene from the novel […]
Although written, I like to put my stories to rest and revisit them after I contemplate what I’ve done. In The Future Shaper, I’ve set the world at war while my protagonist works in a sanctuary on the edge of the Atacama Desert in Chile. He is there for his passions and his visions, and he is a part of an experiment aimed at reinventing the human genome and the technologies that will secure mans place in the cosmos. It […]
Freedom is an ideal, and one that many Americans are proud of. Just how free are we as individuals or even as a society? We’re free to make money so we can pay taxes and buy groceries. We’re free to buy insurance. We’re free to build houses and buildings that meet government rules and regulations. We’re free to try and live off the land as long as we obey more rules and regulations. Truth be told, we as a group […]
With a little luck the aliens would have abandoned Earth, but to our trios dismay, a mothership crashes and aliens survive. Eventually they have no choice but to deal with the aliens as they began to recover and build a city while dismantling their mothership. The alien toil night and day, and soon hatch their offspring, increasing their numbers and seemingly begin to transform Earth back to a humid, highly oxygenated subtropical environment suitable to their liking. Not all is […]
If aliens have the technology to colonize worlds, what worlds will have the defenses to stop them? Tavis Hunter is convinced Earth does not as the harvesting begins, and he out of sheer luck becomes one of a handful of survivors. All oxygen breathing organisms are vacuumed from the surface, and Earth transmogrifies into a sea of purple plants that quickly alter the ecosystem. Tavis meets up with Dana and Bree, and they soon come to the realization that survival […]
What lurks in the universe? For the moment we can only pray that the dice are in our favor, for there is no escape from Earth, and no means of survival if the ecosystem is destroyed. Astronomers have an eye on the cosmos, and although there are some concerns of an astroid impact, no one has envisioned a passing planet that will drag the moon into an elliptical orbit so radical that its return will wreck havoc on the world, […]
The illustrated version of Silent Wave, Silent Rising, and Silent Landing is now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes in a single download at a substantial savings. With 51 photo realistic illustrations, visit the world of Michael Atman in a new and exciting way, and be sure to enjoy the preview at Fiction with Foresight Home Page.
Trecking into space and searching out a new beginning is a risk Justin Larson never fathomed as the inventor of force fields, but leaps in technology have given him the tools, and a hope for survival has given him the fortitude. As luck would play out, he and his crew are given directions to a habitable world they name Viridian. Creating a new sanctuary and starting over with an idealistic vision of preserving the world they are given proves to […]
Life on the run was never something Justin envisioned, but having his wavecraft has given him and his family a distinct advantage. He realizes that once the technology is fully developed that no threat on Earth can ever put them at risk as long as they are airborne. They have the ultimate escape vehicle, and soon enough they will have the ultimate fighting machine. It was never something he hoped for, but he is a realist and a visionary, and […]
Technology is changing life for the masses for sure, but mostly it’s convenience gadgets like computers in watches, tablets and cell phones that help people search the web for restaurants and motels or look for answers for tidbits of trivia. Too much of technology is geared toward personal convenience, and Justin Larson knows that an invention like force fields capable of levitation will change the future of humanity. The significance of personal flying machines that are surrounded by a protective […]
My first foray into creating illustrations came from creating a trailer for Silent Wave. The process is painstaking. Photo realistic images that are believable are a challenge to produce. Creating scenes that have to be composited because only elements exist can take hours, even if you have all the elements. People are a problem since the people you might envision might be described to look similar to a given actress or actor, and you can’t just grab their image off […]
The grid is disabled, the world goes to war, and nuclear fallout makes parts of the world uninhabitable. This is a prediction come to fruition, and the beginning of a new outpost in Chile at the edge of the Atacama Desert. The Future Shaper is the second book in a series about saving Earth and giving mankind a chance to do better. While technology may be man’s salvation, it is clear that social change and perception of the future are […]
The world is in crisis. This may not be evident, because time seems to move slowly, and many people are of the opinion that human problems will be resolved and everything will be hunky-dory, or if doom comes, those deserving to be saved will be raptured to heaven and sinners will be left to face eternal damnation. This is utter nonsense. Humans need to wake up, for in reality we are destroying our planet, and the only thing that is […]
Writing is a passion. I am not unlike a million other writers wanting to be known, and harboring the idea that what they have to say might entertain or even make a difference. What I have to say in this blog isn’t just about my books, but also about my convictions and why they are a part of my stories. You will soon discover that I believe that humanity is on the wrong track, and in my fiction I spend […]
Writing fiction: I suppose if you want to be taken seriously you write non-fiction and display all of your credentials and accolades. If you want to make a point about finances, social unrest, collapsing economies or world markets, wars and conflict, health, government, taxes, religion, sex and relationships, or about a million other subjects, you’d better be an expert. No one else is supposed to know what they are talking about. So how in fiction do you try and make […]
As I’m sure all writers do from time to time, we stop and evaluate what we are doing, like some revelation has hit us in the face and we can say oh well, I guess my writing was a big waste of time, so I think I’ll just stop. But then I realize that writing really matters. This sort of introspection is good for us all, writers and readers alike. Why now? Well, I reread a review of my first […]
When I wrote “The Future Teller” there was no talk about the “Fiscal Cliff”. However, the message in “The Future Teller” was all about being prepared for the crash. Unfortunately, too few have read the message, and no one is building OsumPODS. As the author of “The Future Teller”, I would be the logical person to start building prototypes, but I’m afraid I don’t have the energy or the money. The first OsumPODS are going to be quite expensive until […]
I put my faith in reason, logic and truth before Spock became my hero. As a Trekkie I take an agnostic view of religion, but I fall short of the collectivist views of Gene Roddenberry. What works on a starship doesn’t necessarily work in society. I am also a fan of Michael Crichton and Carl Sagan, who were brave enough to express controversial views in their fiction. I have an idealistic view of the future while remaining realistic about human […]
I always love pictures of nebula. There we see some of the most beautiful images of space. There are several techniques I use to get the colors and patterns, but most come from pictures of smoke taken on a pure black background. With a dozen or so images, ranging through the spectrum from deep reds to light blues, and everything in-between, I simply move layers around, creating patterns of color, and adjusting opacity to get the effects I desire. Once […]
There are things in Photoshop, like spacecraft, that are a little hard to produce. I’m always curious what tools they use when making movies like Avatar or Prometheus. For the ships to really look real, I’m sure they are engineered with CAD before they even get to programs like Photoshop. In Hope Landing, the spacecraft is actually a mulifacited model with numerous blending modes applied. I must confess, it looks more real than many of the ridiculous models you see […]
It is important for covers to convey a feeling. It would make no sense to have a book about an ice planet and see a sunny beach on the cover. This should hold true for any book. Ice Planet is a composite that uses a group of frost covered trees, a frozen lake, some hills for a backdrop, and a sky at sunset with a ringed planet. The two girls with their dog are seemingly in awe, which is a […]
In this image the 3D may be a little over the top, but if you put this cover side by side with current best sellers, it will certainly stand out. Few best sellers have a very compelling image, some no image at all, and most covers relay nothing about the content of the book. Beyond Infinity, which suggests what we may encounter beyond the universe we can even perceive, allows the reader to imagine beauty and wonder beyond the imagination. […]
So, this series is about art, and specifically about cover art. However, it’s a little difficult at the moment to concentrate solely on art with the direction this nation is headed, so since this is my blog I’m going to rant a little bit at the end, which you can skip if all you want to do is look at pictures. Guardians is another of my favorite composites. As far as sci-fi goes, the title can certainly fit a scenario […]
I’m always reluctant to add too much, too soon, but when you’re in the middle of projects, it’s best to just get done. So, more to share. Solar Dimming is one of those composites that worked way better than expected. The Photo Art was created from mountains in Nevada, a frozen lake in colorado, and a planet created from a loaf of bread. The distant sun is just a spot of light on the horizon, not a picture of our […]
I confess I saw something similar when I produced this cover, but the art work I saw wasn’t actually art work. I’m pretty sure it was an image from Hubble. In my eBook cover sample, I painstakingly created the Sombrero Galaxy. It was a time consuming Photoshop project, but the kind that helps you learn how to blend layers. Sometimes I wish I had a full time job doing art scenes for futuristic movies. Creator, which I hesitated to use […]
Photoshop CS6 extended is awsome. Maybe Adobe will notice my work an endorse me someday. 3D is a little intimidating, but having used Photoshop for so long, it wasn’t overwhelming. I often think though that software producers should ask users how they would like to interact with the program, then perhaps they’d be more straightforward. I already have a lot to share with my creations. My original Photo Art works quite well for producing cover art. Ominous Wind has always […]
Part of what I have been doing lately is creating eBook covers, mostly for the Kindle Expert, Brian Schwartz. Few of the covers are really up my alley, but fun nevertheless. Now that I’m using Photoshop CS6 extended, I have options I never had before, so it’s even more fun whipping out experimental covers using some of my digital space art. Andora Beacon is my first attempt using 3d. Man do I have lots to learn. If someone gave me […]
There are probably lessons to be learned about being open and honest when writing, be it a novel or even nonfiction. Offending your reader will probably get you on someone’s shit list. It’s true that science fiction is given some leeway due to the very nature of exploring new ideas, worlds, and societies. As a reader, I’m quite often amazed at how gutless authors can be that are fearful they will have to defend what they believe or at least […]
I’ve read you should start promoting as soon as you have an idea. Well, I’m not that brave. Resurrecting Terra is the sequel to Harvesting Terra, which is available from Amazon and Barnes & Nobel for $2.99. Keep an eye out, because I’ll put Harvesting Terra into KDP Select and it will be free before the launch of Resurrecting Terra. Although Resurrecting Terra is now written, I’m going though final edit, and then it has to be formatted into an […]
As a writer, social media can seem like a big waste of time. Still, it seems you can’t afford to ignore Facebook. I don’t know how many times Facebook has changed its format, or how well received these changes have been, but at least we now have a banner that can say a little something about us. There are of course warnings about how we use it. You aren’t supposed to use it to sell, but apparently you can use […]
Sometimes it’s a little hard to be upbeat in a world with so many problems and so many fatalists declaring the end of the world. Oh no, 2012 is coming. Maybe we can rapture the nuts to the psych ward. Even though I’m getting old I have way too much living to do to not try and make the world a better place to live. Much of my fiction writing is about man moving forward. Sometimes I feel I should […]
C S (Christine Stuart) Marks is from Indiana and lives in the middle of a state forest in Owen where she loves to ride horses. Elfhunter, Fire-heart, and Ravenshade are classic high fantasy, fast-paced novels that share her passion for backwoods and all the creatures that live there. The trilogy evolves around a formidable villain and the quest of elves to rid the world of him, and his quest to rid the world of every elf that lives. CS Marks admits […]
I have recently decided to convert Planet Passing into ePub and Mobipocket formats ahead of Silent Rising and Silent Landing. Why? Because I knew it needed an edit, and once I started I couldn’t resist going through the entire novel to make sure it was fresh. Enlightenment seems to come in little flashes, and when you write it’s important to reflect on those lessons. When I first began writing seriously in 1995, I thought I’d dread editing my stories. At […]
Independence is ingrained is some authors. Lexi Revellian didn’t set out to be a rebel, but being an Indie author suits her just fine. While the publishing industry is roiling in turmoil, Indie authors are taking advantage. Amazon, take a bow, not that Amazon set out to destroy the big publishers. (Or are they?) With as few as 120 new fiction authors being published each year by U.S. publishing houses, is it any wonder that fiction authors are writing eBooks […]
B.V. Larson has skyrocketed to success with over 200,000 eBooks sold on Kindle. He’s a prolific writer with a broad spectrum of genre, which is unusual. Conventional publishers would never tolerate such nonsense. They wouldn’t know how to market. Tor would go bonkers if Greg Bear wrote a romance. The game is changing. If you’re your own publisher you decide what is best for you. That doesn’t mean you’ll make all the right choices. My own frustrations in marketing made […]
To say I don’t buy into time travel, even in the unconscious state of Robert J. Sawyer’s novel Flash Forward, is an understatement. Do I believe CERN could be responsible for a worldwide blackout? Perhaps that’s possible, and certainly enough of a premise to drive a story. Do I believe that survivors would all visit a destined future in some sort of 21 year time shift, and come back thinking it was a vivid hallucination they couldn’t explain? Sorry, no, […]
It takes a lot of work and a lot of years for most writers to be noticed. Writers that are serious about their craft must have perseverance. Without, chances are that you’ll fade into oblivion even if you manage to somehow get published. The first thing you notice when you visit SCI FI – Arizona is that Michael McCollum is like a Diehard Battery. Trained as an aeronautical engineer, Michael McCollum writes about spaceships as if they were real. In […]
Inspiration comes from success. Most authors, want-a-be or even published can’t help but admire writers like Jeremy Robinson. He has the knack to turn his skill as a writer into a business and actually make a living. It takes hard work, but a lot of us work hard but success eludes us. As an author myself, I decided to ask the questions that might help. Thanks to Jeremy for being a willing participant. Jeremy Robinson is now the author of […]
Facebook seems to be a new force in marketing. Kristen James is banking on it. It’s part of her strategy to get fans to purchase her eBooks. She only just started her Facebook campaign the 1st of March and is already getting positive feedback. Another strategy is giving away eBooks through Amazon in hopes of getting good reviews. It’s the spark all writers hope for that haven’t landed a big publisher. It’s the way Amanda Hocking got her start, and […]
No doubt there are authors that don’t care and never envision their stories on the big screen, and some probably even dread the prospect. It’s just a guess, but I’ll bet most authors dream about who would be good actors and actresses to portray their main characters. Some authors even write with certain actors and actresses in mind, and are probably influenced by some performance in a particular favorite movie. I admit I love movies, and I do hope to […]
When it comes to movies, I’m always amazed at which movies get top rating, and where some of my favorites fall in lists of hundreds. Some lists don’t even mention some of my favorites. I’m often thinking that the critics don’t know what they are talking about, or someone is shoving money in their pocket. My own science fiction doesn’t exactly run in the mainstream. It’s far from hardcore, but I don’t find that most sci-fi movies fall into the […]
How exciting can a runaway train be? Well, it had me fidgeting in my seat. Of course, I love trains, which is probably evident if you look at the cover of Harvesting Terra. So, what does a science fiction near future adventure novel have in common with a real life story? For one, an exciting train scene. True, it would probably last less than 15 minutes in a movie, but there’s plenty of action before and after, plus some not […]
To wake under twinkling stars is somewhat alarming, but the calming nature of beauty allowed me to gather my wits and contemplate what must have happened. I had left our campsite midafternoon, and I walked with a vigor that had escaped me for years. That I remember. But here I now am in these unfamiliar rocks, the ghostly formations like statues on some alien planet, piercing the night like towering rockets ready for launch. The sky itself is black velvet, […]
He woke under twinkling stars somewhat alarmed, but the calming nature of beauty allowed him to gather his wits and contemplate what must have happened. He had left their campsite midafternoon, and had walked with a vigor that had escaped him for years. That he remembered. But here he was in the rocks, the ghostly formations like statues on some alien planet, piercing the night like towering rockets ready for launch. The sky itself was black velvet, the dots so […]
So, I just read this amazing success story about a girl, 26, who writes mostly about vampires and self-published on Amazon. In a year she has probably made more money than the majority of writers that opt for the conventional agent slash publisher route. Amanda Hocking is my hero. Why haven’t I been a success like Amanda Hocking??? Well, I guess I missed the bloggers that blog about books. Why didn’t I think about that???? Here I am world, and […]
I seldom have dreams where I can fly, but I have over the years, and it’s always been a fun and weird experience. I think I’d love to be a bird. However, I’m not a great fan of riding in airplanes, not that I haven’t had great trips, and I love looking out the window, but I have had a few flights in my life when I would have gladly gotten off the damn plane and walked to my destination. […]
The time had come when it no longer made sense to hide out in the depths of the Grand Canyon. Justin Larson has been invited to move to Canada to continue the development of their Wavecraft. Upon his return to their hideout he discovers the military has found his family and cohorts and they are forced to flee, leaving Dakota, Jay, and Evelyn behind. With coordinates they travel through the night, and in the morning they end up in a […]
In the news It’s always nice to get acknowledgment for your efforts. It’s especially nice when it’s from a peer in the craft you are employing. Lynette Chilcoat is a freelance reporter for the Reporter-Herald in Loveland, Colorado. I recently met her at a writers group at Anthology Book Company where I shared my first book trailer for Silent Wave. One thing leads to another, and Lynette asked if she could do an article on my writing and efforts in […]
Trailer The storyline of Silent Wave is presented in images that represent scenes from the book. The intention is to give readers a glimpse into the story without giving the story away. Since it’s the first book of the trilogy, the end is really just the beginning, and so the final scene of the book is in broad display. watch?v=itsXeAhiEto The scenes include “An Eagle at Hunt” which is the vision that starts the book, then AMT (Advanced Metal Technologies, […]
Aliens invade Earth and remove all oxygen breathing life forms from the surface, then disseminate a plant that engulfs the land. In 7 days what took hundreds of millions of years to evolve is for all practical matters gone. The few organisms the aliens missed aren’t likely to start a rebellion, let alone 3 kids that have nothing better to do than kick back and watch the transmogrification of the desert landscape around La Vegas turn to a sea of […]
One of the fun things about science fiction is to imagine something more spectacular than Earth. While I didn’t envision Viridian quite like Pandora, it is certainly described as being more exotic and varied than we know Earth, not that there aren’t spots of paradise on our home planet. Viridian is slightly smaller, slightly faster spinning, slightly lower gravity, with mountain 4 times higher, trees 2 times taller, and of course Jurassic type monsters. It is a plethora of life, […]
If I were Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, or about any author other than who I am, you might actually be seeking me out for my opinion. Since you are here, I have to assume you happened to stumble here because of Google or some other search engine. Well, welcome. Do I think my work is every bit as good as some of my favorite authors? Better in some ways. I like my work. It’s honest. I don’t write […]
The world may seem pristine in many places we visit, but appearances don’t always show the true picture. With a test tube and a microscope, a little investigation proves man’s hand reaches everywhere. We worry about climate change, and although global warming is probable, it’s hardly the issue it’s made out to be. The real killer is chemicals, and all the little byproducts that end up in landfills, in streams and rivers, in the soil and air, and eventually in […]
Disaster movies come in all flavors. 2012 is a good example, but hardly seemed plausible. How does a shot of neutrinos from solar activity change the weather and destabilize the globe, heat the core of Earth and create massive earthquakes? Far-fetched ideas, myths about calendars, prophecies that have been promoted through religions, and man’s need to invite disaster are mostly fear mongering and pretty bad fiction, yet a fair amount of people love to buy into such nonsense. Do real […]
The future is perilous and uncertain. We are destroying our environment. Without change, man may face extinction. Trek to the Future looks to logic and truth to be man’s salvation. Slideshow Text: Without a future there is no sense in our existence! Enlightenment is the true hope for all tomorrows, where wisdom will grow from logic and truth, then knowledge and common sense will be our guiding beacons! The future will demand we face reality, where independence will be the […]
Stories begin with a vision, and perhaps an agenda. Writers obviously approach their craft with some forethought as to how to reach the conclusion, thus the plot and the development of their characters. It is seldom a simple process. My stories are all character driven. My plots are vague at best when I start. I never outline. To do so would mean my characters must act in a given way. I like writing without limitations. Silent Wave began with a […]