Tag Archives: Orchard Books

Working on Book Covers

Brit-coverI’m working on the covers of my new series, Roman Brit, that should be published in a year’s time or so.

It’s a weird thing drawing the covers when I haven’t actually written the books yet! I really need to get on with writing too – deadlines are looming.

The publishing business needs to see the covers as soon as possible, so that marketing can start swinging into action. There are catalogues to be produced, schedules to be organised, printers to be booked and warehouse space to be allocated. So much to do and all waiting for me to get what is in my head out onto paper.

Here’s a video explaining how I paint the covers and a bit of chat about designing covers too!

Final Illustration for the Axel Storm Series

It’s always a strange moment drawing the last illustration for a book and even more so for a series.

I’ve been living with Axel Storm in my head since March 2007, and probably before, in different guises. He came together at Bristol airport, while my Flight was delayed on the way up to Scotland. I could probably hunt down the original sketch of the idea if someone asks me to in the comments below!

He’s all boy and the stories are all adventure. I managed to achieve what I set out to do. Have no girls, except for his nannying mum! This really is an adventure series for boys and I hope they will take to Axel and read them all.

So, the end of a series. Eight books, eight stories, many rewrites, eight layouts, eight sets of pencil sketches, Eight covers to be designed and painted, about five hundred black and white drawings and now it’s all over bar a bit of final editing for the last two books.

What am I going to do now? Work up some ideas that are busting to get out of my head and then it’s onto my next eight book series! What’s it going to be? At the moment it’s called Olympia, but that might change. It’s about a boy who wants to be an Olympic Champion in ancient Greece. Oh, is the Olympics going to be in london an a couple of years time? I hadn’t spotted that one!

The first four Axel Storm Books are now available in hardback.

This Website Business

At last year’s Christmas party, my publishers implored us to start blogging and tweeting and doing whatever we could on the internet. Well I’ve been doing that for the last thirteen years!

I decided that I would try and blog everyday so that I could show what a waste of time it was. If I spent a whole year working away at it, and nothing came of it, then I could prove it was pointless.

This morning, having won yet another minor victory in the endless learning curve that is the Joomla Content Management System, I had that, “Is it really all worth the hassle?” feeling again. I’m thinking of putting all my old experiments in online ebooks back on my site, but I thought I’d make them available only to registered users. Eventually, I might think about charging for them. So I opened up my registration window to the world and immediately received a spam registration, which makes me think it’s insecure and that I should give up the idea as not worth the hassle.

But a little research finds the information I need. More to learn and implement. Maybe I should employ someone to do this? Actually I’m enjoying it. I’m building up an incredible knowledge and confidence in my abilities as a webmaster.

I was listening to the wonderful Bob Proctor this morning. He was going on about persistence as usual. Well, I’m nothing if not persistent, but why is this website thing such a struggle? Then he said something so simple – so obvious, it’s the kind of thing that goes in one ear and straight out the other, but today I heard it.

If I am trying to prove that all my effort is a waste of time, then that’s the outcome I deserve! Duh! Isn’t that really, really obvious?

So, from today, I’m changing my mindset. All the effort I’ll put into my website will be to prove my publishers right – that blogging and tweeting, YouTubing and is all really, really worth it. Watch this space!