Summertime work

Everything is done! Now I have.. one week until things get hectic again.

Plenty of time! (No, I am not saying Delphinium will be out in a week. Writing it asap, but don’t have a date set yet.)

Today I listened to more of the self-publishing podcast, and made the cover for book 4 – Regalis. Yup, the Larkspur Series is not a trilogy, it’s actually six planned books. Though I suppose the two halves are different enough that you could call them a duo of trilogies. Here’s the cover:

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(The more covers I make, the more I love them. I think Regalis is my favourite. Going from a ‘blood in the painting’ to ‘blood on a photo’ sort of theme.)

Regalis is actually a fairly common species name. There are many plants, insects and such that are called ___ regalis. Consolida regalis is one of them- the field larkspur.

Now, how about Delphinium? Well, I am writing it. It should be 30-35K, more than double the first story. Far more plot threads are appearing, the rest of life is starting to crowd Pierre’s time and privacy. There is more revealed about magic, the land, even some of the neighboring places as well.

I have tea, I’ll be up tonight writing and maybe get into more details in another post.

Ah, and I’ve also decided on a subtitle. At first ‘A Necromancer’s Romance’ was just a subtitle for Larkspur so that people would know about the content. I thought I would eventually take it off and just call it ‘Larkspur’ (and I usually just refer to it as such). But I’m starting to like the explanatory phrase, it’s rather like old exactly what it says on the tin titles. (Warning: TV Tropes link)

Book II is therefore Delphinium: A Necromancer’s Love

(Yes, I’m still using necro-mancer. It’s easier, everyone knows what I mean even if it isn’t the in-universe term. Pierre might just do a little bit of necromancy so I can call it that without feeling bad about breaking canon.)

Cover Reactions

So, because I love my shiny new covers, I went around and asked what other people thought. Since the usual reply to my earlier covers was “the font looks off, but I like it” I assumed, with the font fixed, it would be “oh, awesome!”

It.. wasn’t.

Mostly I was told they weren’t right for the genre. That it was neither romance-y, or fantasy-like, enough. That I needed people, a face. Maybe I should have been more clear that I meant gothic?

Now I’m bummed. I don’t know what to think. I could certainly change the covers to a London-y background with a guy in a top-hat and a woman with a parasol.. but that isn’t what I think Larkspur is. I like the flower-paintings with the red so strong that it reminds you of blood. Larkspur has it spattered on the wall, Delphinium’s table looks soaked in it, and if you look closely the vase in Consolida is filled with blood and not water. It’s the frail loveliness of a flower contrasted with blood– and the realization that the flower itself is toxic and just as likely to do you harm as any blade.

Maybe I’m reaching too far. I know the meaning, but that doesn’t mean a lot of other people do.

Ok, again with new covers, but I had help and they are awesome

A wanting-to-remain anonymous source helped me fix my covers today. Specifically the text, which always looked a little wonky. I don’t know enough about photoshop (yet!) to get the text to blend in well. He also sent the photoshop files of the redone images, so I’ll be able to work on learning these things on my own. Super hyped and thrilled. Here are the new covers for the first three books in the Larkspur Series. Still working on covers 4-6, but expect the same template. (Also writing Delphinium, that’ll go into full gear in three days after I finish all my finals stuff).

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Elaboration on the Change in Plans (and a new cover).

Larkspur was initially just Pierre and Lizzy’s love story. It went from being just the first part, as a stand-alone, to maybe two or three books depending on where I ended. After that I planned to start something completely different. Maybe in the same realm, maybe 50 years ago, or 50 years in the future. I think in that sort of dis-continued way, and thought I could manage it with self publishing. Stand-alone-connected-adventures and such.

I still plan to do something like that, but not in as great or abrupt a scale. So the Larkspur books are now going to be both a little more broad than just Pierre-and-Lizzy’s romance (which is also true in Larkspur as well), and continue on for longer in terms of the time I allotted this set. I started thinking about theme as well, and how I was mixing two different themes together when one title referenced a flower, and the other a card game. So I’ve separated those. The next book in the Larkspur series will be Delphinium– a genus where one can find Larkspur, and occasionally just another term for the flower in general. The other titles will follow in this manner.

I’ll still write a bit out of order. The story about Ophion and Eglė seems to be staying put at just one book, and I’ll make that a stand-alone tale. Or if it turns into a series, I’ll sketch it out as a series and we’ll go from there. But I’m putting more time and thought to each set being.. allowed to be its own set. Before it was sort of ‘write random stories out of order’ and now it’s less.. insane.

Ah, and here’s Delphinium’s cover. Yes, another alteration of one of Henri Fantin-Latour’s Larkspur paintings. He has several. Yes, I plan to use most of them.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bmbt5hpCIAANlGf.jpg

As far as stories in other realms- I am working on those too. After Delphinium is finished, and book 3 started, I’ll try and start the first book of another series. I can bounce from one to the other that way and show off more of Noctuina. But I don’t want to just start one series and immediately another.

Cover, and sales

I’m still not sure about Larkspur’s cover. I love it, but that doesn’t mean other people do. Or that they’ll be inclined to check out my story based on it. It’s fairly gothic, and I think now that the blood’s more prominent and red you can see it on the thumbnail. But it doesn’t really say romance, does it? The subtitle does (A Necromancer’s Romance) and also puts it into context as paranormal/dark fantasy. Yet I’m barely getting a sale a day- and that’s only if I take the time to remind people I have a book out. Should I change the cover? Or am I just being impatient? I’ve only been a published author for about three weeks. My reviews are good, I’ve certainly had compliments about the cover. Maybe I just need time. And to write the next story, giving them more reason to look into a short book one.

50 people now subscribe to my blog, by the way, which is awesome. I’d like to hear some of your thoughts- do you like the cover, would it cause you to pick up the book? Have you read my story, does the cover ‘fit’ with it, or not? Or just say hello, that would be nice too ❤

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J7H9JIG