cover art

Cover reveal for Behemoth

With only a day or two to go before the big launch, I have decided to reveal the front cover art for Astronomicon: Behemoth.

Behemoth Cover Art

I’ve always felt that designing book covers is a struggle for me, but I think I’ve come up with a few good ones over the years. This one has been particularly difficult as the entire novel is based around a total mystery. I don’t want to reveal locations or events on the cover and, for reasons I also can’t reveal, I also don’t want to reveal any spacecraft designs.

Books covers where people are the main focus have a strong tendency to be far too cheesy, especially in science fiction. This left me with the challenge of creating an eye-catching, memorable and mysterious cover which also displays a level of quality without any content on it.

Another important factor with this design is the requirement for it to work at a full range of sizes from 2000 pixels all the way down to 64 pixels and in square, rectangular and round shapes. That means no important details near the edges and definitely not in the corners.

Anyway, I hope you like it. I’ll be announcing the launch date for Behemoth later on Monday.

New front cover art for “Those Left Behind”

Those Left Behind - front cover artIt’s not only vitally important for a book cover to be eye-catching. It’s also critical that it works well and remains clear when displayed at a huge variety of sizes. The previous cover for Astronomicon: Those Left Behind did not fulfil either of those aims properly.

The image itself was excellent, a huge, planetary scale detonation viewed from orbit, but the layout of the titles was just too small and cluttered to work at smaller sizes.

The new design, shown above, works right down to thumbnail size, has more visual impact and generally looks more polished. I hope you all like it.

You may notice that I have also tweaked the colour-scheme and texture of the font used for the titles. The font itself is too good to lose, but I have felt for a while now that the gold colour was simply too vibrant. It may have been eye-catching, but it was straying into tacky. Hopefully the new finish is a little more tasteful and has a more dramatic feel to it. Of course now I’m going to have to modify all my other book covers to match and the title banner of this website too!

Deadline Update (#scifi #humour)

This long awaited Astronomicon novel is now in the final stages of preparation for release. The “final” draft version has come back from my trusty proofreaders and many minor changes and corrections have been completed. It’s currently undergoing what should be the final serious edit.

Deadline Front Cover previewAs soon as Deadline comes back and I complete any changes required, it will go out to proof readers for one final time before hitting the shelves of Amazon and Smashwords. Within a couple of weeks of appearing in Smashwords, their system will ensure it appears on iTunes,  Nook and many other formats.

I thought you might all like to see the prototype of the latest cover design (above). The space craft depicted is the primary location for most of the action within Deadline, but this is a very early rendering. We need to add a lot more detail and sort out the lighting before it becomes the published cover. In case you haven’t recognised it, the backdrop is a close up of Jupiter

It’s going to be a fascinating experience to see how my existing readers, and any new readers, react to the multiple levels of humour within the book. My previous novels have usually contained some dialogue humour, mostly around characters teasing or making fun of each other, but Deadline is my first proper foray into a humour driven story, funny events and light-hearted characters.

Progress Report: Deadline – July 2014

Front cover design for Astronomicon DeadlineWell I’d like to start by apologising to all the readers who are waiting for this next Astronomicon novel to hit the electronic shelves.

Life has repeatedly got in the way this year and work has been crazy for the past few months. Sadly I’m not in a position to be a full-time writer yet, so my creative efforts have to fit in around everything else. Progress on Astronomicon: Deadline has been much slower than I’d hoped.

Even with everything else that’s going on, I have still made progress and am pleased to announce that the first draft is now safely past the halfway mark and early stage proof-reading (continuity, character names etc.) is underway too. I’m aiming to finish the first draft by the end of September.

On a more exciting level, I can now reveal the design for the front cover. Whilst the colour scheme and style remain consistent with previous Astronomicon novels, the font I’ve used has been completely replaced. I’m hoping you will all agree that the new font has much more impact that the previous one and is a marked improvement aesthetically.

The image, currently the Earth floating in space, is subject to change. I’m looking into placing a rendered 3D model of the Celtic Conveyor Freighter to the right of the Earth, approaching from the near right of the camera viewpoint. Currently the model of the highly complex vessel is not detailed enough to be used like that. I don’t want to put time into enhancing the model until I’ve completed the writing!

There’s lots of work to go and I’m particularly looking forward to writing some of the plot twists and turns that so many of you enjoy. I’ve also put a lot of work in to making the various characters in the story much deeper and more distinctive than previously. Most of the characters have been lots of fun to work with, particularly the bad guys. I hope that really shows through when you read it!