Monday, January 24, 2022

Working on It

 I finished that round of edits on Untitled Fantasy on Saturday.  Right now, it's 368 pages long and just a hair under 108K words.  Publication day is getting closer.  Not sure when it will be, but it'll definitely in sight now.  (If you have a good pair of binoculars.  LOL)

So, that means I need to get moving on two things... 1) a cover, and 2) a title.

I started something the other day with regard to the cover.  Spent copious hours on it, then scrapped it.  Yesterday morning, I hit it again with all new images and I've got something.  It's not quite right yet, but I think I'm getting there. 

What I did worked like this... scour Morguefile for free images of lizards, found ones I thought could work as a dragon and saved those.  Open the files, erase all the background around the lizard.  Find wings that were the right size and orientation to fit said lizard.  Find teeth that were the right size and potentially the right orientation.  Take those and erase the backgrounds.  Cobble them together so they look like they actually belong on the same animal.

But wait... in my particular art program, when you save an image as a jpg, it gives the damn thing a white background.  So, I spent some extra time erasing the lizard's background again and then saving it as a mic file (Microsoft Image Composer).  Okay, so now my 'sprites' are happy and I can play with them.  Of course, once I get a beast cobbled together, I'll have to save it as a jpg so the sprites work together as one image, and then I'll have to erase the damn background again.  (Yes, there probably IS an easier way, but I haven't found it yet.  I suspect it lies within software I don't have, don't want to buy, and don't want to learn.)

The super easier, and also more expensive, way is to pay someone else to do this for me.  Umm, yah.  Umm, no.  I love my go-to cover artist, but she is super busy, as in like booking for next year, and I don't think epic fantasy is her bailiwick.  I could look for another artist, but I keep having flashbacks of the first cover for Wish in One Hand.  OMG, that was SOOOOO bad and an incredibly expensive lesson to learn.  Like with getting a haircut, I hate paying for bad service, so I do it myself.  If this cover is going to be bad, at least I didn't pay for it, eh?

Anyway, I think I have the setting image - all tweaked and ready to go - all I need now is a dragon.  I think it's a bearded dragon base with flying fox wings and snake teeth.  Right now, it looks like the weird mating of a gargoyle and that gremlin in Gremlins 2 who grew wings.  But I can work with that.

Oh, yeah, and #2... the title.  I've been playing with stuff in my head, trying to find something that makes me stand up and salute.  I thought up Mageborn... but it's still not right and of course, someone else is using it.  (And yes, I know, finding a title someone else HASN'T used isn't necessary, but I want what I want, so I'll try my damndest.)  Thinking about it now, maybe Mage Against the Shrouds... which could make the next book Mage Within the Shrouds.  That seems interesting...  Has that fantasy ring to it.  And it isn't already used.  Hmm.  Ooo, maybe Twins Against the Shrouds... eh, mage seems better.  

Okay, well, time to toddle off.  Work to do.  Calls to make.  

Anyway, as you can see, I'm working on it.  What are you working on these days?


  1. I like Mage Against the Shrouds. Has a good ring to it.

    Your editing program should have a transparent background setting somewhere. Mine forces me to save it as a png (something like that; if you're interested I'll look it up) and then I can layer it on (or under) my main pic.

    1. Thanks, Deb! This program used to allow me to choose a color I wanted to make transparent when I saved as jpg, but that function stopped working a couple of Windows versions ago. Like I said, this is an old program. I'll see if it'll let me do it by saving it as a different format.

    2. I hope that works! I hate updates. They usually mess something up.

  2. Have you looked at the current trend in YA fantasy titles? That might give you some ideas. As for cover art, I know jsut enough to piddle in Paint (also out of date) and piddle with whatever program Book Brush uses. Only is the master graphic artist in this family. She uses several different programs, including Photoshop. And as offered previously, if you want to check what's on, feel free to peruse and if there are any images you want, I'll download them and email. Trust me, I will never use all the extra credits I have banked. LOL

    Looking forward to your dragon!