28 May 2015

Cover reveal: Tangleways

This (Australian financial) year, a couple of Bookbub promos have seen a spike in my royalties that I suspect won't be repeated next year, so I have been busily upping my expenses (and thus lowering my taxes) by commissioning covers well in advance.

No-one is going to be surprised to discover that the Cwn Annwn are a factor in Tangleways after this cover. :D  I asked Julie to use salukis as the model - and this hound of death is just as gorgeous and strange as I hoped.  [DWJ's Dogsbody was one of the major inspirations for the Trifold world.]

The font layout was HARD for this one, because the background curves aren't symmetrical, but I think this works.  [I've taken to designing an ebook cover with larger fonts, and then a TPB later - where the edges will be cropped.]

WIP-wise, I've been bouncing around.  I've written one of three planned short stories for the trip to France that sits between Pyramids and Tangleways.  Actually, at around 7,500 words, it might just creep into novelette status - a first for me, and the next will probably be a little longer, though the third is just a shortish scene that could helpfully be titled "Ned's First Kiss".

Primarily, though, I've been working on The Sleeping Life and still expect it to be my next release, out toward the end of the year.

I've also been straying a little into my MMO game series, and have commissioned two covers for it (as part of my "OMG, I don't want to pay that much tax I'd rather buy covers" splurge).  After TSL has been released, I'll be working concurrently on both the Trifold and Singularity Game series, working my way through them.  Singularity is an open-ended series - no fixed end point.  I'm finding its worldbuilding endlessly entertaining, especially since people have been talking lately about utopias and the game in Snugships would probably qualify for one - though humanity is kinda on the level of chocobos in that universe.  [For those who don't get the Final Fantasy reference, that means we make great pets. ;) ]

23 May 2015

Poltergeist (2015)

The original Poltergeist, even with its now very dated special effects, remains a wonderfully effective movie.  The compact storytelling sets out in easy strokes a young family, and then it introduces WONDER.

The family reacts much as any family would.  A little disbelieving, a little nervous, but mainly with "HOW COOL!"  It is only when the phenomena steps up that it's even treated as a horror story (and even then there is a ton of wonder, and beauty and _joy_ in the story).

The 2015 version fails on just about every level.  From the very beginning the camera shots treat the family's new house as wrong, as full of lurking threat.  It skips almost all of the wonder altogether, instead taking us on a little tour of jump scares and obligatory dragging girls up stairs.

It's also just plain badly done, lingering on boring scenes (the check-out scene, particularly, is just pointless) and in every instance replacing the things that were cool with less interesting, scarier scenes.  Worse, no-one reacts with any logic, and apparently no-one has ever read any of the rules of scary movies.

I did not expect the 2015 version to wholly recapture the magic of the original, but this was a miss on every level.  I recommend skipping it altogether.

02 May 2015

Cover Reveal: The Sleeping Life

Another from the fabulous Julie Dillon, The Sleeping Life is the sequel to Stained Glass Monsters, and I just love the thematic echo in the swoony light and jewel tones of TSL's cover.  Due out toward the end of the year!

Fallon DeVries has a sister who lives only in his mind. Paying the price of magic gone wrong, Aurienne is trapped watching a world she cannot touch, only able to communicate with her brother while he sleeps.

And it's slowly killing him.

Fallon and Auri's best chance of untangling their lives is to win the help of a mage of unparalleled ability. But how can they ask for help when the warped spell prevents him from speaking?

Besides, Rennyn Claire - once the most powerful mage in the world - is a shadow of her former self: ill, injured and unlikely to recover unless she can hunt down the monster who once tried to make her his slave. But that Wicked Uncle is nowhere to be found, and other dangers, once slumbering dormant, are stirring..

Three Skips

I started accruing my book collection in my late teens.  Not too many early on, since I moved house a lot.  A couple of shelves of books.  T...