Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"The White Door" & "A Festival of Dolls" Now Available as Part of Amazon's MatchBook Service

True to my word, and in conjunction with the thoughts of my previous post about Amazon's MatchBook service, my debut Suspense/Horror novel The White Door, as well as my short A Festival of Dolls, are now available as part of Amazon MatchBook.  When you purchase the print edition of either one, you will receive the Kindle edition free.  Also, anyone having previously ordered a print copy through Amazon will be able to take part in this service.  The Amazon links for the print versions of my books can be found in my eStore, in the sidebar, or by clicking on the book title in this post.  The White Door is currently just $13.22 and A Festival of Dolls is $4.03 at the moment.

I would also like to add a thought to my original words about the MatchBook service in general, or at least its publishing partners.  The publisher's will need to step up to the plate instead of using the service for another way to soak customers of their money.  When I looked through my personal list of MatchBook titles, I noticed that almost 100% of them were being offered at the highest price of $2.99.  This will not cut it.  You should take the time to let these publisher's know that while you appreciate their participation in the program, they must make the service a value to you as a consumer.  Hopefully, these initial offers are simply the publishers' way of "testing the waters" and price adjustments will be forthcoming.  If not, I fear the service will do little to benefit the customer.

Thank you,

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

First Review of "The White Door"

"...his debut horror novel The White Door brings along an original tale built on strong characters, mystery, emotion, and some downright disturbing and frightening moments."

Read the first review of my novel The White Door over at strangeamusements.com.  And if you like what you read, check out my eStore for the ways you can purchase the book.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The White Door - Kindle Version Now Available

The digital version of my debut novel of suspense and horror The White Door is now available for purchase and download for the Kindle and Kindle eReader apps via Amazon.com for only $2.99

If you prefer, the paperback version is also available from Amazon, or you can visit my eStore.

Thank you,

Saturday, October 12, 2013

"The White Door" Paperback - Now Available to Order

The time has come.  My novel of suspense and horror The White Door is now available to order online.  You can use the links below or visit my eStore.  The Kindle version of the book will be available for purchase and download on Tuesday, October 15th.  Read the entire Prologue to get a taste of what to expect.





Alice Simpson is an eleven-year-old girl much like any other, except for the ever-present specter of her tragic past.  Her single mother works hard to provide for Alice, which means sometimes being home alone.  That is when the nightmares come.

Following just such a night, after a blizzard has left behind feet of snow, the three strangers who passed in and out of Alice's life will be drawn into her nightmare world…and through The White Door.

Harry Breedlove is a cop chasing a murderer seemingly more beast than man.   The clues he finds all appear to lead to nothing.   His frustration, and a desire for answers, will send him through…

Katie is a young woman trapped in a nightmare of her own, that of watching her mother slowly be ravaged by cancer.  Her grief will push her through…

Arthur Dodgson is a man feeling trapped by middle-age circumstances he never dreamed would shape his life.  His desire for escape will entice him through…

They all have their own reasons, their own motivations, to enter…The White Door.  What awaits them there not even little Alice Simpson knows, but together they must find the answers that will lead them through the nightmare world and back to the one they left behind.  Alice is the key, but can they unlock the mysteries in time to escape with their lives?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Commissioning Cover Art for My Novel "The White Door" - A Progression

Now that you've seen the final cover for my novel The White Door, I thought I'd share the stages that went into creating it...with images.

So, the first step of the process was to come up with an idea for the cover, something I could convey to prospective artists.  As a writer, I use words to depict what I want, while most artists think more visually.  Because of this, I decided to do a quick cover sketch, which ended up scribbled with writing to convey my poorly rendered visuals anyway.  It was then time to find an artist, and I turned to longtime comics artist Tom Derenick (DC Comics' Action Comics, INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US), who is extremely versatile and always delivers a quality product. 

Here is that first sketch I made for Tom.  Try not to snigger too much...and don't strain too greatly in an attempt to read my atrocious handwriting.

Yes, that image, along with a synopsis of my ideas was what I gave to Tom.  Needless to say, when he delivered the initial thumbnails for the concept sketches, I was happy not to have to refer back to it.  Below are images of the three thumbnail sketches Tom did for me, the first being a direct translation of my idea and the other two his own interpretations.



The only idea I had any issue with was B, and that was for entirely thematic reasons.

A was, of course, the closest to my original idea, so I felt slightly partial to it, despite C being the real attention grabber.

This was one of Tom's original concepts, and the pick of anyone whose opinion I trusted.  The only aspect I didn't like was the extreme angle, thinking it would appear narrow on the front of a book.


With that in mind, and my inability to entirely let go of my original idea, I asked Tom to do two new thumbnails with some small revisions and he obliged. 

Despite a touch of confusion concerning one of my notes about the placement of the arm reaching around the door, when I saw the second revised sketch, I knew it was the winner.  It captured the character's struggle and was the most interesting visually.  I informed Tom of my decision, and he went to work.

Some time later, he delivered the finished pieces to me, one in pen & ink and one fully shaded.


I was thrilled.  The artwork was exquisite and conveyed all I could wish of my book cover.  Tom's work made it so easy to be pleased, but I had work of my own ahead of me if I was going to be able to finish the book cover in such a way as to honor his original art.

I wanted to lessen the shadowing on the girl's face because I thought it made her appear slightly older than the character of Alice.  To this end, I simply overlaid the image from the pen & ink piece with that of the shaded one, letting a smaller amount of the shading show through from beneath.  When that was finished, I set to coloring the image, something I'd never attempted before.  In the end, I wound up with something I was pretty happy with.  In all honesty, Tom's shading work made the coloring process much simpler than it otherwise would have been.  The final task was a simple matter of laying the image into my final cover layout, which had been finished prior to receiving the art.

And because I was feeling playful, I also altered the colors as an experiment.  I made all the color paler with a higher degree of delineation.  The only exception was the nightgown, which I made a darker, striking blue.  I call this my "EC Comics" cover.  I would have also changed the character's skin and hair if I was doing it as more than a lark.

Off to the printers!

That was my journey from original concept to finished artwork for my novel The White Door.  I hope you enjoyed the insight into this process, and remember the release date for the novel is next Tuesday, October 15th.

Thanks for your time,

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The White Door - Available October 15th

The release date for The White Door is set for October 15th.  Here is a good look at the gorgeous cover artwork by DC Comics' artist Tom Derenick.  After you've had a chance to soak in the finished cover, I'll be posting a series of images with notations, detailing the progression of the artwork from my embarrassing initial sketch to what you see here.