The Creation of a Book Cover Design – Guest Post


Today we have a guest post from designer Scott Hale who has worked with Christina on multiple projects. In this post he will discuss his thought process and the steps he went through to create the art work for the cover of Christina’s new book, Time Blade.

When Christina asked me to write about the process I went through to create the cover art for her upcoming novel, Time Blade, I jumped at the opportunity. Christina and I have enjoyed a creative collaboration for several years and I strongly believe that this most recent project couldn’t have happened were it not for the many, many hours we have spent creating together.

Cover art for "Written In Ruberah"

Cover art for “Written In Ruberah”

The cover art began, as it always does for us, with a conversation. Christina is a very visual person and she described the concept of her new work using very descriptive language. Key phrases and words she used that sparked my visual imagination where “cycles of time, radiating blades, midnight blue and abstract.”

Because this book is part of a series, we knew from the beginning we wanted the cover to relate to the first book, Written in Ruberah. The cover art for that book set up a circular theme, which works well with the idea of cycles of time, so I knew this book would also use the idea of a central focal point that radiated outward.

Print

Super Nova

I began researching moments of powerful change and quickly came upon a supernova. “A supernova is a stellar explosion that briefly outshines an entire galaxy, radiating as much energy as the Sun is expected to emit over its entire life span, before fading from view over several weeks or months.”[1]

Visually, a supernova is stunning, creating a full spectrum of colors which often appear circular as the energy radiates outward from the center. Upon sharing the idea of using a supernova as a visual reference I was stunned to learn that Christina’s novel actually began with the death of Miron, a planet wiped out by a supernova. Perfect!

However, one of my design considerations was to keep the cover imagery abstract so the viewer could interpret it a variety of ways. Simply putting a supernova on the cover would be far too literal. So I continued researching. I think the actual phrase I Googled was “energy that radiates in a circle” which quickly led me to visual references of the Tesla coil.

Tesla Coil

Tesla Coil

“A Tesla coil is an electrical resonant transformer circuit invented by Nikola Tesla around 1891. Tesla used these coils to conduct innovative experiments in electrical lighting, phosphorescence, X-ray generation, high frequency alternating current phenomena, electrotherapy, and the transmission of electrical energy without wires.”[2]

I started layering images of Tesla coils electrical energy over supernova explosions and the results were visually interesting, with variations in color and texture, while still being predominately midnight blue, another of my design objectives. Now the viewer would see an abstract representation of a powerful change occurring, such as time being sliced or cut.

Blade Illustration

Blade Illustration

The design for the radiating blades came from a discussion with Christina about avoiding the genre of knights in armor wielding swords. Christina was clear that the cutting of time was not a singular event and should not be represented as such. This caused me to design a very simple blade which when overlapped and radiated outward from a central point became a rather beautiful abstract shape itself. The blades were layered over the supernova and Tesla coil electricity and I knew I had something interesting.

 

This lead me to one of the most important choices for any book cover—choosing the font for the title. Having worked with Christina many times before I knew her personal esthetic towards clean lines and minimalism. I also was aware of how easy it would be to choose a font that would be genre specific (ie. Game of Thrones, Lord of The Rings, or any novel featuring vampires) and lead the viewer down the wrong path.

I needed a font that was crisp and clean, sharp and modern without being trendy. I tried several different fonts and even alternate titles suggested by Christina. One font I found early on, called Cirrus, had several characteristics I was looking for. It was clean and modern and had sharp edges, but at the same time it lacked the visual weight I needed. Finally I came across Broadband, a font I had used multiple times before but had never considered for this project because when in lower case it was totally wrong. However, when used in all uppercase it had everything I was looking for minus two small enhancements; I added points to the crossbars of the “E” in the word time and the “B” in blade.

Print

Because of the nature of publishing it is entirely possible changes will be made to the cover before it goes to press, but as of right now, this is the finished cover for Time Blade: Age of Jeweled Intelligence.

Print

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_coil

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Book Cover Design, Guest Post, The Writing Life, Time Blade

Excerpt from Time Blade, book two in The Age of Jeweled Intelligence trilogy

Excerpt from TIME BLADE, book two in The Age of Jeweled Intelligence trilogy

Luca, Spiritual Master for Earth, instructs his eight year old student about Time Blade.Blade_illustration

Where does the blade come from, Master?

Time itself.

What’s that?

Time, as we use it, is a law—a post of consciousness—composed of multi billions of particles of perfect impersonal intelligence—the soul of the world.

Why?

So we can be conscious of our lives on earth, without the Cycles of Time, Time is no time, or all time all the time.

Why do I carry Time Blade?

It chose you.

Does it know me?

It trusts you.

Why?

We’ll see, won’t we?

Time Blade, coming soon from Girl by The Sea Publishing

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Time Blade

Written in Ruberah receives another 5 star review on Amazon and BookPleasures.com

BaniSodermarkReviewer Bani Sodermark has posted her review of Written in Ruberah on BookPleasures.com.

Bani has a Ph.D in mathematical physics and has been a teacher of physics and mathematics at the university level in both India and Sweden. For the last decade, her interests have been spirituality, healthy living and self-development. She has written a number of reviews on Amazon.com. Bani is a mother to two children.

A Love Story on Different Planes

This is not your usual love story where the main actors are paramount and conceive their life stories with decisions taken by themselves in the present, and many or most of the facts relevant to the story pertain to the existing lifetime. In this book, the protagonists live out decisions taken by them in another time and space. And we get to see a fine and entirely plausible interplay of the main characters with the river spirit of Cornwall, viz., Tamara, who not only provides a timeless link between the past and present, but also plays a major role from behind the scenes in influencing the lives and decisions of the protagonists as well…

…The text is fast and free flowing, a joy to read. It affirms the fact, more than many other books that I know of, that all we are, is flowing energy, that anything could happen at a moment’s notice, that all we think, say or do has consequences. The descriptions of the outer physical scenery as a reflection of the inner, is unusually detailed and evocative, almost like a fast, chemical reaction, once the right ingredients are administered.

This is a book that has been written on several planes. The main characters have their own agendas on the physical, which they put aside, willingly or unknowingly, after intervention by either by Tamara or Gwenellen. The author, Christina Greenaway has been very insightful and consistent about the principles that govern Life in this book, affirming that the reason we are here is to strengthen our spiritual muscles. This book is a strong and beautifully written testimony to the above…

…This is the first in a series of books called “The Age of Jewelled Intelligence”. Going by the popularity of the Harry Potter series, one can presume that the public response to this genre can only increase with time as more people explore their feminine side. Personally I enjoyed the book very much. Warmly recommended.

Read the entire 5 Star review on Amazon.com

Read the entire review at BookPleasure.com

 

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Written in Ruberah

Free Download—Glossary for Written In Ruberah

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 9.59.59 AMA reviewer suggested this book would benefit from having a glossary. I am grateful to her for pointing that out and consequently have created one which can be downloaded from my website for free.

  • The world of Jeweled Intelligence
  • The characters in the Time of Ruberah
  • The characters in today’s world who also lived in Ruberah
  • Places in today’s world where the story takes place

 

Your FREE copy at christinagreenaway.com

 

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Myths and Legends, Written in Ruberah

Book Hostage interview for Written In Ruberah

book-hostage-big-banner6

Written In Ruberah was recently promoted on the blog, Book Hostage.

You can read the interview by clicking HERE

 

 

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Myths and Legends, The Writing Life, Uncategorized, Written in Ruberah, Written In Ruberah Book Tour

Choosing a Setting for a Novel

I must be in love with the setting I select for a novel, as that place will have to inspire me for all the time it takes to complete the story.

When I was seventeen, I lived in London. I had already decided I would see the world, as if that would be my life’s calling. One day as I walked up Oxford Street toward Marble Arch, my glance fell on a photograph of New York City—a huge photo filling an entire shop window.

Image

I had seen glittering images of New York in movies and magazines, but this photo, shot at night and in black and white, seemed to catch the city-that-never-sleeps, sleeping. I glimpsed my reflection on the windowpane and felt the skyscrapers towering above me.  I perceived the rhythm of city—not the frenetic day-to-day beat so often associated with New York, but an amorphous and malleable energy, which I like to think of as the spirit of the city. I felt it calling me. Two years later, I landed a job in an ad agency in New York, which began my long love affair with the city.

NewYorkCity1

Like all love affairs, mine with New York constantly challenged me. I had arrived alone without knowing a soul, but I never felt alone. The black and white photo that had drawn me across the Atlantic drifted over my mind’s eye like visual narrative in a movie.

Many years and many travels later, I wrote my first novel Dream Chaser: Awakening, and I chose New York as the setting. The story feels like an echo of the city: the fierce daylight run for success, the dazzle of the glittering events of evening, slow dancing into the late night hours. Sleeping in the soft whoosh of its amorphous and malleable spirit. Awakening to the call of your own.

Dream Chaser: Awakening. http://amzn.to/1nhE4Ph

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Dream Chaser: Awakening, Paranormal Romance Genre, The Writing Life

Book Connection Interview for Written In Ruberah

Where did you grow up?

Mevagissey, Cornwall, UK

Mevagissey Harbor

Mevagissey Harbor

mevagissey2

Mevagissey Outer Harbor

When did you begin writing?

I wrote stories as a young child and dreamed of being a writer one day. For many years I traveled the world and worked in different careers. I settled into writing full time fifteen years ago.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

My habit is to write for about three hours in the early morning. I like to edit in the afternoon. When traveling, I write anywhere I can.

What is this book about?

A woman who feels hard-wired to be with the man she loves but who cannot realize that love because of a debt she bears from a previous life in ancient Ruberah.

What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to set a novel in Cornwall, UK, where I grew up. I felt the lush countryside, the moors, and the rugged coast would feed my imagination. They did. Lovers came to mind—lovers who must time travel to the ancient past to heal a rift that prevents them from being together. I needed an immortal—a guide who would help them. I turned to an old Cornish legend that fascinated me as a child: the legend of the beautiful nymph Tamara and the giant brothers Tavy and Tawridge. Tamara lives in a cave beneath the moors with her parents. Her father forbids her to meet the giants. Tamara disobeys him. Her father catches her with the giants and punishes her by turning her into a river of tears. Tamara forms the River Tamar. As a child, I traveled back and forth to boarding school by train crossing the River Tamar. I imagined Tamara as a water spirit who helped people.

Tamar River, Cornwall

Tamar River, Cornwall

“Written in Ruberah,” is the first book in my Age of Jeweled Intelligence series about people who lived in ancient Ruberah who made sacred promises to one day make amends for the disaster that brought about the end of that land. They tossed those promises into the River of Life. Many of those old souls live on the planet today. As their promises come due they float into the River Tamar. Tamara guides those ready to fulfill them.

Who is your favorite character from the book?

Miriam, who longs to be in a loving relationship with Mitch. Miriam fears aging and the possibility of growing old alone. A little overweight, she struggles to take the pounds off only to binge eat to feed her emotions and pack them back on. Miriam is strong, humorous, and painfully vulnerable.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

Long and arduous. It took many drafts to weave the history of the ancient Kingdom of Ruberah into the story of Tamara and the present day lives of Miriam and Mitch.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

I wrote the first two drafts of Written in Ruberah in first person from Tamara’s POV. My editor told me the story was too big for first person. If I had to do it over, I would take her advice earlier than I did.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Amazon http://amzn.to/N2pNps or www.christinagreenaway.com

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

My website: www.christinagreenaway.com

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

I’m at the beginning of that journey. Right now, I’d say having my website redesigned and going on this blog tour. I rather dreaded promoting my book but I find myself enjoying it—enjoying the connection I’m making with other writers and book lovers.

Is there one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

If you dream of being a writer, you can be a writer. The dream is telling you this. Let nothing stop you. Build the habit of writing every day. This tells your body, mind, and spirit you’re serious about this. After a while that something magical happens and you’ll find your imagination racing off, exploring possibilities you might otherwise never have considered. You’ll laugh, cry, fall in love, and kill whoever needs to be killed. Since you create all the characters you realize your protagonist could not complete his journey without having met and defeated a number of enemies along the way. This opens your compassionate nature and guides you to deal fate with an even hand. In Written in Ruberah I learned why Tamara’s father turned her into a river and how he did it. Yes, it’s just an old Cornish legend, but truth abounds in myths and legends.

I write by Rumi’s advice: “Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”

What is up next for you?

I’m writing the next book in my Age of Jeweled Intelligence series. This story features a new main character, a seventeen-year-old boy, Ib, short for Ibiza, (Ib’s mother names all her children after the place where they were conceived), a soul-searing love story, and another adventure in ancient Ruberah.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you for your kind interest in my novel. I bid you goodbye with the phrase used by those who lived ancient Ruberah. Foretune to travel well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Myths and Legends, Paranormal Romance Genre, Self Publishing Mistakes, The Writing Life, Written in Ruberah, Written In Ruberah Book Tour