With my first novel getting close to being online, I had to figure out a few things - the cover being an important issue. Having scrolled through hundreds of books in the same genre I noticed a lot of stock covers in use and knew I didn't want that. A fabulous internet friend (hi EJ!) who happens to be a couple books ahead of me on the internet learning curve has offer invaluable advice. She said a custom cover was the way to go.
After a bit of research I connected with an artist, Joe Kawano. We emailed, we did some PMs, and things got moving. This is the very first sketch.
Joe made sure to explain how the process progresses and that this was a mock-up for him to work from. The finished cover would look pretty much nothing like this.
After some personal glitches on both ends and getting through the holidays, we got around to some more PMs and polishing the details.
This Monday, I received an email from Joe with this picture attached. He is taunting me!
So very close. In the meantime I've been lining up the other things I need to get this project finished. If I have any advice to offer as a first-time novelist or to anyone new to publishing online, I'd say do your research. Find out what's involved. Get ahead of yourself. Do the 'impossible'. I should have gotten to some of the details sooner, but I didn't know. You can learn something new every day.
'The Vista' is almost a reality now. While I've been concentrating on this, I've also got the rough draft of a prequel about half finished. It will be a novella and promises a few surprises. So, let me introduce you to the world of 'The Vista'.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Team Three has a secret, one they think they've kept from all but a select few colleagues. They couldn't be more wrong.
Allen, MacKenzie and Wade are Vista Security's top officers, part of the first generation post-WW3. Their secret - they are genetically enhanced and psychically connected. Hidden away in an enclave in the Rocky Mountains, they're also at the forefront of the movement to see what's left of the outside world.
As they attempt to learn the truth, their presence makes them targets of a vicious renegade with the means to destroy everything they know. Facing exile or worse, Team Three has short time to figure out who is enemy, who is friend and how to save their home and themselves.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Excerpt from 'The Vista'
A storm moved in after nightfall, the rain almost ice as it fell from a black sky. No thunder, sparse lightning and that was the worst part of it – the broken, eerie silence between downpours. Shannon didn’t like being in the city for any reason. Twice a week, four months a year she was anyway. It was her job. They might say ghosts weren’t real, but most of ‘them’ had never spent a night in the long dead place. Sometime after midnight, she gave in and headed for home.
Crossing the Continental Divide, the rain turned to snow, huge white flakes splattering on the windshield and not melting. The road was mostly clear. Static on Shannon’s radio was thick, but moments later, she understood two words. Code Seven. Active aggressive incident outside the outer perimeter, but active aggressive still. She kicked it into overdrive and came down the mountain full tilt, pushing the car and pushing her luck on a road known to devour Scouts.
Then the outer marker merely went ‘blip’ as she passed it. If there was an alert, proximity warnings would have gone off all over Security. Alarms should be sounding in Dispatch and her car. She stared at the radio for a moment, realizing what she had stumbled in to.
Wargames. The call-out wasn’t real.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I knew before I got to high school that I wanted to write books. I did, too, dozens of short stories I thought someday I’d turn into novels. Oh, how I wish I had those spiral notebooks full of wild ideas and teenage musings.
I still have the ideas of many of those stories – some of them make me cringe. A few will become something more as I add books to my list of those that are published.
For now, I live in the desert and many nights, in between writing and sleep, you can find me out watching the stars. It’s dark, out here in the desert and I can see so many stars that weren’t there before. I make time to write now. The tiny seeds of stories demand that I write them down.
I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy creating them.