Category Archives: Guest Posts

Guest Post: Leslie Ann Moore

Leslie Ann Moore recently was interviewed here on No Wasted Ink, featuring her latest novel A Tangle of Fates. Her experience with gaining a new cover for her novel is an interesting tale and she offered to share it with us all on the blog. Welcome Leslie! It is good to have you back.

Author Leslie Ann MooreMost authors, unless they are self-published, have no say in the design of what is arguably the single most important factor in drawing the notice of a browsing, potential reader to a book.

A well-designed cover piques a potential reader’s interest and can entice him/her to pick up the book or click on the image in order to read the blurb or a sample chapter. A poorly designed cover will do just the opposite.

Even if an author is allowed by the publisher to have some input into the cover-creation process, many times the finished product bears little to no resemblance to what the author had envisioned. The cover is what it is. The author’s approval is of little consequence. If she hates it, she has no choice but to grit her teeth, accept it and hope the marketing people responsible for the design know what they’re doing.

The original cover for A Tangle of Fates, the first book in my new science fantasy series, did not turn out as I’d hoped, despite my having some say in the creative process. The story takes the Snow White fairytale and turns it on its head. What if Snow White was fated to be a revolutionary, instead of a pawn? I wanted a cover that depicted a young woman of action. At the same time, the image had to convey that this story takes place on an alien planet, no matter that the heroine wears 19th century Old West-style mens clothing and is brandishing a six-shooter.

With respect to the artist, he did capture my heroine’s face beautifully, exactly as I imagined. However, I felt the image was static, where I’d envisioned a more dynamic scene, one in which my heroine was depicted in motion. An illustration of a scene from the book, either faithfully or symbolically rendered, was more what I’d had in mind.

Deciding I had nothing to lose, I approached my publisher, Muse Harbor, and made a proposal. I offered to commission an alternate cover, paid for out of my own pocket. Fortunately, they were receptive to the idea. I found my own artist and art directed the cover until it was exactly as I wanted. The image now conveys motion, danger, and the alien-ness of the planet on which the story is set.

A Tangle of Fates Book CoverMuse Harbor accepted the new cover, for which I’m both grateful and relieved. They paid attention to the overwhelmingly positive response to the new image when

I posted it on FB and wisely conceded. I can’t thank them enough.

My experience is not common at all. I was only able to pull this off because of an especially friendly relationship with the owners/editors of Muse Harbor. However, I hope my success will encourage other authors at small presses to at least speak up if they have a strong negative reaction to a cover for their novel. Who knows? It might result in a new, better cover!

Guest Post: The Jewelry Project Part 2

Jeweler's Bench - Indigoskye Bead Fashions

I received a beautiful leather A5 Burde Binder that I am turning into a project binder. I will be writing a five part series about how I am turning this binder into a design journal for my artisan jeweley business. In this second edition, I explain what a design journal is and why they are useful to artisans like myself. Please, stop by This Bug’s Life and read part 2 of my post series.

Guest Post: The Jewelry Project Part 1

Burde A5 Binder - Exterior

I received a beautiful leather A5 Burde Binder that I am turning into a project binder for my artisan jeweler’s business. I will be writing a five part series about how I am turning this binder into a design journal for my artisan jeweler business. This first week, I show off the binder and explain a little about my jewelry business. I hope you’ll stop by This Bug’s Life and follow along my mini adventure.

Writing Space: Tesa W Colvin

Seeing how other authors work and organize their writing spaces often gives me new ideas on how to improve my own work environment. This is why I enjoy hosting guest posts on the subject. Poet and writer Tesa M Colvin has graciously consented to tell No Wasted Ink about how she creates in her home writing space.

Tesa Colvin - Writing SpaceMy love for writing began as a fondness for poetry. This soon led me to writing short stories and later on to fiction novels. While I still write poetry whenever the mood strikes, I absolutely love the novel writing process. The joy of weaving a world of words into an entire story is amazing. Ironically, when I began my first novel, Dark Princess, it was one of the most delightfully stressful and challenging writing processes that I had ever experienced. And because it was far more intricate than writing poetry, I learned a lot about myself, my techniques, strengths and weaknesses. But above all of the actual “in-writing” skills that I gained, the most valuable lesson was on the benefit and importance of “pre-writing” by outlining or story mapping.

Armed with info on “how” to write, I knew I needed to determine when to write. I knew I needed to get in the habit of making time to write as opposed to hoping for a minute to do so. And since I had adopted tasks and skills that improved my pre-writing practices, it was much easier to schedule time for my actual writing. So now frenzied pre-writing note taking can happen at any time, but my actual time to focus on significant or consistent writing is set for Tuesday & Thursday evenings (after tending to the rug rats and puppy) and early Saturday morning (before they are awake). This also allows me to read during specific days and times, because any good writer is a reader.

When it’s time to write, I hide away in my own little world…a magical place that gives life to words. And it doesn’t hurt that the doors to my office have very durable locks, making it the best place for me to write in my busy home. Knowing that this space is just for me allows me to be an “impassioned author”, without interruption.

Tesa M Colvin - Writing ToolsAnd when it came to furnishing my little haven, I decided on a comfy high back chair, since I would be spending a lot of time in it (not to mention that it made me feel like I was in control). I also needed a computer desk for my desktop PC as well as an actual desk. This combination would provide a little nook for me to work in and afford lots of space for organizing my notes and conducting other tasks.

Every time I go into my office to write it’s like a writers retreat. I can escape into a world that I am creating or just enjoy a little peace and quiet. And though I have noted several items that are needed in my writing process, I would be far less productive without my pre-writing notebooks AND my pink fuzzy writing socks! They are as important to me as Superman’s cape. I often stash my notebooks in different places (purse, car, truck, work etc.), just in case I am overcome by a need to record something before I forget. Then when I get to my office I can revisit those notes and get back on track or take my writing in an entirely new direction. And the socks, well, (Did I mention that they’re pink and fuzzy?) they are warm and comfortable and my own personal rendition of a “thinking cap”.

Tesa M Colvin - Author and PoetTesa W. Colvin (TWC) was born a southern girl, raised in Michigan and now calls the south home again. She is the President of VisionWise Creative Consulting, author of multiple collections of poetry and inspirational works for writers as well as the upcoming fiction novel “Dark Princess”. Noted by many as a passionate author and blogger of all things writing, despite wearing several hats TWC has completely embraced her gift and is more focused than ever on perfecting her craft and publishing her work.

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Writing Space: Blaine D. Arden

It is always wonderful to find a fellow notebook and fountain pen lover, just like myself. I hope you enjoy reading about Blaine’s writing space and her creative style.

Blaine Arden AuthorWriting is something I do anywhere. Always have. When I was younger, I wrote in class, during breaks, at birthdays and parties. These days I write in waiting rooms, at volleyball matches–watching my kids play–on trains, and during breaks at choir practice. I never leave home without my fountain pen and my notebook. You never know when the solution to that little plot gap springs to mind, or when I suddenly know the name of my newest character.

I tried remembering, I really did. I’d go to sleep convinced that I’d remember it come morning, and would then spend all day cursing myself for believing it, and unable to remember, no matter how hard I tried reliving those minutes before falling asleep. So, I learned my lesson and don’t leave home without my writing implements.

Blaine Arden Notebook and Parker Fountain PenWhat I use? Well, last year, friends gave me this wonderful magenta Parker fountain pen, and I love writing with it. I’m a bit finicky about notebooks, though. I’ve used everything from exercise-books to different sizes notebooks to an A5-binder, which though bulky, came closest to my ideal notebook. But it wasn’t until I sat across from a man writing in an Atoma notebook in the train, that I knew I’d finally found it. I fell in love with it at first sight and have been writing in them ever since. With the ability to take pages out and put them back in again, they make me feel so organized.

Being able to write anywhere and any time, I never thought I’d need a dedicated space for writing. Sure, I had a desk in my room when I still lived with my parents, and could be found in my room most of the time–pretending to do homework while I was really acting out my stories with the barbies hidden away in my bottom drawer. But when I moved in with my boyfriend–now husband–it was just the two of us, so I was easily satisfied with sitting on the sofa or at the dining table, and later, a desk in the living room.

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago–I think I was doing NaNoWriMo for the second time–that I started yearning for a space where I could retreat from the hustle and bustle of having kids playing with friends, playing games, and asking questions at the most inopportune times–bypassing Daddy who’d be sitting not a meter away, of course.

Blaine D Arden Office SpaceThe smallest bedroom–formerly known as walk-in closet–was turned into an office, and at the end of last year my husband made me a lovely new workspace that spans two and a half walls and leaves me plenty of space to work at, read at and clutter. (yes, I tidied the desk before taking the picture). It’s a wonderful, inspirational, place, and it’s all mine. The only drawback is that I don’t have a door. We’d taken that one out years ago, sacrificing it for more closet space, and later reused it when we created a bedroom in the attic. Instead I have a sturdy pvc fly curtain with a yin-yang sign to create a sense of privacy.
As for the kids? They might not be asking my attention every couple of minutes anymore, and they’re old enough to leave me alone when I’m writing–considering that they’re almost all adults themselves now–their bedrooms are a little too close for comfort, and I often find myself grabbing my noise reduction headphones to tune them out to work. Early mornings, on the other hand, are blissfully quiet. 🙂

Blaine is a purple haired, forty-something, writer of gay romance with a love of men, music, mystery, magic, fairies, platform shoes and the colours black, purple and red, who sings her way through life. You can find Blaine at: her website, on twitter, and on facebook. You can also email her at blaine@blainedarden.com