Silviya Yordanova, an extremely talented digital artist, has put together this one of a kind cover. This cover is a change from my other covers in that Silviya does all of her work by Photoshopping images. That is, she combined about fifteen images, blended their colors, painted their edges, did other crazy things I can’t describe because I don’t know what they are and we ended up with this final image. It takes a special talent to take the words of a writer, who has only seen an idea in his head and translate that into a work of art. Silviya has certainly done that. I hope you’ll take a moment and check out her website at Dark Imaginarium.
In addition to revealing the cover, I’d like to take a chance to really love up on the people who make writing possible. For me, it’s very much a family affair where my wife, Janet not only takes a swing at editing but also clears the decks for me. We’ve been married for thirty years and she’s one of the few people in the universe who can knock me back into my chair and make me listen and I guarantee my stories are better for it. Just as often, however, she simply gives me the room to spend the quiet time necessary to create, which is quite a task.
My sister Diane Greenwood Muir author of the Bellingwood series is also on the front line. Our writing relationship started when in our teenage years. Neither of us knew it at the time, but we (with several others) played a Dungeons and Dragons styled game we simply referred to as Space World. Many of the ideas I write about were formed during these games. For us it was better than T.V. and a great way to pass time. Neither of us knew at the time that we were creating worlds to be written about later, but boy am I glad we did. In addition to the world building back in the 80s, Diane now provides a veritable host of publishing services. She not only edits, but also does cover lettering and manuscript formatting. Basically, if you want to be a writer.. you need to get started grooming a sister in your teens.. worked for me at least.
And then there are the beta readers. Over the last couple of years I’ve learned what I need from beta readers and what I don’t. First, I need people who are positive. I don’t mind criticism, but negativity, I’ve no room for it. Second, I need specifics. By the time I’ve sent a manuscript to beta, it’s been read by Janet, Diane and myself a total of fifteen or twenty times. Don’t make me guess what you mean, just say it. Third, care about the craft / love the genre. Simply put I need people who bring and share their passion for the project. This group of beta readers is all that and then some.
Wizard in a Witchy World’s beta readers are Carol Greenwood, Linda Baker, Kelli Whyte, Robert Long, and Nancy Quist. A greater group of readers, a writer could not ask for. With the exception of Linda, I’ve worked with each of these readers on other projects and hand picked them for Wizard. To the person, they exhibit the characteristics I most value and the books are more enjoyable because of their work.
Invariably at this point, I get the question of when!? Answer is, pretty soon. Steps are straight forward. I’ll be working through beta comments this week, then we’ll have a cooling off period next week as my editor has a conflict. After that, we’ll get it formatted, I’ll write a blurb… (oh joy, I love summarizing 90,000 words into 200) and we’ll be off to the races.