darkemeralds: Jared Padalecki in Regency attire (Restraint Tristan)

I now have most of the props for my book cover photo shoot. Spray paint, pins, hot glue, RIT Dye, masking tape, old curtains, bits of hardware, an actual riding crop off eBay--I really haven't had this much crafty fun in ages.

The lighting is pretty good. I'm pleased with the complementary orange/blue color scheme--which was a happy accident. It was time to put a body in the chair and start testing poses.

So I asked my sister to don the shirt and drape the (very skinny) "buckskin breeches" (linen drawstring pants, still awaiting modification) over her legs, and strike the attitude.

I liked the effect, so I pasted on the head of the actual model I hope to hire for the photo shoot.

test book cover art for Restraint, showing a long haired and barefoot young man in Regency garb lounging in an ornate wingback chair

(The professional graphic designer will be charged with a real layout and real fonts. It's still up to me to tweak the costume. The draped column might have to go.)

What do you think?

darkemeralds: Jared Padalecki in Regency attire (Restraint Tristan)
There's been some progress on the book cover photo shoot. Here's the first mockup, just to test color contrast between the costume and the chair.

Yellow trousers, white formal shirt, and a red and gold brocade vest draped over a red wingback chair to resemble a Regency gentleman lounging, for the Restraint cover shoot

Those are Goodwill garments in roughly the right colors and shapes. We decided that with the pale costume we'll want a dark chair, so here we're testing red rummage-sale curtain fabric. We've got a bronze-gold-brown-red pair of drapes coming from eBay.

The backdrop will be a nearly-black wall, aka my living room, so pretty soon I'll have to drag that chair indoors.

Meanwhile, I've acquired some fake gold leaf for illuminating the decorative elements, and a white linen tablecloth that will make a pretty nice poet shirt. Sewing will ensue. Really quick-and-dirty, fusible-and-glue sewing.

Then we just need to find the guy. Think "finding the guy" thoughts, please!

a poster advertising for a male model for a book cover photoshoot

Cover Art

Mar. 2nd, 2017 10:04 am
darkemeralds: detail of beaded purse, caption One Bead At a Time (Details)
I need a book cover!

There are quickie template-based designs online, and there's $5000 for original artwork, and there's not much in between.

"Well, what do you want to wind up with?" asked my sister Helen.

"Basically this," said I:
Working cover of Restraint, a photograph manipulated to look something like an oil painting, featuring Jared Padalecki's face on Johnny Depp's tuxedo-wearing body slouched in an enormous baroque brocade armchair, all in tones of red and gold

"...but a) without Jared Padalecki's face; b) not stolen from a copyright fashion shoot with Johnny Depp; and c) featuring a poet shirt and buckskin breeches rather than that 20th century tuxedo."

"So let's do our own photoshoot."

Wait. What? Do it ourselves? )
darkemeralds: Photo of fingers on a computer keyboard. (Writing)
Beta-reader notes on the final draft of Restraint have started coming in. This is the most nerve-wracking process!

The feedback so far is excellent: constructive, knowledgeable, and detailed. Nobody so far hates the novel. But the silences! Do the non-responders dislike it too much to comment? Were they too bored to finish? Are they too nice to say so?

It's impossible to get my ego out of the way. These people are doing me a huge favor and I don't want to press them, but only the fact that I have acrylic nails is keeping me from biting those nails off.
darkemeralds: Jared Padalecki in Regency attire (Restraint Tristan)
Beta readers are coming back with very few notes on Restraint. The rewritten story works for them. I think it really is finished. Seth Godin (whom I had the pleasure of meeting at a workshop in NYC a couple weeks ago) basically said, "Ship it."

Now comes marketing. )
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
My break from working on Restraint has borne some fruit. I woke up this morning knowing that I should leave the serial numbers on.

Why? It just felt better. And if I don't follow my gut in creative matters, what the hell am I doing being creative at all? Huh? Look at all the glee I get to retain if Restraint stays fanfic:

  • Owzers's fantastic manips
  • All four prologues if I want
  • Posting in parts
  • Posting in ebook form to OTW's Archive of Our Own
  • Soundtrack!
  • Minor RP character glee
  • The silly Supernatural in-jokes that got in there on Day One and have resisted being edited back out
  • The ridiculous Latin pun on Mr Acklebury's name

So, fic it is. Yay! I can get back to writing.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
I am officially Not Writing this weekend. The novel needs a rest from me, and I from it. So what the hey, I'll just write about it.

My novel (working title Restraint), nominally a work of fanfic, is so AU that turning it from fanfic to original fic would require little more than a global S&R on two character names. The question is, should I go that route?

Logic says it can't hurt to try. There can't be much money in the niche market of homoerotic romances for women, so if I can't sell the novel to a publisher, I lose virtually nothing by turning it back into fanfic and publishing it here or on LJ.

I'm more worried about what happens if I do sell it: bad editing, being outed in my real life, giving up creative control, and losing the story's original audience--passionate fellow fans of the characters whose names I can just as easily globally change back.

Earlier in my life, publishing a "real book" was a shining goal. Why? To be read. To tell my stories. To get a little feedback. Basically, to justify the act of writing. Not only can I have all that right now on the web, unmediated by any business model, but I don't even want a "real book" made of dead trees anymore.

While I decide on my route, I need to finish the thing. My writing break ends on Monday, when I embark on a dull business trip in service of the work that does pay. There's nothing like a hotel room in the evening for getting some writing done.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Dancing around the May-pole, the lusty month of May when people go blissfully astray, etc., seems an excellent time to begin a journal for fiction, fan- and pro-, of the slashy kind.

By the same token, "m'aidez! m'aidez!" seems like a good way to begin a journal where I'll be looking for help, advice, moral support and critique of writing I manage to do.

I'm working on a novel now, but when it's done, inspiration might not strike again for three years--that's how long it took last time--and so this journal could morph into something else. Fandom and passions are weird that way.

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