A Change of a Love Story For a Nation

A LOVE STORY FOR A NATION is one of the favorite stories I’ve ever written. It, like a lot of my writings, started as a short play called “Almighty Might.” An audience member, who came to see a production of it, was greatly moved by its story – so much so that this audience member, who also happened to be an artist, drew an amazing picture of its story. I was blown away! I had the chance to meet the artist later that year. His name is Woon Bin Chang. A terrific guy. He was gracious enough to allow me to use his picture as the the book cover for my novel. I was thrilled.

But the picture posed some problems for the cover, and when the novel was published, I decided on another design by another talented graphic artist. I loved it, and I was very happy with the cover.

But three years on, I stumbled back upon this artwork and wondered if I could redesign it in order to give the novel a make-over and to show off this great piece of art which represented the story so very well.

And so I did.

I’ve decided to change the cover art for the novel. I’m very happy with it and I hope it inspires others to check out this moving story.

As always, your thoughts are welcome.

Here it is:


COVER REVEAL – A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far

After much agonizing and debating, it’s all settled, and I’m thrilled to share with you the cover of book 1 of The Forgotten Child Trilogy. Here it is!

Forgotten Child Trilogy Book1 FrontCoverFinal

There’s much I could say about this book cover. I’ll explain it all in more detail at another time, but I wanted to get it out there. I hope you like it as much as I do. I’m going to be revealing book covers 2 and 3 soon as well, and I even like them better!

But for now, I can’t wait to get this book into the hands of readers. A timeline will be available soon. Release date not far away.

Are you feeling lucky, Photoshop?

I know. I know. I’m an author. Leave the design work for the professionals. And don’t EVER attempt to design your own book cover. Foolish, it is.

I agree with all of the above, and yet …

I can’t help but tinker.

When I use Photoshop, it’s 10% know-how, 30% You Tube videos, and 60% dumb luck! I have, at times, designed things which I consider acceptable. I’ve even had some people occasionally mention how my skills are getting better. But the reality is, Photoshop is a supped up 50s convertible and I approach it with a screwdriver made for eye glasses. It’s a bad miss match.

However, I’ve been getting lucky lately a little more often than I have in the past. I had toyed around with the design of my new book and I got to the place where I felt it was nearly acceptable. I received some feedback from folks, mostly positive, and kept messing with the minutia until I thought I was finished. I was even going to seek some professional help to clean it up and then design the book’s sequel. I had tried once to use the same template to create book 2 but it was disastrous, so I abandoned the idea.

Until about a week ago. For some reason, on a particularly creative and cocky day, I decided to work on book 2 again. And voila! Within a matter of 10 minutes, I got lucky. Perfect photo, edited into the background, I was amazed at how good it looked. It was in fact way better than the cover I thought was acceptable for book 1. This burst of creativity led me to try to create a cover for book 3, even though I haven’t written it yet. After another short period of creation, I had book 3, it looked fantastic, way better, in fact than that book 1. I was lucky again. Twice in one week.

That made me go back to the book 1 cover again and I started a redesign, one that I never would have thought of six months ago as I was designing it. One idea led to the next and I finagled enough luck out of my keyboard to substantially improve the cover for book 1.

So is it luck? Or am I getting better?

I’m convinced that’s it both. I’m not a good enough designer that I can set out with a goal in mind and make it happen. Oh no, those are the real artists. But I am at the point where I can take what I have, work with a bunch of scenarios until I will hopefully come across one combination which I will be satisfied with.

That’s where I am with Photoshop. I can easily spend three enjoyable hours cutting, erasing, editing, recoloring, combining, and importing all kinds of items in the search of the elusive good design. It’s a welcome respite from writing, a different type of creativity which is fun and challenging.

So whatever it is that you enjoy doing, even though you feel like an amateur, keep at it. You might find that you end up getting lucky more often than not. And soon you’ll realize that your luckiness is not the result of random accidents.

NOTE: I’ll be releasing these covers in the near future. Hope you like them.

A New Book Cover & New Promotions!

Well, I did it. I decided to change a book cover. Here’s my new book cover for my novel “The Recluse Storyteller.”


I decided to keep the recluse’s figure as she stares off into the distance, but this time looking at the tree on the hill, which reminded me a lot of the tree from the story. The recluse tells the story of twins in the 19th century, who climb the hill from their house and look out over the valley in hopes of spotting their father coming home. It’s one of the four poignant stories she tells, but this one is mixed with a little mysticism and magic when the father appears to one of the girls under the tree.

The e-book version of the novel has recently expanded its reach beyond Amazon and is available at Smashwords, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, and many other fine vendors.

On Smashwords!

On Amazon!

On Barnes & Noble!

I also have a great promotion coming later next week for my latest novel, “A Love Story for a Nation.” Stay tuned!

There are Book Covers in a Library

I was sitting in the library with young artist Joyce Lee. She has been tasked with creating the cover artwork and design for my next novel The Recluse Storyteller. I had given her five different images to work with even though it was clear in my mind which one would be on the cover. When she showed me the mock-up of my first image, I thought that it was OK, but I knew right there and then that I didn’t want that to be the cover of my book. It just didn’t feel right – perhaps a little boring – at no fault of the artist – she did what I asked her to do.

Then she showed me a second mock-up from another image. I liked it a lot. It was this crazy picture of a person looking over a balcony with a man lying knocked out on the pavement below. Definitely an interesting image and I could see that being the cover of the book.

But then she flashed the third image on the screen, and it was obviously the right one. The design was so simple, yet had such a strong focal point that just drew me in. I asked a couple other people in the library which they thought was the most stunning. It was unanimous. I have my cover, and I’m very excited about it. Now she is working on fonts and layout.

When we started talking about the back cover for the print version, we mentioned how we would like to see what others have done to tie in the front and back covers of their books. I immediately did a Google search trying to find book cover layouts, when all of the sudden it hit me.

“We are in a library!”

Sometimes things are so obvious that you become oblivious to them.

And so here is the earth-shattering item I was reminded of today: There are book covers in a library.