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Friday, October 28, 2011

Book #1's Cover Proof #8

Well things continue to proceed at a glacial pace. Looks like the table is finally right and the shirt decal is bigger. But maybe the question mark on the shirt should be bigger so that it shows up for sure on the cover. I still think the character's skin is a little too dark for a Tibetan. 


Monday, October 24, 2011

Book#1's Cover Proof #7

This is still just a partial rendering of the cover. Looks like the table is starting to take shape though I want the top to have more of the look of the sides in terms of contrast so that the texturing doesn't wash out in the inherently low contrast cover process. I also think I'll get them to make the question mark/galaxy on Elof2's shirt bigger so that it shows up better. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Chapter Ending Sample from Book #3 MS4

 I am working on the rewrite of Book #3 to bring it from the MS3 version to the MS4 versions. One of the things I am having to contend with is that my writing style has changed a good bit since I originally wrote MS3 and it's been tricky integrating the two styles. I wrote a blog post on Repressed Memories and Writing trying to explain why this has happened. I'm having to integrate the two styles, which sometimes is a bit tricky. In the rewrite, besides deepening the characterizations and exposing the thoughts of the characters, I have also tried to insure that more of the chapter endings have some "spice" to them--hopefully to keep the reader reading. 
The chapter I just finished working on is one of the apexes of the entire serial, because it is where critical emotions, critical facts, and the full use of interwoven telepathic conversations and mind reading come into play. It is a fairly complex chapter requiring the reader to track who can hear what while simultaneous decoding the mind manipulation going on between the two parties who communicate over the vastness of space using something similar to a video link. So the two parties cannot hear each others telepathic conversations where they strategize in a chess game style what the next negotiating point will be.
In this chapter,  Sophista has negotiated with the Federation of the Twenty for control of present day Earth. Stefan, a seventh grade boy and Tova2, a nineteen-year-old girl have recently become immortal super-beings and are betrothed to each other. They have two adopted 9 year-old alien sons, Paul1 and Paul25. The "@" marks communication on a family private telepathic channel. Stefan must learn to be the secret king of Earth in 8 weeks or he will be killed. Here is the chapter ending. I hope you enjoy it.

The connection ends. Tova2 walks over to Stefan and takes his hand. “Don’t worry, Babe. It will get easier. I will always be with you.”

“I just want to enjoy life with you,” whines Stefan. “I wish our family could just stay on Sophista. I hate having to be on guard all the time, especially on guard for the Federation.”

“I know, Babe,” comforts Tova2. “We had a good time at the Peter memorial and so did the Pauls. We will find ways to have good times in spite of it all. Please don’t say anything about this to Peter2. He is really depressed about you going to Earth.”

“After the conversation with the Federation, I know how he feels,” moans Stefan.

Stefan’s mom walks over and takes Stefan from Tova2. She grasps his head and gives him a tight hug as if he is still a little boy; he closes his eyes. She looks directly into Tova2’s eyes as she strokes Stefan’s hair. “I know this is hard, my son. But soon you will rule and you know very well that it is inevitable. It would be terribly bad for you to be poorly prepared.”

While she continues to look at Tova2 and stroke Stefan’s hair she thinks, “It’s up to you now, Tova2. Whether he is ready or you murder my only son, is in your hands.”

Tova2 hears within Paul25’s mind, “Please momma, dad must not die.”

A tear drops from Stefan’s eye. Tova2 realizes that he has read those around him too. Fear penetrates her heart like an icy shard.

@ Paul1 blurts to all listeners on the channel loudly, “Dad will be ready; I will make sure!”

Anashivalia begins to smile in relief as she sees a smile begin to sparkle across Stefan’s face. “That’s my boy,” she praises.

Everyone begins to smile as they see a radiant light of happiness fluoresce from Stefan’s darkness. Tova2 covers her mouth with her hand in silent terror as she watches, for only she realizes that the light slips through from the first tiny crack in Stefan’s mind.
Copyright 2011 by Rusty Biesele, All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back Cover Text of Book #2

I uploaded the following text as the back cover text of Book #2

Stefan, a seventh-grader, shouldn’t have to decide the fate of his mother’s unborn child, prevent his adolescent anger from burning innocent people to a crisp, and be a father-figure to his three-year-old sister. Evolutionarily advanced Stefan loves fantasy, magic, and art – all expressions of a science too advanced for contemporary humans. Three-hundred-thousand years ago an alien, by modifying human genetics, predestined Stefan, his mom, and friends to travel to Sophista, a utopia seventy-three light years away. They return to secretly rule present day Earth and to save other advanced humans from exploitation and torture. An immortal love between Stefan and the older Tova2 strengthens Stefan as he witnesses the atrocities of the universe. Will Tova2's love cause the magic deep within Stefan's heart to fashion a bright future for all? Or will Stefan crack, violating his path of destiny in The Saeshell Book of Time, and cause everyone to cease to exist.

In part 2, Tova2 and Stefan discover their immortal love yet the loneliness of being the first of a new species of super-beings. Stefan discovers that he has a 3 year old sister who is destined to become the Oracle of Sophista. What is her secret connection to Atreyeu? Stefan and Tova2 crown the new Queen of Sophista and discover the horror of her unbridled ambition. Tova2 and the Great Sophistan fear Stefan’s enormous power, combined with his boyish vulnerabilities, will kill everyone. Has the Saeshell Book of Time lied to Stefan? Is Sophista headed for destruction? Did Elof2 hack the Great Sophistan—and Tova2’s heart?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Book #2 Cover Design

I don't know how much people will be interested in reading this but I thought I would post the actual document that I use to communicate the initial starting point of the book cover design. This cover design spec is not as detailed as I might normally make one because it leans on book #1's cover design. Books one through four are part of a serial story and are tightly linked. The story continues uninterrupted from book to book. So the covers reflect that uniformity. This serial is a bit unusual in that all four books cover roughly an eight week period on the storyline (plus some history of the childhood of some of the older characters). Anyway, here is the cover design:

Cover Spec for Book#2:

Overview of Cover Design

This cover design is for book #2 of a four part serial novel. Because it is a serial and not a series, the story line continues uninterrupted across all four books. Therefore, all four books have a similar look, with some parts of the cover being exactly the same. The titling for the books will be in bright cyan. In the upper left-hand corner of the cover will be the same exact crystalline pyramid with aurora-like glow from within and a pulsing beam from the top apex shooting across the page. Whatever the final design for this element is in book #1, the exact same image needs to be used in book#2. In the top right corner of the cover needs to be a large number 2 indicating that this book is number two of the series. It should be the same style and size as the numeral one used on book #1.  Either along the top edge or the spine edge needs to be "Children of Sophista Book Series". It needs to be in the same location and in the same style as book #1. Near the top of the cover in exactly the same style as book#1 should be the main title: "The Saeshell Book of Time". Below the main title should be the subtitle unique to the book: "Part 2: The Rebirth of Innocents". The title should be in the same style as book #1's subtitle. This should complete the fixed elements of the cover.

The Cover Scene for Book#2

The same Stefan and Tova2 characters created for book #1 will be carried over to book #2. Both Stefan and Tova2 will be near the center of the cover, next to each other, facing toward the reader. They will be the most foreground of all cover elements. Stefan is still a seventh-grader with the same sixties retro hairstyle as in book#1. His hair is a very light brown with two fluorescing thin bright red streaks coming from the crown of his head and running to his forehead: one going to the left front side and the other one going to the right front side. Parallel to the red streaks are two thin fluorescing blue streaks, one on each side. A streak of his light brown hair appears between the blue streak and the red streak. The light brown hair does not fluoresce.  The color of the iris in Stefan's eyes is bright golden and they are glowing. He is holding out his two hands slightly, palms up, and is looking down at them. A purple jewel is floating above his left hand and a purple mist is streaming from it to Stefan's right hand. Floating above Stefan's right hand is a statue of a lizard like man, made of the purple jewel material. The purple mist streaming from the jewel in Stefan's left hand is materializing into the purple lizard man statue floating above Stefan's right hand. You will need to draw the jewel and the lizard man so that it is clear that the jewel is dissolving and the lizard man is materializing.

Tova2 is still nineteen-years-old in this picture, just as she was on the cover of book #1. Just as it was for book #1, her hair is platinum blond with a long ponytail extending down in the back. Since she is facing forward, you cannot see it probably, but her hair style is the way it needs to be having been pulled into a ponytail in back. She has the same two fluorescing red and blue hair streaks as Stefan. The irises of her eyes are blue and are emitting a blue glow. Tova2 has her hands out in front of her, palms up, just as Stefan does. Floating above her left hand is the same purple jewel as Stefan's. Floating above her right hand is a real purple flower with large petals made of real living flesh. A purple stream is streaming out of the dissolving jewel above her left hand and hitting the flower above her right hand. The flower is in the process of materializing from the purple stream.

Both Stefan and Tova2 are wearing the same shimmery white satin pajamas: a collarless shirt which is not button up and featureless pants. On both of them, their left sleeve has two color bands around it: one band is blue and the other is bright red. Be sure the blue band is truly blue as a cyan band means something different in their culture. Remember, the top of Stefan's head is even with Tova2's neck.

The next cover element is a group of small nine-year-old kids called the Pauls. All Pauls look almost identical. The Pauls have platinum blond hair. The iris of their eyes is blue and it has small green triangles embedded in it. Paul1 and Paul25 have blue eye shadow on their eyelids. Paul7 has black eye shadow on his eyelids. All Pauls wear the shimmery white satin pajamas. Each Paul has their number printed in blue on the front of the left shoulder of their pajamas. Paul25 is floating up in the air above Tova2 looking down at what she is doing with a big smile. Paul1 is floating up in the air above Stefan looking down at what he is doing with an intense, thoughtful expression and displaying a muted smile. To the right of Stefan and Tova2 and slightly further back, Elof2 and Paul7 are standing side by side. Paul7 has his two index fingers pointed at each other, about a foot apart. A bolt of lightning is jumping between his two index fingers. Elof2 has one of his hands on Paul7's shoulder and is watching what he is doing. Elof2 is dressed in shimmery black satin pajamas. This is the same twenty-year-old Tibetan-American character that is on the cover of book#1. Don't forget the red fluorescent hair streaks (two on the left side and two on the right side) running from the crown of his head to the front.

Sitting on the ground at the foot of Stefan and Tova2 is Stefan's three-year-old little sister, Aleah. She has platinum blond hair which reflects light in such a way that it looks like little lights of different colors of the rainbow are in her hair. She is wearing the same pajamas as everyone else except that hers are shimmery purple. She is holding with both her hands a large purple jewel and she is examining it. Her eyes are bright golden.

All people in the picture are barefoot. The setting for this scene is a lush tropical garden.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Book #1's Cover Proof #6

This is still a partial render of the cover. I was disappointed with this proof as they saw fit to incorporate none of the features I had requested for the table. There are other things wrong with this picture that I will have to try and get fixed. I never imagined this process would involve me repeating over and over again what I want. It is very very tedious. Anyway, here is the proof.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Table

How do you describe a blue marble ring that glows from within to an artist. How do you convey the fact this ring is connected to a human like computer, that it connects people telepathically to the computer, yet it needs look a bit like it was chiseled out of stone. Well I tried making a bird's eye view using windows paint to demonstrate the texturing.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Book#1's Cover Proof #5

This is the start of the rendering process in the cover design for book #1. This is just a small piece of the overall cover picture. It looks like the artist is being methodical, trying to get each aspect of the cover correct in the rendering before doing an entire cover rendering. There quite a lot of changes that need to be made to this rendering but still, it is exciting to see the first rendering.