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Archive for 'The Incubus Job'

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016
It isn’t avoidance if it’s important to do

Who am I kidding? Of course it is. But anyhow, I was supposed to be working on a story today, which I did a little, but I needed to put together an image to advertise The Incubus Job. It needed to be of a certain proportion and I wanted something to catch attention, as it will be in amongst many others.

I haven’t used Photoshop in forever, and when I did use it, I wasn’t particularly good at it (as in, almost lacking all skills). It is not an intuitive sort of program, either. It does, however, let me play at being an artist and also lets me manipulate images and text, so I decided to dig in. Here’s the image I ended up with:

giveaway ad

The first thing I did was create the background. I did that using an interesting brush that kind of randomly splotted, and then used a bunch of colors. Specifically, I used purple, red, yellow, and pink. You’ll notice that none of those colors appear in the background. I’ll explain. After dabbing all the colors in, though not entirely covering the background, I took the smudge tool and started smudging. I tried to go at a diagonal, from bottom left to upper right on a slant. I moved the colors both down and up so that the pattern distributed in a way that I liked. Once I was done, I moved on (it still wasn’t blue yet).

I then put in a layer with the cover and managed to figure out how to tilt it, and then I figured out how to make a bevel on it and a glow around it. I arranged those in a way that I liked (lots of options for doing both), and then moved on to the text. I tried out a bunch of fonts and didn’t like most of them. I finally opted for this one, which is a little like the cover font. I managed to make it have a gradient from white to yellow, but I really don’t know how. I was trying to do some different things. I also had to figure out the text, which I finally came up with, though now I wish there were fewer ‘expecteds’ in there.

I figured I was pretty happy, but then managed to look at another one that was much better. More polished looking. I decided that I would at least try to put a lighter color box around the text. It’s at this point that I clicked a button and turned the background blue. I don’t know what I did exactly. But I liked the blue, so I kept it. I managed to insert a layer with the box underneath the text. I colored the box a light blue, and overlayed on the background, it looks like the above.

I then saved and closed out and in doing so, managed to flatten the images instead of keeping a .png which would still have the layers. So I can’t modify this. I’d have to recreate it. What I wish I could do is go back in and make a border around the text box, I’d also like to round the edges of the whole thing.

I think I need to play more with photoshop in general, but also to try to create some advertising materials. Maybe even play a little with some digital art. That could be fun.

I use an older version of photoshop, and can’t afford to upgrade to the monthly fee. I hope I can figure this one out in more depth.



Wednesday, February 10th, 2016
The Incubus Job release is only a couple weeks away

I’m getting nervous, but the good news is that as of today, preorder links are up at Smashwords and Kobo. I’m hoping to have Nook and iBooks up within a few days. Go to the Incubus page for direct links.

I had a good writing day. My back and neck and head are finally starting to improve, thanks to the chiropractor. Though she’s having a hard time with my back because it’s so tight. Tomorrow I will have a massage in order to loosen it enough to adjust. Or so’s my hope.

Anyhow, the good writing day. It was fun. I like it when writing is fun. I was working on the fourth Diamond City Magic book (the third–Whisper of Shadows–will be out in April).

And here’s a little snippet for you from The Incubus Job to whet your appetite:

“Did you know something like that could fit inside such a little skin?” I asked Law, backing up some more. I shoved more energy into my shields and reached down to fiddle with the chain on the nearest goat. I was hoping that once freed, they’d be able to escape.

In the meantime, Hana—or So’la because, let’s face it, Hana was now just a skin suit on the carpet—swelled like one of those sponges that are the size of a postage stamp until you get them wet and they turn into a small car. Its skin was gun-barrel blue, and it appeared to be sheathed inside a thick layer of Vaseline. I was willing to bet that the goo would eat a person’s skin.