Fake Book Covers, Round Two!

After all the great input (and I appreciate it!) on Livejournal, here’s round two of the first fake cover!

fakebook1.1

I lightened the background and ran a light green gradient over it to make it contrast more starkly with the dark swatch, ran the author name to the edges to match the title, and increased the size of “THAT.” Ditched the words at the top, and made the little memoir bit not-a-script so it doesn’t contrast so starkly. Feedback welcome!

And now, for another small design amusement, here’s my attempt at a horror cover:

fakebook2

There is actually a chance I will someday publish a horror novel called “The Twisted Ones” since I have it about 30K written, but it’s a ways off. (Actually, I should probably put a THIRD pen name on these suckers so that people don’t trip over the images a few years hence and think I’ve written books I haven’t written…unngh. Too many of me! Still, maybe I’ll finally get a chance to be Ingrid Quaile…)

Fake Book Cover

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This book does not really exist, and is unlikely to do so, so let’s get that out of the way.

Having realized that I will probably be randomly self-publishing things for many years to come, I finally decided that I need to address one of the glaring holes in my artistic skillset–graphic design.

I’m not great at it. But I’m gonna be doing my own book covers as T. Kingfisher for quite awhile. So I spent awhile on Pinterest pinning covers I like or found interesting or eye-catching, and then it occurred to me that there is pretty much no artistic skill you learn simply by looking at examples of it, so I started fooling with fake book mock-ups. My buddy Daniel Solis, whenever anybody drops a particular complex or weird line into the conversation, will simply say “…a memoir,” and so that turned into fake memoir covers and so forth.

I dunno, it sort of works large but the contrast between the green and the brown isn’t strong enough at the small size, so if it was kindle-thumbnail-size, it’d just look too dark.

If anyone has any suggestions for really good entry-level design books, I’d love to hear ’em.

Naturalist Mystery

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A mystery for all my naturalist buddies out there…

I spent the weekend in the swamps of Lousiana, specifically a mixed cypress & palmetto bayou. (Early May, in case this post sticks around for awhile.) We were birding in the middle of the day, and at one point, we stopped because some Gray Gnatcatchers were bopping around in a tree with what may have been a Nashville Warbler.

All of a sudden, a sound started up off to one side. It was not a bird call that anyone recognized (and I was with two people who bird very well by ear.) It was not a gator grunt, nor a green frog banjo-twang, nor any of the tree frogs that I know, nor the buzz of a cicada. It sounded like someone driving with a squeaky fan belt.

“Fan belt bird,” said one of my birding companions.

And then the noise came very much closer and all of a sudden there were several of them calling, all around us, from high off the ground. The noise of multiple…whatevers…calling in this rising-and-falling sound had an incredibly loud, incredibly eerie effect. “It’s aliens,” I said. “Soon the probes will come.”

I have no idea what it actually was. My only guess is some kind of insect, but it could be some kind of frog. Does anybody have any thoughts?

Craw-Bob Lives!

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BEHOLD THE HORRID GLORY OF CRAW-BOB THE LAWN CRAYFISH HE LIVES HE HUNGERS HE IS ABOUT THREE AND A HALF INCHES LONG THEY SAID I WAS MAD WHEN I SPOKE OF LAWN CRAYFISH BUT WHO IS LAUGHING NOW!?

(ahem)

Hound went out in a rainstorm and poked something, which poked her back, and this sequence ended in me balancing a phone and a flashlight. I took a gazillion photos, of which two came out.

Look at him! Look at his glory! Look at the proof that he exists and I’m not hallucinating lobsters in the flowerbed! AAAAAAAHHH