I got into the mood to work so here is a decent Photoshop job I did on a new cover for the book. The guitar was black, but I needed it to be red. Now to work on the font!
Sometimes distractions can lead us away from our goals. Often times I find myself getting tunnel vision when I am writing an idea and that’s not always the best thing. For the stories I am developing, I had a point A to point B plan and that was not the way it should have been. There is more to a great book than who, what, when, where, and why. An explanation can be developed from those, but not a great story. Sometimes stepping away and doing other things can help you reclaim your idea from a narrow vision and assist you in turning a good idea into an magnificent book.
In October, I purposely stepped away from my stories and kept myself from writing. Why? I felt like I was becoming bored with the process. I still had idea I knew were good, but I felt like something was lacking in my writing. I needed to find a way to develop more than just an A to B story. My first book Rumbling Heart was more than an A to B story and it shows in the quality of the development not only of the work, but also the characters and the atmosphere. Sometimes reading a book can help you reevaluate and refocus on what you are trying to do. In my case though, being able to now see things from a different angle is a double-edged sword.
I looked over my work and even over some reviews and bits of feed back I have gotten over my work. The good reviews are always nice, but it is the bad reviews that always stick with you. Why? Just human nature I suppose. Here is a snippet of a negative review RH got and my response to it.
Negative reviews happen. There is no way around it. Being a writer I accept that and I know there will always be people who either do not understand my work or, for whatever reason, want to find reasons to make it seem as if I did a huge disservice to the human race. I did find it interesting that this person thought her review was constructive. You can see my response to her review in the photo as well. Her response was once again nonconstructive. I liken this review to calling someone names because that is essentially what they did. If you feel the need to call me (or my work) “stupid” without offering any reason as to why you felt that way or any way to improve it, the review is completely pointless. Offering no way to improve on something is about as bad as crying because you didn’t get your way. If I were a coach and I told a child they were terrible at football or whatever other sport I was coaching them in, I wouldn’t remain a coach very long. Obviously you cannot really liken coaching to reviewing a book or a movie or whatever else you can give feedback on. Reviewers aren’t coaches. I realize that. But at the same time people who do offer feedback need to understand that the main reason you give feedback, be it positive, negative, or mixed, is so people who develop their ideas can improve and make things better the next time around. What is the point of simply calling people or their work names? Sounds to me like certain individuals either lack the ability to express themselves or they feel the need to tear someone down.
Success also breeds negativity.
I will not say I am very successful. I haven’t sold a ton of books and I haven’t made all kinds of money at this. It was never really about money anyway. I have over the last year and a half gotten hurtful messages and emails from people who see that I was somehow able to hash it out and write a book. Not many people can say they’ve done that. Sure, some people can write a small story, but my first book was 475+ pages. A little long, but anyone has to admit that writing a book of that size takes time and commitment. My followup to my first book is much shorter, but still comes in at about 300 pages. No small feat. Another big story for me which is about 70% complete will probably come in at about 275 pages. Again, not many people in the world can say they can sit down and accomplish such a thing. I am not saying I should automatically get a great review for the effort, but I would hope that people like me…artists…deserve at the very least a review explaining exactly why our work is either good, bad, or mixed.
A good review does not always have to be positive. If you gave me 1 or 2 stars, but explained why this or that was unappealing to you, I could respect that. Not offering any explanation whatsoever makes me think the person is either just looking to be mean or trolling. In a way, they are kind of the same thing.
If you are a reviewer like I am from time to time, do the artist a favor and explain why you think one way or another. In the end, we will thank you for it and so will other readers.
I’ve purposely slowed progress on In Search of the Dream Catcher. The more I write the more I realize just how important this story is. At first this was supposed to be a relatively simply story of two people from very different walks of life meeting and learning more about each other. Now it has morphed into a story of true survival. The series of events one of the characters has to enduring must be written in a way that is definitely stranger and more intense than fiction. I want this story to really dig into people. I want the story to get people to reflect on just how good their lives are when you look back at yourself from a different angle.
Emma, one of my main characters is not well. She never hides this fact from Casey, my other main character. Still, given fair warning, Casey is unable to predict just how insane Emma’s life is. Casey is from a very positive, somewhat easy walk of life. His parents are still married, he has two older sisters that always looked out for him. He was able to go to college on his own terms. Now he has a pretty good job and makes good money living in his hometown. Emma is the polar opposite. To reveal much about her would sort of spoil the reading of the story so you will just have to imagine what the differences between them are.
As with many of my other stories, there is some romance, but in the writing of this story, it has taken a backseat to the larger social issue. It will still be there, but other ideas have taken precedent. I didn’t want to over romanticize the story too much as I want it to maintain that real life feel that most of my stories hold onto.
I have three possible endings in mind. I was never really one for the super happy ending. I just don’t find it believable. I don’t believe you can get from torn and broken to ultra happy in the span of one book. Or, as the story goes, just a few weeks. I also don’t want the book to be a massive downer. I want it to appeal to the masses…but I refuse to sellout and make a puff piece that people will read and feel and warm and fuzzy. I know where the climax will be, but I’m unsure just how far I want to push this. I do know that the ending, or climax I should say, will leave people with a big “HOLY CRAP!”
My editor is giving me her 2 cents and it’s well appreciated. I think when it’s all said and done I will be especially proud of this work. It’s real, it’s gritty, and it refuses to sellout.
The cat picture? That’s just there to make you go “Oh! Look! Cats!”
Sometimes I make covers for stories just so I can have a reason to see them through. I’ve paused working on this story, but with the picture in my head now I have reasons to finish it. I’ve shared the photo before, but here is a blog post explaining how I made it and why I used certain elements.
A lot of us write in blogs or diaries or have similar ways of expressing ourselves. I have several ways. This is just one of them. Making covers can be a distraction for me which I sometimes need. When I’m in a terrible mood or look to give myself some work, I make covers. Often times they turn out terrible, but sometimes they look nice enough to share and even to use. I used the pages of several old writings I did when I was in high school. I purposely took the photo in low light to give it an aged effect. I then ran it through photoshop to give the writing an embossed look. I wanted the writing to appear very thick. I wanted it to jump out and grab the attention of the viewer while still looking somewhat unreadable. I wanted the lines on the paper to still appear so it gave it look of normality; like this was something anyone could do at anytime if they wanted. What’s written on the pages? Well, some of the words you can still clearly see while other parts seem like nothing more than jumbled lines. There are also no names or titles which gives a feeling of anonymity.
When I am done working on another project, I will surely get back to this one. I don’t plan on it being extremely long…maybe 275 pages or so. Compared to some of my other works, that’s fairly short.
Here it is. Simple, nothing splashy. Just the way I like it. Can you find the butterfly? You will probably miss it the first time.
Here we are again. Some changes have filtered through so let’s see what we’ve got.
rumbling heart novel
ruby jones website
It seems Ruby still has a stalker. The best thing he can do is buy her book and read it. It’s not half bad either. So to Ruby’s stalker, go buy her book. If you’ve already done that, get your friends to buy it.
Sitting here and waiting for my book to arrive is gonna eat me alive. To know it will be available in print is beyond exciting. I ordered my proofs and that’s why I can’t sit still. Could also be Parkinson’s, but i doubt that. Technically, my meds cause Parkinson’s symptoms, but let’s not go downhill. Apparently, the books have already shipped and should be here in a few days. I ordered three copies so I can give a couple away. I want to keep one for myself so I can always have something from my writing days.
Rumbling Heart is now live on three major book outlets. Go pick it up if you like! I am sure you all will enjoy it!
Starts today! After I settle a few personal matters that will take me out today, I will be formatting which shouldn’t take long at all. Just have to add a few credits and we’re ready for publication.
Not much longer till the release of Rumbling Heart. I am getting nervous. I am trying to keep myself from going through it for the 36th time. I keep telling myself the book is ready and there isn’t anything that needs to be done with it. I can only fight this urge so long till I know I open it up and read through it one more time.