Cover reveal, story hints, and a Benedict Cumberbatch sketch

Melissa must be a better detective than me, because she has some clues as to the other writers’ stories. I can’t wait to read them all myself! (the sinister time device is me, though, he he). So here is a link to a fellow Improbable Truth anthology writer’s post…

COVER REVEAL! An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I’m going to copy her blurb too, cause I liked the sound of it:

In An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, 14 authors of horror and mystery have come together to create a unique anthology that sets Holmes on some of his most terrifying adventures.  A pair of sisters willing to sacrifice young girls to an ancient demon for a taste of success, a sinister device that can manipulate time itself, and a madman that can raise corpses from the dead are just a few among the grisly tales that can be found within these pages.

Curl up with a warm cuppa and leave all the lights on.

This is not your grandfather’s Sherlock Holmes.

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For the record, this featured image is a rare case of the artwork not being mine. This was done by the talented Anne Rosario instead.

For fun, though, I’m playing around with doing a Benedict Cumberbatch painting for the site. I don’t think that would get me in any copyright trouble, as long as I’m not selling anything attached. And I think it would be funny. We’ll see if I have enough time to finish it. 😉 Maybe just a teaser pencil sketch???

He he… Ok, I shaded it in a bit, so that it’s a bit more than a teaser. Enjoy.

Benedict Cumberbatch

I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it, but… “Time’s Running Out, Watson” as cast by the BBC. 😉

 

Time’s Running Out, Watson (Good News!)

A month or so ago (here), I mentioned taking some time out to write a quick short story. For a little more context, I was reading a Magical Words post (here) that referenced a submissions call for “An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes”, an anthology from Mocha Memoirs Press, edited by A.C. Thompson, an author and Sherlock Holmes fan herself. The collection was intended to have a fantasy/horror flavor and be a twist on the original detective novels, spurred by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s estate’s decision to release copyright on the characters for public use.

I have been recently watching Sherlock Holmes (the BBC production) on Netflix, which is great, and I very much enjoyed all of Mr. Doyle’s original books, as well as obviously loving fantasy, so the idea struck me with a bit of adrenalin, even though I probably should have been editing my novel instead. :) So I had some fun diversion time writing a story in that vein, then workshopping it on OWW.

And last week… it got accepted! 😀 Whoop, whoop.

I am very jazzed. This is my first fantasy-related acceptance, and I’m thrilled. It will give me something to put in my cover letters for fantasy writing as well, which never hurts!

Hopefully people enjoy both the story and the book! I’m looking forward to seeing both. I believe that the publisher is hoping for an October release, but we’ll see.

Here’s hoping you get your own great news soon!

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In an ironic twist, I actually had a Sherlock Holmes themed pencil sketch (even if it doesn’t look like the iconic figure), because it was an exercise for a SCBWI conference in Ottawa that I attended a while back. The exercise was to try and create a YA-vibe cover for a Sherlock Holmes story. I never finished it up, but you can enjoy the line work here, done in about half an hour during the conference workshop. On a side note, I learned a very important lesson about YA covers at the same time. Plan for the text BEFORE you do the piece. Luckily, in this case, no text required. :)

I am polishing up the first three chapters of my fantasy WIP, now called StoneDragon (previously the Broken Cowboy and a few other things) and will probably put them up on OWW for feedback. Lots of writing and polishing for that novel still required, but it will be nice to have the first few chapters done and edited, as those are the most stressful ones. If a reader gets past chapter three, you’re rocking and rolling. :)

Cover Sketch for Dead Dragon Cowboy

I am starting to revamp my older novel, buy which I am now calling “Dead Dragon Cowboy”, there my first fantasy manuscript, with the current intention to self-publish it (as I’ve mentioned before, it did the agent rounds, and didn’t attract much interest). One major step for that endeavor is the cover, a step that I can obviously do myself, given my art skills, and should enjoy. So I did a charcoal sketch of one image that I had in mind for the cover, which is the featured image of this post. I’ve also showed a progression shot here, from an even earlier sketch:

SONY DSC

I kind of like the charcoal look, even for the actual cover, but I know that many of the fantasy books are done in water-colour or ink, so I may do a second, more polished version in water-colour, see what it looks like. I want my book to come across as professional as a traditional publisher’s, and there is a line between originality and confusing reader expectations. So we’ll see what that version looks like, and if this rougher sketch still has some appeal.

To give an idea of what the actual novel is about, I’ve redone a short blurb, below:

In a world nothing like his own, a dark-spirited gunfighter must battle devils and gods to reclaim the girl who looked to him for protection. He won’t fail twice. Even if he triggers a battle that threatens to rip the world apart…

I hope that you enjoy the journey and at least some of you enjoy the book! At the moment, I’m thinking I might be done all the required steps by the end of 2015, but we’ll see how things go….