Introducing Someone’s Suffering Child – Now Available!

Introducing Someone’s Suffering Child – Now Available!

Last year when I both started streaming and finished my Eternity’s Empire project, I needed to decide what to do with the available time. I thought it might be interesting to stream the creation of a project from start to finish in order to chronicle the process.

It turned out I couldn’t stream the entire book creation process. My schedule simply didn’t accommodate the demands of the new project. But I did manage to write the entire first book on stream and edit a significant chunk before I had to move some of the production process off camera.

Everyone’s Child is a high fantasy story which takes place in a secondary world (completely made up). I originally started writing it back in college. But since I had no plan, the work fizzled out after a mere 11,000 words. Reviving it has proved interesting, to say the least. The story has taken a much different shape from what I initially expected, but I’m pretty pleased by the results.

In many ways, this project feels as though it has progressed at a break-neck pace. I wrote the first book in only 5 weeks. It took 7 to edit, in part because Christmas interrupted. Then it went into the hands of my lovely betas and, after returning, received its final edit in record time.

Now the first book is complete and ready for you to read. Which is both incredibly exciting but also hard to believe. As I’ve spent the last few weeks going through the process of prepping the first book for publication, it has reminded me how many parts of the process you only go through with the first book in the series. And I thought it might be interesting to share my thoughts on the process I used for this book.

Creating a Cover Template

Every book needs a cover. If you write stand alone books, then the cover creation process is probably different every time. But if you write series, like me, the first book tends to get a lot more attention than subsequent installments because it will form a template on which all of the other series’ covers will be based.

Obviously, book series don’t get identical covers. But in general, you want to use the same elements on each cover in order to make them feel like a cohesive whole. For Eternity’s Empire, I centered the design around the magical rune circle. I knew from the start I wanted each cover to have a different color circle and a different object in its center. A friend of mine helped create the template, which made it particularly easy to swap out various elements for each cover. I mostly just had to fiddle with the colors and blending until they all looked the way I wanted them to.

For Everyone’s Child, I needed to create my own template. Which first required me to come up with a concept I wanted to carry across all of the series covers. This was particularly difficult because I planned to make the Everyone’s Child covers myself. And while I’ve learned a lot about cover creation from the Eternity’s Empire series, I still don’t think I’m talented enough to blend images that involve people.

So from pretty early on, I wanted the Everyone’s Child covers to focus on locations. My initial plan was to have each cover feature an object through which a secondary location could be viewed. But I learned quickly that my plan wasn’t going to work – at least not with my skill level.

Series Branding

After a lot of playing around and acquiring some new photoshop skills, I’m pretty happy with how the new template turned out. And I’m excited to start swapping elements for the next few books. But it was a lot more work than I remembered. Because not only did I have to choose pictures and concepts for the new cover, I also had to choose the fonts that would represent the series.

This might sound as simple as scrolling through the fonts I already have and choosing one that looks nice. But fonts are a key piece of expressing a book’s genre. So I spent a lot of time scrolling through suggested fantasy cover fonts, choosing a pleasing combination. It didn’t help that my first choice wasn’t as pretty as I initially thought, so I had to do an emergency swap.

These fonts will also appear in the interior of the paperback, so I didn’t take the decision lightly.

Another important part of series branding is making sure the books have a matching naming scheme. I have learned to plan a few books ahead because otherwise it’s hard to be sure I have a recognizable scheme. Eternity’s Empire was simply ‘the something of something’ (The Light of Eternity, The Bond Between Sisters, ect.) For Everyone’s Child, I wanted to focus on indefinite pronouns and family relationships. Which sounds pretty vague but resulted in titles like “Someone’s Suffering Child” and “No One’s Beloved Sister.”

Last but not least is planning the paperback’s interior. I try to use a different style for each series. This means deciding between picture headers, like I used in Dream Things True or a fancy header bands like I used for the Mystical Island trilogy. All of these elements together will form my series’ identity.

Interior Matter

The last thing to consider before releasing a book into the wild is what matter you will include within the front and back covers. Many authors like to include a list of their other publications somewhere. If you have a newsletter, like I do, it’s also a good idea to have a link inside the cover of the ebook for people to easily find.

Lots of people suggest not including a ton of information after the end of your book. I try to keep mine to just a brief author’s note thanking the people who helped make the series possible. But sometimes it makes sense to include supplements at the beginning of the book. For the Dream Things True series, I included quotes that inspired the book titles. (“Dreamers Do Lie” came from a speech delivered by Mercutio in Romeo and Juliette.) Several of my series also have maps to provide a context for the locations mentioned in the narrative.

I spent a lot of time considering adding a map to Someone’s Suffering Child. I even started the process of creating one. But after a lot of deep thought, I decided against including a map in the first few installments. It might seem backwards, but I want the world of Everyone’s Child to feel wild and not entirely discovered. It adds an extra layer to the narrative, especially considering the characters acknowledge that their world has not been fully explored. Saving a map until the world has been better defined seemed to make more sense than showing a small piece of a map that wouldn’t make sense out of context.

There are other options for supplements, of course. Some authors include pronunciation keys, character guides and genealogy tables – all of which can be extremely helpful for long fantasy series.

Someone’s Suffering Child is Available Now!

Thousands of years ago, Everyone’s Mother – the ancient goddess of creation – vanished.
But not before she spoke a prophecy.

With her final words, the goddess promised her daughter would one day complete a holy journey that would change the face of the world forever. Unfortunately, she failed to mention how the world will change – and whether it will be for better or worse.

Elayith, daughter of the goddess come at last to the mortal world, has never wanted to fulfill her mother’s prophecy. But as the power of the old church fades, its leaders force her ever closer to the undesired path. Only by fulfilling her stated purpose can she escape her mother’s shadow and gain control over her fate.

Two factions watch from the shadows as she departs, each hoping to interfere in their own way.

First is the powerful council of mages, who control all mage craft in the modern world. They fear a return to the old ways of divine magic and wish to maintain their dominance.

Second is the Watchers, a group of rogue mages who hope to lead the world to a destiny of their choosing – a divine quest they believe grants them the right to interfere with any and all individuals.

Can Elayith overcome the challenges of her mother’s prophecy? And what will happen if she does?

Grab your copy here!

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