Photoshop Ate My SOUL!

Obsessive-compulsive.

I recognize this.

Addicted.

I recognize this, too.

Still, I haven’t managed to step away from Photoshop.

If I was getting ready to go to college right now, I think I would either double-major in Graphic Arts and History, or major in Graphic Arts and minor in history. I wish I had known a decade ago that I love to design things on a computer.

As I have said before: college is wasted on the young. I don’t think anyone should step foot into a college before the age of 25. You have to work for a living for at least a few years to truly appreciate college and to know what you really want to do with your life.

Anyways, time to subject you to more book covers. (Only two this time.)

Decisions-Cover-alternate-1Most of my readers preferred the road-with-lights cover. I’m still kind of “meh” about it, mostly because I liked it better without the red tint. While I was thinking I might do a different tint for each book–just to sort of tie them together stylistically–it’s not a requirement. Besides, the road picture is dark all on its own.

Here it is in its original color:

Decisions-Cover-alternate-1

Ignore the shadow on the title; it drifted when I scaled the picture down for the web. It won’t look funky in the full-size version.

If you’ve been keeping up with the saga, I decided a few months ago to break my second book into two books. This created a larger-than-usual edit of the first draft because I needed to add several more chapters to make it longer.

Last night, I finished what I think is the best work I’ve done so far for this series–and, oddly enough, it’s about Micah. (He really develops into a serious character in the second book.)

Today, I finished–more or less–my heavy revision work, and I’m now reading through the book from the beginning and smoothing out my transitions between chapters and adding anything that I’ve left out, cutting duplicate information, etc. If you want to think in terms of road construction, I’ve finished laying the gravel for the roadbed, and now I’m laying my first coat of asphalt.

To make a long story short, while I was doing my read-through this evening, I was struck by a description of Anselm:

“One thing you need to know is Anselm will not be rushed when it comes to making decisions he feels are important. He has to consider a problem from every possible angle—play the entire chess match in his head—before he will make his first move. But once he commits, he will stand by his decision and will see it through to the end.”

I read that and thought, “What about a chess board for a front cover?”

So here’s yet another cover option:

Decisions-Cover-alternate-v

I’m thinking this might be my favorite so far. (Yes, note the qualifier.)

Decisions, Decisions

I’ve have a few ideas (okay, a bunch of ideas) for the cover of my second book.

It might help, of course, if I was sure what to name my second book. The original name was “Devotion,” but now that I’ve decided to split it into two books, I’ve decided that name fits better with Part B. Part A, however, deals a lot with making decisions/choices. My covers reflect the title “Decisions,” but I wonder if that is too close to the following title, “Devotion.” Would it be better as “Choices?”

It’s strange, but I had a pretty easy time coming up with the title for both The Flames of Prague and its planned sequel, The Children of Israel. Naming the books in this series has been hard, though.

The Street Light Theme

I was driving home the other day and suddenly had a brilliant idea for the cover of my second book. Because something rather monumental happens in a dark, nearly-deserted parking lot, I thought a picture of a lone light in a parking lot would make for an ominous-looking cover.

Decisions-Cover-v5

This isn’t a exactly street light in a parking lot, but I liked the angle of the light and the brick.

Decisions-Cover

The Road Theme

While I was looking at parking lots, I came across a couple of road pictures that I thought went well with the title. Nothing says decision making like driving.
Decisions-Cover-alternate-4
(Yes, I know I haven’t updated the title on the spine. I didn’t want to put too much effort into the cover, in case I didn’t choose it. This is just for considering the background picture. Further tweaking and alignment is still forthcoming. )
Decisions-Cover-alternate-1

The Water Theme

I was almost ready to post the previous covers when I thought about the teaser line I want to put on the back of the book: Every decision we make is like a rock tossed into a pool of water; it ripples out into the world and we can never be sure of the consequences.

So I looked up some pictures of water and came away with some fabulous covers that I think I like even better than the previous ones.

Decisions-Cover-v6

Clear, simple, and rather bloody-looking.

Decisions-Cover-v7

More turbulent, but I like the darker color.

Decisions-Cover-v8

The only water picture with a real reflection in it. That makes it a little busy behind the text on the back page, but I think it has more character.

So, have a preference for a picture, or at least a theme? Is there a particular one that makes you more curious about what’s in store for Kalyn, Anselm, Micah, and the others?