Before and After: Teaser Graphic for Ryan

Hey everyone! Since you all seem to be enjoying my before and afters so much, I thought I’d share another one. Before I start, though, I just want to remind you to check out Monday’s post if you’re looking for a CP for your Insecure Writer’s Support Group short story.


I’ve seen people making double exposure images using Photoshop, and thought the result could work really well for a short story I’d written, called Ryan. 

Ryan is an immortal with a dark past, and he remembers the turning point in his life which set him on the course to become a doctor in modern-day New York City.

I really wanted to show that contradiction of old versus modern, while also wanting to give a sense of how much Ryan doesn’t really like himself.

So to do this, I went looking on Pixabay for an image with a man’s profile. Usually, double exposure images are done with nude faces and torso, but I liked the hoodie and I thought I could make it work. I’m actually glad with it, because the hoodie details I kept helped to ground the image and give it a bit more of a gritty texture.

Next, I went digging through Wikimedia Commons for an image of the London Blitz (mainly because the turning point happened during one such attack). It’s really tricky to use London, though, so I settled for this image from Sheffield. The images from London that I could find all had some sort of focus on St Paul’s. And although these images no longer have copyright on them, St Paul’s itself doesn’t allow the use of its image for commercial purposes without them getting some sort of fee. (Seriously, you don’t understand how aggro certain landmarks are when it comes to commercial use of images.) Even assuming that I could pay said amount, it sounds like a huge amount of red tape to get through just for an image teaser. So some building in Sheffield it was.

I went through the process of doing the double exposure, but found that keeping a plain sort of background as is fashionable didn’t really hit home the contradiction aspect for me, so I went in search of a New York City skyline and found this one on Pixabay (again).

The Result?


If you think Ryan sounds interesting and you’d like to give it a read, it’s currently part of the Ghosts of Fire Anthology, and I’ll also soon be pasting it week-by-week for my Patreon patrons. 
What do you think about this image? Want to see even more of my graphic design exploits as I find my way around Photoshop? 

Before and After: The Vanished Knight Cover

Hey everyone! Since a lot of you guys were really interested in seeing more of these before and after posts, I thought I’d do a few more of them.

Today, I thought I’d share what went into one of my covers.


At the time (and depressingly, much like now), I didn’t have a ton of money to spend on publishing, so I decided to see if I could publish a without spending money. The answer was that I could publish two ebook without spending a dime. 
How? Well… Photoshop has a month-long free trial and Flickr makes it possible for me to find images with a creative commons license. 
The image I picked was Albion_Sovereign_Medieval_Sword_11 by Søren Niedziella. The license has a CC BY 2.0 license attached, which means that it’s free to adapt and to put to commercial use, as long as I give proper credit and don’t imply that the licensor endorses my work in any way. (New kids in the image copyright game: This paragraph can be very important if you want to make a cover from a free image.) 


This was literally the first time I tried to make a cover, so I kept the image manipulation to things I knew: changing exposure, the composure of an image and cropping. 
By composure, I mean, placing the image so that the viewer’s eye gets drawn in. First was the placement of the sword itself and next came the titles. 
I also had the added issue of the maker’s mark on the blade. Little things like that can really make a viewer’s eye go to the wrong place. Luckily, though, the best placement of the blade was in a way that happened to put the mark out of the frame. 
The result? 
Pretty good, don’t you think? Oh, but that’s nothing compared to the new cover I’m about to put on the books. 
Yep. I already have the e-book covers done. Only need to do the paper-back covers before I update both The Vanished Knight and The Heir’s Choice. 

Who knows, maybe one day, the books with the old covers on them will be collectors’ items. 😉 
If you’d like to check out The Vanished Knight, you can find it at the following e-tailers: 
The paperback is also available at places like Walmart’s e-store, Book Depository etc. 
And there you have it? Let me know your thoughts. Also, would you guys like a crash-course on image copyrights as learnt by me? Looking forward to more before and after posts? 

Before and After: Chaos. Hope. Love. teaser graphic.

Some of you might not be aware of this, but I do the graphic design stuff for my own books. And actually, I really enjoy it.

One of my favorite parts of this is to take a picture, play with it, and make something from it that’s completely and utterly me. My style. My aesthetic. 
So… Because I enjoy it and to encourage myself to do more of this sort of thing, I thought I’d share some before and afters of the pictures I used to make some image or another. Just so you know, the quality of the pictures and the graphics won’t be the same as what I used/the original result, because I’ve actually paid for some of the images and wouldn’t want people to infringe on copyright on my behalf. 
Today, though, I have a free image (I.E. one with a CC0 license) from Pixabay


Fashion, Beauty, Model, Portrait, Girl
I was looking for a picture that suits the story of Eris (Greek goddess of chaos) in modern times (and who kinda sorta fit the mental picture I had of her in my head.) 
Part of the story Chaos. Hope. Love. is the fact that part of Eris’s talents as a goddess (and the reason why she could be everywhere and nowhere at once) is the fact that she can dissolve herself into thin air, so I wanted my picture to represent that. 
A bit of adaption, a few words and…


Tada! For those of you who missed the previous million times I mentioned it, you can find the first part of Chaos. Hope. Love. here. 😉 
Let me know what you think! Like the teaser graphic? Find the before and after idea interesting? Should I do more of these kinds of posts? 

Also! Just a heads-up to my friends on WordPress. I keep hearing that people using WordPress are struggling to visit Blogger blogs for one reason or another (or about a thousand of them.) 

SO. I’m experimenting with cross-posting to a WordPress blog. Exact same content, just on a different platform. So if you’d rather go there, all you have to do is click this link.