Archives for the month of: June, 2013
Tyrion, Cersei, Jaime Lannister

Tyrion, Cersei, Jaime Lannister

I’ve always been a geek, but I think Game of Thrones was the first role-playing strategy board game I’ve ever played — and I’d only played it once, last year. Yeah, terrible, I know. My friends had been bugging me to get into board games for the longest time, but the idea of sitting around throwing dice and moving tiny plastic pieces on a board for 6 hours did not appeal to me.

 

Game of Thrones board gameHowever, apparently if I’m really into a TV show, I can be made to try anything related to it. So I gave it a shot. It took six hours to finish the one game. My friend who was game master said it usually takes even longer with experienced players. Ow. Anyway, I played House Stark. It’s not something I would recommend to anyone — your territory is so far away from the other kingdoms, and your supply line is the crappiest. But I chose it anyway because of loyalty to Sean B– Ned Stark and his family. Three seasons into the HBO series, and I’m still rooting for House Stark. Even if they’re clearly not the smartest bunch in the Seven Kingdoms. [READ MORE]

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Anyone who’s ever liked a book wants to be a writer. It’s natural — you’re moved by words on a page, you think, “Hey, I wonder if I can do that?” You start a journal. You attempt to write your own version of Sweet Valley High/Nancy Drew. You make up characters in your head.

Once you’ve written a couple of stories, you begin to think, “Maybe I can be a published author one day.” You start picturing your name on the covers of books on the shelves of National Bookstore, right next to, say, Nick Joaquin or Stephen King. You imagine couples naming their babies after characters you’ve created. You daydream of getting mobbed by journalists at the premiere of the movie based on your bestselling trilogy (right after they finish interviewing the star, maybe Angelina Jolie or Judy Ann Santos). You practice your speech for your first Hugo award (“Thank you, World Science Fiction Society. This means more to me than even my Academy Award for best original screenplay.”)

You find yourself a lot of the time, after reading a book, thinking, I can totally write better than this.

And then that’s it.

For most people, that’s where it stops.

How do you think authors — published, famous authors — got to where they are today? They wrote novels. They wrote stories. Most of them wrote pretty awful stories, but they wrote more stories and they got better. Then they submitted these stories and novels to magazines and publishing houses. They got rejections. They rewrote their stories and novels, maybe attended some writing workshops. Then they submitted some more stories, and got more rejections. (J.K. Rowling reportedly received 12 rejections for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.) They persevered. They got published. They achieved what most of us dream of having — a writing career. Some of them are famous, some of them are rich. Some of them are enjoying fulfilling writing careers doing what they love and making money.

Now between casting actors for the film adaptation of your as yet unwritten masterpiece of a novel and getting annoyed that some author who can’t seem to be able to put together a coherent paragraph has now sold millions of copies of her books, have you ever asked yourself: “Am I doing what it takes to become a published author?”

No, you say. But no one in the Philippines makes a good enough living just being a writer. Most of them have day jobs and businesses.

You will be right. Maybe no one does. Not yet.

You know what the secret is? Getting a bigger audience for your books. If the Philippine market isn’t big enough to sustain a lucrative career, why not the world? How about writing books and selling them to people in the United States? France? Japan?

[Read the rest here.]

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Author (also friend and business partner) Mina V. Esguerra just released the third book in her Interim Goddess of Love series. It’s titled Icon of the Indecisive and it’s now out on Amazon.com as an eBook (the print version will be available soon). Hope y’all like the cover I made for it. Just like in the covers of the two previous books, this one features photography by style blogger Rhea Bue (who’s also the girl in the photos).

If you’re interested in knowing a bit about how those covers came to be, and my, uh, design process, there’s an interview of me on Mina’s blog.

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How do you come up with your cover concepts? 
After I read the book, I try to figure out the theme of the story. Then I’ll remember scenes that are significant and try to picture each of them as a book cover. I also think of the protagonist and think of a photo of her that best illustrates her state of mind of her emotional state during some point in the story. I try to work from all of these.

How long did it take you to come up with the covers? 
It took me either weeks or hours, depending on how you look at it. I start conceptualizing after reading the book, then when the photos come in, I visualize what I can do with them. The work on Photoshop takes an hour or two. I play around with fonts, photos, layout. I look at each design draft and ask myself questions like “Is this an honest portrayal of the story?” “Will this cover appeal to someone who will enjoy the book?” “Will this look good both on a paperback and as a thumbnail when it shows up on an amazon search?” Stuff like that.

Read the rest!

[Buy the ebook]

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