16 November 2011

An Indie author's work is never done

When I was print published I had no say in the design of covers, or of anything else. By the time I, the mere author, was allowed into the loop, the decisions had been made and I was expected to smile nicely and rubber stamp them. As far as the publishing house was concerned, its decisions were set in stone.

Now as an Indie, I have the opportunity to alter or augment my book covers, change the blurbs, and add in reviews, and this is what I've been doing.

I've been taking lessons, ie looking over the shoulder, of a gent who has an eye for fonts, and Hostage of the Heart was our first project. I've left the original in the left column to highlight the difference.

I'd been invited over because I'd shown him my work-in-progress with Contribution to Mankind and other stories of the Dark; again the original is in the left column.

He took a sweep over this, too, providing an easier to read, and slightly edgier, font - see right.

I agree that it doesn't wreck the image the way my offering does, so I'm living with it while I make up my mind. What do you reckon?

My next job will be to upload a new holding page to my eon-old, original website. Not only is it still live, but for some reason I haven't fathomed it still ranks 2nd in a Google search of my name. If you happen to be jumping across from it, welcome!

13 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday

It's a bare field in November. Next year's crop is leafing; a hedge and line of thin trees show on the horizon. The field is situated off a narrow lane connecting two East Yorkshire villages, Atwick and Bewholme. Nothing extraordinary. Vehicles pass it every day. It hardly merits a glance.

Just after midnight on Sunday 20 February 1944, Halifax bomber HX351 NP-S lifted off from RAF Lissett, one of 255 Halifax bombers heading for a formation of 823 aircraft enroute to Leipzig. Less than ten minutes later it was in this field, all seven crew members dead, gaining the sad distinction of being the first of 78 aircraft lost on the raid, at the time the most costly of the Second World War.

What happened? I doubt even they knew.

I'm lucky. Both my parents, and my husband's parents, returned from WW2 to create new lives for themselves, and then for us. And so, today, we remember the very young men who could not do that for themselves, but helped to do it for others.

Peter Jennings
Pilot Officer 157100 - 28 years

Norman Caffery
Pilot Officer 169502

Gerald Fitzsimmons
Pilot Officer J/86434 (Canadian - Air Gunner) - 22 years

George Gillings
Sergeant 1393396 - 21 years

Harold Jones 
Flight Sergeant 1537023 (Welsh - Air Bomber) - 21 years

Samuel Morris
Flight Sergeant 1503563 (Welsh - Air Gunner)

Charles Seymour
Pilot Officer 160592 - 22 years

As the massed ranks of Veterens pay their respects at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, we, too, remember these brave young men who gave their all.

11 November 2011

The 11th of the 11th

Remembrance Day - the 11th of the 11th - isn't just to remember the dead of the two world wars, or even of the wars and 'police actions' since the beginning of the 20th century. It is also to remember the returned, from the Somme, Monte Casino, Malaya, right up to Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

A single day, a single date, is to remind us that young men and women are returning to their homes with horrific physical and mental injuries, that their families are having to cope, often alone. They need our help, both financially and spiritually.

No one who gives so willingly for their country should believe they've been forgotten.

We will, we must, remember them.

7 November 2011

That was the month that was

Ever felt your life was disappearing down the tubes? Yes, yes, I know that it happens to us all at some point, but it still came as a bit of a shock when it happened to me. I'm busy; I can't be doing with it! But that's been half the problem. So goodbye October and...

...welcome dreary November. NaNoWriMo - (Inter)National Novel Writing Month - has passed me by, again, but I have friends I'm encouraging along the way. My priority is to make sense of my desk and to get back into the swing of updating my blog and my website. For those wondering what had happened to my Newsletter, a revamped bells & whistles version is on its way. I'm chatting about the delights of fracture clinic, and of updating book covers, so if you aren't a subscriber but want a peek... there's a subscribe link top right.

What I need now is an eye-catching button... then there'll be the inevitable search for some cotton, and a needle, and the eye and hand coordination to thread it.

That's me me sunk, then...