Baby Squirrel Rescue!

Today, we had an overload of cuteness courtesy of a baby squirrel.

I found him in the front yard, confused and weak. I snatched him up from a feral cat, who was approaching him with bad intentions, took him inside, and began the process of Baby Squirrel Rescue.

Here are the highlights of the day:

  1. Baby squirrels like cashews.
  2. They can drink pedialyte and water as a mixture.
  3. They SNORE, and it’s insanely adorable. I know this because Noah (my son named him) fell asleep in my hand when his tummy was full, and he snored. It’s the best thing ever.

After he was strong enough, and stabilized, I put him under his tree and stood watch. Unfortunately, it became clear he was an orphan, but we had a wonderful solution. After a series of calls, I drove Noah to Walden’s Puddle, a wildlife sanctuary about an hour away.

It’s like heaven on earth. I met owls, squirrels, turkeys, possums, birds, snakes, and a pair of sassy turtles. Here’s the site– I’ll be supporting them from now on.

https://waldenspuddle.org/

Here’s an action shot of Noah enjoying his second cashew, which led to a nap.

He’s safe, happy, and on the road to recovery. It’s been an excellent Saturday, and Happy St. Patty’s Day to all my friends.

Some other news: We had a photo shoot for the new book, and it was AMAZING. Jade and Quinton were the perfect people, and Dottie Rainwater captured their essence perfectly. I can’t wait to show you the results. A Touch of Frost will be available on April 7th. and I hope you love the characters as much as I do.

Meet Jade (Sammie) and Quinton (Gideon).

Coming soon– trading cards, postcards, and posters. It’s going to be a fantastic release week!

Cheers,

Terry

Why Book Covers Matter

Looks matter. Book covers matter. Or don’t they?

“I looked across the bar and saw her standing there, glass of wine in hand and her head thrown back in a laugh. At that moment, I could tell: she had a great personality.”

You might live to be one hundred years old and never hear that sentence, partially because no one will say it and you’ll be too busy arguing about expired coupons and the Good Old Days with the staff at Denny’s. I know because I’m *this* close to my senior discount and am already hearing the siren’s call of Early Bird Specials and Double Coupon Tuesday. I’m also a writer, and when I was in college the first time, (ahem), I was an artist. I understand that we’re visual creatures, and for those of us who love books, cover art matter. A lot.

Without a great cover, you’ll probably pass over the book. It’s a simple, brutal truth that there are good (and even great) books with terrible covers. A cover should tell– but not over tell– the story. It can be simple, or complex, or an image. It can be a person, character, or object that’s critical to the feel and arc of the book, but under no circumstances can it be of poor quality.

Book covers should transport us in much the same way that words do– but in the blink of an eye. I use concept art to express wonder, mystery– even fear and danger. Here are the covers for Heartborn and its sequel, Moonborn. In the details, there are constellations that have meaning, giving the reader something to search for as they go further down the path to my world.

With Moonborn, I want the sense of wonder, awe, and wide open skies, but with the added danger of a world tinged red by uncertainty. Is it blood? We’re trained to fear red. What does the red sky tell you?

 

I love color and motion, which is obvious with these covers. With that being said, I don’t only write YA, which led me to one of the more unusual cover decisions I had to make. I’d written a short story that was– for lack of a better term– zombie smut– but thoughtful, and intended to ask some uncomfortable questions about human sexuality. Whether or not I’ve succeeded is left to the reader, but the cover captured exactly what I wanted (Thanks, Staci!).

 

Once again, you might not know what it’s about, but it’s colorful, there’s an element of mystery, and it’s crisp. I tell other writers every time they ask me for advice– spend money on your editor, and spend money on your cover. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

In case you’re in the mood for “Horrotica”, as my friend quipped, you can get it here: https://www.amazon.com/Cool-Touch-Zombie-Love-Story-ebook/dp/B00UKS4EW2/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Moonborn will be available in three weeks, although the Grand Opening, so to say, will be at Utopiacon in Nashville. I’ll have plenty of copies, book candles, and swag. I highly recommend this event, check it out here: http://www.utopiacon.com/

Hope to see you there, and send me your favorite covers. What draws you to them? What turns you off? Let me know.

Cheers,

Terry

Layers of Vision. The Making of a Cover.

My artist Amalia Chitulescu works with me as if she’s psychic. She understands the mood and tone I want for my covers, and the results– if I may say so– are spectacular.
When I was sending her notes about the direction for the cover of The Forest Bull, she immediately keyed on what I was attempting to describe.
We began with the forest primeval. Simple enough, but the quality of the first image is stellar.

So the mood is set. It’s deep, ancient, and a touch threatening, just as it should be. Then, we needed a model who was elegant, thin, but in motion. She had to possess the quality of beauty that was both threatening and disdainful.

That, as the story goes, is Elizabeth. We had to remove some of the accessibility and warmth. Fair enough. By using blues and cool tones, we end up with a mystery and a woman who is at the very heart of it all.

 And with that, the danger and unknown come to life. The Aurochs walks behind Elizabeth, regal in his domain, but we can tell there is much more to the story.

And much more to Elizabeth.