Monday, February 22, 2016

The Meaning Behind a Book Cover

Everyone knows that being an indie author means we have to do everything ourselves, which is not entirely a bad thing. Besides experiencing the most epic growth in personal learning, I also enjoy exercising my decision making power and taking up responsibility for my actions. It's me putting on my big girl panties and say, "Let's roll". Everything we do is for the benefit of our crafts. Pretty cool, if you ask me :)

One of those responsibilities is designing the book cover. When it comes to cover, I want a design that's uniquely attached to the story. It has to mean something. For the characters as well as for the readers.

In I Won't Break, Rebecca (my talented cover artist) and I looked for a face that could be used to potray Lea. We all know Lea is half Dutch, half Chinese with features that are more European than Asian. The face also needed to capture the mood of the whole book. What we found was perfect.

Next, I added an object that was crucial in the story. If you've read the book, you will know why the necklace is an important symbol for Lea and Andrew.

I wanted the background to be white, because I think white symbolizes pureness. Rebecca then added a touch of blue; she made it even more perfect. The color blue, like the necklace, also means a lot to the characters, something that they cherished and lost and found again.

So there you have it, the step-by-step process of I Won't Break cover design.
Once you finish reading it, flip back to the front cover and pretend to see it again for the first time. Now that you read the book and know the story, do you see it differently?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Writing Tip and What's Next

How important is it to assign a real face to my character in my writing process?
It's not crucial, but if I can have it, why not? 

In order to do more ‘show’ than ‘tell’, I need to be able to translate the character’s body language, facial expressions, the way he/she speaks into words. I always find it helpful to have an image/a face ready in my head. 

I normally start with celebrities. Browsing their faces is easy and a lot of fun. Once I find the face I'm looking for, I’ll apply my own imagination to the rest: how they dress, how they walk, how they shrug their shoulders, how they smile etc. etc. You get the idea.

In A broken Love Story series, I use Kristin Kreuk’s face for Lea and a Thailand’s soap opera actor whose name I don’t know as Andrew. 

I'm currently writing a very early (and messy) draft of Fly. After the plot and the character’s back story are created, I begin the search for my characters’ face. 
Since one of the characters is a Hong Kong citizen, it's only ideal to find a familiar Hong Kong face. I’ve always been fascinated with Tony Leung the actor, so I ‘assign’ him as Ben, both the sixteen-year-old and the twenty-year-old. Tony Leung has that shy and nerd qualities I need for my hero.

Kai is a little bit complicated. I still need to work on a few details about her before I can assign someone’s face to her. Nevertheless, I was drawn to these young models’ photos. Image-wise, those two are so Kai: easy going, outspoken, wild, fun, and unpredictable. Kai is the kind of girl who will face everything in life with a huge smile on her face. Oh, and she's a model too. I haven’t written much yet, but I’m already in love with Kai, truly and tremendously.  

Fly is an upper YA contemporary standalone.

When sixteen-year-old Ben learned his girlfriend had been offered a once-in-a-lifetime modeling contract that would require her to move overseas, he put her future first and his broken heart second.

“Go, Kai. Fly. Don’t look back. If it’s meant to be, I’ll catch up.”

He finds her four years later in Los Angeles. There’s no denial that the feeling they have for each other still rings true despite years of separation. What started off as an innocent puppy love has clearly grown into something more.

“You’ve caught up,” Kai says. But Kai soon realizes Ben doesn’t come to catch up. Ben comes to say goodbye.

Standing at a crossroads, Kai can easily see where each path will lead her. What she cannot see is Ben.

What’s the purpose of flying if she loses the sight of the horizon?

I cannot wait for you guys to meet them :)