Although I like the cover as it was, I thought there ought to be something I could do to make it a little more 'shipwrightish.' The woodcut version I originally designed accomplished that, but it looks too bland to me now. (However, I do think it would make a nice title page.)
So, this is what I came up with:
Do the ‘boat plans’ in the background look too cluttery, or does it add that little something extra that gives a better sense of the story being about a shipwright?
Yes, this is another cross over blog post. I just thought I'd try out a cover design, for the fun of it. Okay—to be honest, I have no other project I'm working on right now, so this is purely a dilatory maneuver.
Yes, I know, I know—just start typing or pick up the paintbrush…
Alright, so this isn’t agent news, however, it does pertain to my query. According to advice out there in the writing blogsphere, if one sends out a handful of queries and receives absolutely no interest, she ought to give her query another look before flooding the agent pool with uninspiring slush.
I could have sent my query back over to The Public Query Slushpile, where last spring, I swamped Rick with 5 revisions (and came up with something pretty good), but I couldn’t bring myself to break the record for the most compulsive poster over there. So, I decided to have a look at Elana Johnson’s, From the Query to the Call (which included a critique), and received yet more helpful advice.
At the same time, Weronika Janczuk launched a query contest of sorts, and I submitted my newly revised pitch. And Yay, she liked it, offered a couple suggestions, which I implemented, and she posted it on her blog as one of the Queries that Worked!
So, this is all progress—nothing monumental, (except to me!) but it is incremental success, for which I will be happy, if not bordering on optimistic—at least for the weekend…
...and can I mention that she'd like to read the entire manuscript?
Okay, this is another cross-blogging post (from my Unsupervised & at Large blog), but it does have something to do with my novel, Story for a Shipwright. I just finished this painting*, Moorings, as a possible cover design element—you know, in case I exhaust every agent in the universe and resort to self-publishing. It puts me in mind of a scene from the story, where shipwright Sam Wesley is sitting in the local diner, looking out over the harbor on Sunday morning…
"It wasn’t truly the best seat, but the corner booth, partially overlooking the harbor and a few lobster boats suited me fine. While Billy perused his options, my attention wandered to the boats in the harbor—many of them were out for the day baiting traps, which is all they’re allowed on Sundays, from June through August. I thought about how consistent lobstermen are—they seem to recognize no distinction of day or season, heat or cold, rain or shine. Glancing around the diner, at old lobster traps hung from the ceiling, and picturesque scenes behind glass, I chuckled at how we who live here take their trade for granted. Funny, how tourists romanticize the industry, carrying it home in calendars or placemats, rarely appreciating the sweat that goes into the lobster on their plate."
*based on an image by photographer, Doug Wood, titled, stonington, sunday morning