Tag Archives: romance fantasy

First Copy of The Edict!

It arrived a few weeks ago but I couldn’t share it until now because of loads of other things needing to be done! Self-publishing really is a busy business! Anyway, it arrived so quickly when I ordered the first copy.

So nervous

It came like any other book ordered online in an inconspicious brown box and I held it so excitedly…and nervously. What if I opened it and all the cover and text were half running off the page? What if I’d missed out half the book? What if it just looked downright awful?

Procrastinating

I was so nervous in fact that I proceeded to procrastinate. Ah, the friend of the faint-hearted! I had arrived home from work and found the parcel, so now I told myself I should probably tidy the kitchen before sitting down to open it. And gosh, I was gasping for a cup of tea, so I put the kettle on. And didn’t those sofa cushions need plumping. And perhaps I should just check my emails?

Then my husband arrived home and he eyed the package saying, ‘is that your book?’ I replied in the affirmative and explained I had not wanted to open it yet and for some pathetic reason I felt I could if he was there. I grabbed it with both hands and hesitated only briefly to say, ‘I hope it’s not rubbish’ or words to that effect, and then tore it open.

Finally opening

What came out into my hands was, well, beautiful:

I was so happy with this and although this was for final proofs, and not the final, final, final copy (my exhausted author brain was crying at the thought), it’s everything I wanted it to be. I have to apologise for the dodgey photo-taking. I’m not the most artistic photographer at the best of times and the glee at seeing it wasn’t a pile of illegible print meant I didn’t use any of those fancy-filters or…err… focusing…

I have now finished the proofs and final bits and piece (with much gnashing of teeth – just look at my Twitter), and have the final, final, final copy arrived LITERALLY (very punny) today…

The Edict Paperback | Fantasy Novel | The She Trilogy | P. J. Keyworth

 

A fantasy world

I’m looking forward to sharing with you the world in which The Edict takes place soon. You see, because it’s a fantasy, it’s not like historical romances where the world existed and you just have to get to know it through research (I use the word ‘just’ in humour, research is jolly hard work!), with fantasy you have to create your world. It grows in your imagination into this living, breathing thing where your characters live and learn to be a part of different cultures, places and races. Soon I can share some more of that world with you…

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The Edict Cover Release

I am so excited to finally be sharing more with you on the run up to the release of The Edict in December! The cover of The Edict starts with an old friend. Venetia and I go way back. We’ve been friends for several years now and she’s easily one of those people I describe as lovely inside and out.

When I first met her I said, ‘One of my favourite authors called Georgette Heyer wrote a book called Venetia.’ She promptly replied that the very same volume was one of her mother’s favourites and her namesake! I mean – it was like a meet-cute for friends.

When I started my journey towards becoming a hybrid author (both published through a publishing house and self-published) I came to Venetia to talk cover design. We’d chatted years earlier about the idea of it when we worked in a shoe shop together in between aggy customers and trying on shoes under the counter. I knew she was a graphic designer and had been working with an independent publishing house so it was perfect. Just a few years in the making.

First design meeting

When I started planning out The Edict (read the blurb here) project and had my manuscript sent away to the editor I asked to meet with Venetia to finally talk about that fabled cover. We met in Costa and talked about the project over hot chocolate and coffee (or something of that variety). She was so enthusiastic from the outset, she let me rabbit on about the story, the project timelines, what I envisioned for the cover. All the time she listened and actually told me it was so much more helpful talking 1:1 with the author about the work and I really think this collaboration is why the cover became such a clear embodiment of the book.

Talking styles

We talked colours, styles, themes, elements and while she let me talk she also dropped ideas in here and there which I would never have thought of and which really started to tie the whole thing together into a fully fledged concept. We worked out the timeline and payment arrangements and parted ways with her promising an initial design.

She started working on individual elements first and then came up with the full front cover. The best part was, when I asked to meet to discuss the initial designs, Venetia came with a gift! I was asking her how she managed to create the seal on the front cover, she said, ‘it’s funny you should ask that…’ and proceeded to pull an unassuming little cardboard box from her bag.

The seal

She handed it to me saying it was a gift for me and when I opened it lo and behold, Venetia had not only imagined a wildcat from the world of The She Trilogy she had commissioned a real seal to be made and it came complete with sealing wax, candles and teeny wax pouring spoon!

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It was AMAZING! Here in my hand was a seal like those I imagined they used in my book. The wildcat is a creature specifically from Emrilion, the kingdom in which the story takes place, and Venetia had listened to my descriptions and created it! The seal is a really important part of the book. In The Edict believe it or not, there is an edict, a few actually, a type of law and they are sealed with the royal seal, the one you see appearing on the cover of the book. It’s one of these edicts that forever changes the life of my heroine Kiara so you can see why it’s a central aspect of the cover. Keep an eye out for up-coming giveaways on the run up to The Edict’s release, because you might just be receiving a copy of The Edict sign, sealed and delivered!

The initial designs

I’d told Venetia about the richness of the Reluwyn people in the The Edict. They’re originally nomadic tribal peoples who have become a settled nation and risen up to rule an empire. They enjoy feasting and fighting and it’s this lavish lifestyle which is brought out by the deep reds, jade and almost golden yellows. It’s the colours of the cover which make it so exciting.

The finished cover

After tweaking and amends and getting it just so, we ended up with a cover that Venetia did an awesome job of making and which I’m so chuffed with. You can see it here:

The Edict - Fantasy Book - P. J. Keyworth

The Edict - Fantasy Book - P. J. Keyworth

 

Venetia Jackson

If you’re looking for a designer for your covers whether they’re fantasy or another genre, I can highly recommend Venetia. She’s friendly, professional and enthusiastic. She’s just as keen as you are to give your book the cover it deserves. You can find her on Facebook & Instagram.

Next?

I’m looking forward to sharing with you the sneak peak of the VERY FIRST copy of The Edict, which is my proof copy. There’s nothing quite like holding your book in the format of a book (not on a computer or in A4 print-out versions), for the first time and this one was extra special because I had seen it from the first tiny idea I had when I was 17, right through to print…