Update

2019 Tour and Life Updates

I’m super excited to share that I will be going on tour again next year, this time to promote the release of my newest book, WARRIOR OF THE WILD.

We will be announcing tour stops later this year, so stay tuned!

In other news, we’re less than five months out from the release of WOTW. This year has been so fast for me. I went to a lot of fun places (see the Events page for specifics) and met a lot of fun people. I can’t wait to do it all again (and more!) next year. My launch party will be on February 26th at the Provo City Library, so be sure to mark your calendars if you’re local!

In the meantime, I’m working on my 2020 novel, which I’ve almost finished drafting. I can’t wait until I’m allowed to talk about it!

This year, I read my first graphic novel (Check, Please), and I’ve decided the medium is fantastic, and I can’t believe I’ve been missing out. My favorites so far have probably been Saga and Rat Queens. No matter what medium, whether book or movie, my tastes always tend to gravitate toward sci-fi/fantasy.

Other highlights of the year have been going to the Oregon coast with my family, moving to a bigger apartment, where I actually get to have an office to work in, and redesigning my website!

 

 

 

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SIREN QUEEN and WARRIOR Updates!

I have fun things to share today! For one, DAUGHTER OF THE SIREN QUEEN’s cover has been finalized. I’ve been given permission to share the jacket art, so I’ll post it below for you to see!

DotSQ_JKT-des2.indd

And in keeping with tradition, let’s do our Can You Spot the Difference game! Below I have the initial DOTSQ cover on the left and the new cover on the right (or top and then bottom, depending on your screen size). I’ve found 5 differences. How many do you see?

DotSQ_first coverDotSQ Cover

Yesterday, I was sent the first version of the end pages for DOTSQ. If you’ll remember, in PIRATE KING, the end pages featured ship schematics for the Night Farer. I think you guys will be really excited to see the end pages for SIREN QUEEN. Sadly, they aren’t finalized yet, so I can’t share. But they are awesome and will be totally worth the wait!

For those of you who have preordered DAUGHTER OF THE SIREN QUEEN, hold on to those receipts! There WILL be preorder incentives. One item in particular is extra special and will be available to EVERY SINGLE PERSON who preorders the book. That will probably be announced in January after the holidays. If you go to the home page of my website, you can find all the preorder links! Or, if you would like to preorder a SIGNED COPY, you can do so through my local indie, The King’s English Bookshop, at no additional cost! All you need to do is when you go to check out the book, in the comment’s section, say you would like a signed copy. If you want the book personalized, specify that as well. Feel free to message me if you have any questions about this!

Now let’s talk about WOTW for a bit! For those of you who don’t know, I sold two new books to my publisher, which will release in 2019 and 2020. The first is a standalone YA fantasy titled WARRIOR OF THE WILD. It is a (very loosely) Viking-inspired story about eighteen-year-old Rasmira, who fails her coming-of-age test and is banished from her village as a result. With only two boys who were banished the previous year for company, she must survive the monster-filled wild and kill her village’s oppressive deity if she is ever to return home. Since some of you are wondering, no, this book does not have a love triangle. But because I can’t resist, yes, it does have a prominent romantic subplot.

Anyway, I’m really excited about the story. I have finished the first version of the manuscript and turned it into my editor. Just waiting on my edit letter before I can dive into revisions. If everything stays on schedule, this one should come out February 2019. We’re definitely hoping to stick to spacing out the books only one year apart. If you’re interested, you can add WARRIOR OF THE WILD to your TBR on GoodReads here!

Those are all the updates I have for now. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

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Can You Spot the Difference?

Every time I get an updated version of my cover, I feel like I’m playing a game of Can You Spot the Difference. But I shouldn’t be the only one to play. So here’s the newest cover (top) and the older cover (bottom). There are six changes. Can you spot them? Answers below.

dotpk-final

New Cover

dotpk_cvr-new

Old Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers: Background (the new cover is brighter surrounding the girl and darker surrounding the map), My Name (wavier in the new cover), Waves (they extend all the way to the right side of the page in the new cover), Sword (the hilt was changed from blue to black), Corset (changed from gray to black), and Blood (fewer splatters around the girl).

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The New Cover

There are various reasons why covers change in publishing, but it happens more often than you might think. I’m happy to say that I think my cover has changed for the better! I absolutely love the new color scheme my publisher decided on. I think the new cover fits the tone of the book better, and I’m excited to hear what everyone thinks about it! Also, I absolutely adore the blurb Anna Banks gave (you can see that at the top of the cover shown below).

Don’t forget you can now read the first chapter of DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING here.

dotpk_cvr-new

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Exciting Things Coming Up!

A lot has been happening. Here’s a post to catch you up on things you might have missed as well as some information on new things coming up!

First off, the release date for DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING has been changed to February 28, 2017—just one week later than the original pub date. My mother is very excited about the change in release date (it’s her birthday). There are several reasons for the change. One thing is that we’re revamping the cover. It will still go in an illustrated direction, but the design team is going to try and age it up even more (see my last post on how the cover came to be here). So while it’s always sad to have to wait longer for a book, I think the wait will be worth it. On top of the changes to the cover, the cover copy will also change. So we’ll have a new synopsis going live soon. No changes have been made to the words INSIDE the book. Only the packaging will be different.

In case you missed it, the daughter of the pirate king, herself, gave an interview over on Read Write Love 28. I think it gives some fun insight into Alosa’s personality. You can find that here.

Also, DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING was selected by the American Booksellers Association to be an Indies Introduce title for winter/spring 2017. I’m so excited and honored beyond words. You can learn more about what this means here and see the other books selected. And here you can find the blurbs that various book store owners gave about the book. I’m so flattered and excited that DotPK is being spoken of so highly.

Now for upcoming things!

I have two exciting things coming up. First, there will be a first chapter reveal for DotPK. It will be revealed by A Perfection Called Books on September 29th at 1:00 PM EST. You will find it on their website here when the time comes. So excited for everyone to get to read it!

And second, I will be participating in a Twitter chat with Brittany’s Book Rambles on October 1st at 8:00 PM EST. You can participate, too! Follow the hashtag #BBTC (easiest way to do this is to get on Tweetdeck. From there you can follow the tweets and jump in with your own!). For those who don’t follow me on twitter, my handle is @tricialevensell (because there wasn’t enough room for the E and R).

Comment below if you have any questions!

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The Makings of a Cover

I’m so excited to announce that DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING has a cover. Here it is!

DotPK_CVR-blood

Artist Credit: Jen Wang; Design Credit: Liz Dresner

I thought it would be fun to talk about how the cover came to be, and I received permission from the good folks over at Feiwel and Friends to share some earlier versions.

I had no idea how long and complicated the process of creating and choosing a cover was until it was happening to my book. So many people have a say on the cover, such as the sales and marketing teams, design team, the publisher, etc. Surprisingly, the author is actually not one of the people who has a say on the cover. We may be asked for an initial idea of what styles we like or on our opinion between two different options. But the general direction the cover goes in? Not something we’re a part of, which makes sense if you think about it. Writers write. We’re not usually illustrators or design specialists, and we’re not as aware of the cover market as the professionals.

I’m so thankful for how hard the Feiwel and Friends team worked on this cover. It was an especially long process for my cover in particular, I’m told.

At first, they tried a cover more realistic with a photograph of a girl dressed as a pirate on a ship. Think of something reminiscent of Robin LaFevers’ GRAVE MERCY, but with pirates instead of assassins.

Grave Mercy

I believe it was decided that cover didn’t quite stand apart from other books on the shelves, (which isn’t to say LaFevers’ books don’t stand apart, just that they came first) which I’m sure is usually the reason why original covers are discarded. After this, they decided to try a title heavy cover. Something decorative. Like EVER THE HUNTED. I’m told all the attempts at this kind of cover (and I believe there were around twelve different mock ups) also weren’t working. (By the way, I love Erin’s cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?)

ever the hunted

After that, the team wanted to try an illustrated cover. There’s an illustrated trend happening with adult covers, and the team wanted to try fitting DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING in with those. (Such as the covers of UPROOTED or A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC.)

Uprooted_cover_pictureA Darker Shade of Magic

While these are decidedly dark, the team really wanted a light cover, something that would hopefully stand out among all the dark, grittier covers in YA (don’t get me wrong, though, I love dark and gritty covers). Now this whole process happened without me seeing a single cover option. There’s little point in showing the author anything when it could be shot down by the people in sales or marketing or design. So the very first time I saw a cover for my book was when these two images showed up in my inbox (there was a little confusion on whether or not “the” was in the title, but we got that fixed right away):

DotPK_-CVRcomp1DotPK_-CVRcomp2

I was entirely surprised. I hadn’t pictured anything like this at all, and when I learned just how much work F&F had already put into the covers, I was blown away. It’s amazing to know that other people have worked so hard on your book. I expressed my preference for the blue color scheme rather than the purple and yellow. I also preferred the corset to the pirate coat.

F&F also wanted to try a more muted look so the illustration wouldn’t look too cutesy or lean toward middle grade. DotPK is an upper YA, and it’s an action adventure/fantasy/romance with pirates. Not exactly a cutesy book. So they altered it to this:

DotPK_ARE--CVR

I loved the new color scheme, and the picture above is what got put on the ARCs (advance reader copies). The colors looked even better when they were printed, and it was incredible getting to hold an actual book in my hand.

IMG_2655

Even so, the cover wasn’t final. They wanted to make some more changes. Yesterday, I was shown two new covers, the one below and another that looked exactly the same except without the blood. (If you look closely, you can see more texture was added. Particularly to the sword and Alosa’s pants.)

DotPK_CVR-blood

I like the addition of blood on the map in the background. This is, after all, a pirate book, and swashbuckling is a must. So this is the cover we went with!

I’m sure the journey is different for every author, but there’s a slight look into the makings of a cover. I’d love to hear thoughts and questions below!

 

 

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Life Update

I’ve been busy this month.

Unsurprisingly, most of it has been writing/reading related. I’ve been revising DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING’s sequel like crazy. It’s so close to being done! The goal was to get it sent off to my agent by the end of this month.

Yes, I said was the goal.

But then first pass pages came for DotPK. Since this is my first time selling a novel, I didn’t realize how much suddenly having a book published interrupts the writing process. I’m the type of writer who likes to work on one project at a time. I start a book, finish a book, edit the book, edit the book some more—until it’s just the way I want it and I send it on its way to the higher powers. Then I work on the next book. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

But once you sell a book, there’s suddenly more you have to do. You edit the book some more based on your editor’s notes. Sometimes you can do up to three or more rounds of big edits. After you send in those edits, you can go back to writing another book. But then you’re interrupted again later to do copy edits. Pause your work in progress (WIP) because now that your first book is coming out, you have deadlines you have to meet for it, and you can no longer do whatever you want. When you finish copy edits and turn them in, you can get back to your WIP. Then first pass pages come! You have to read through that first manuscript yet again, even though you’d rather pull out your hair instead of read it. (First pass pages are basically the first time you see your novel in printed form. The fonts for the interior of the book have been chosen, the text has been formatted, the cutesy page break characters have been chosen, etc. In this read through, you’re mostly looking for typos and other small fixes.)

IMG_2445

I’m happy to say first pass pages are done, and I am back to revising the sequel once more. Don’t get me wrong, I love the editing process, but it was hard to pause on the sequel and switch over to a different mindset to work on that first book some more. Because the characters are in different places. Their goals are different. Even if they have the same personalities, it’s hard to revert back to the way they were before. I dread to think of how difficult it will be when I have to work on two completely different series at the same time.

On top of all the writing and revising, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading. I’ve had the pleasure to read several books before they’ll be published, and I’m so excited to talk about them.

Magic-Bitter-Magic-Sweet_300px-Tall

First was Charlie N. Holmberg’s MAGIC BITTER, MAGIC SWEET. This book was not at all what I was expecting, but not in a bad way. It’s a mixture of a fascinating magic system, fractured fairy tales, and phenomenal cosmic powers (imagine Robin Williams’ voice there)! This book releases June 28th.

Resist

Next was Ilima Todd’s RESIST. For those of you who like your dystopia with a strong romantic element, I recommend checking out the first book in the series, REMAKE. RESIST releases July 5th.

ever the hunted

And the last book I read was Erin Summerill’s EVER THE HUNTED. Erin is a fellow YA historical fantasy author. Erin has a lovely writing style, and the book is a travelogue with a sweet romance spread throughout. This title releases December 27th.

and i darken

Now I’m currently reading Kiersten White’s AND I DARKEN, which is fabulously dark, as its title would suggest. It’s a retelling of Vlad the Impaler, if Vlad had been a girl. This one releases June 28th.

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