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how to create an irresistible young adult fantasy story

If you like your stories complex, your teens smart and your fantasy with a touch of rationalism, you’ll love this recipe.

Recipe for Manitou The Sky People Saga

2 cups teens
1 cup reason & logic
2 magical bones, semi-whole
2 cups Ute Indian myth
1 cup thugs with guns
¼ cup creepy teacher
½ cup great teacher
4 cups Manitou Springs & Garden of the Gods
½ cup best friendship
Tbsp. murderous mom
2 cups young love

Combine the teens, reason and logic; mix well with Ute Indian mysticism. Sift in thugs with guns, and creepy teacher. Fold in a great teacher and the magical bones. Pour the mixture into Manitou Springs, Colorado. Swirl batter with Garden of the Gods, a murderous mom and best friendship. Bake. Top with promising young love.

Serves everyone who loves fantasy. Caution: May be addictive to readers.

Thanks for reading,

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an original novel begs for an original cover

Never judge a book by its cover.

Whoever said that doesn’t know human nature very well. We judge, oh do we ever judge, on appearances. Book covers are no exception.

The cover for Manitou TSPS is extremely important to me on that level. I want readers to be attracted enough to the cover to give the book a chance. But a cover on a book should also tell you something about the story you’re about to read, give you a hint of the genre and tone.

Scroll through the old posts and you’ll see I went through a number of renditions – the first being too stark and dark. While Manitou TSPS has some dark elements, it also has light. While Manitou TSPS is based on earth, the story also involves those not of this planet. It called for a light and dark sky with big billowy clouds, and a touch of space.

Finding the perfect art was a challenge. Using my limited Photoshop skills, I cobbled together various pieces into covers, but … yeah, writing’s my thing, not art.

Surfing again for sky art one day, I found this piece of art called A Dark and Starry Night. Oh my god! Except for the guy on the horizon, it’s perfect! A quick Google search of the title brought me to Sabrina on DeviantART, a site I could surf for hours. She also has a website called 7 days.

All that was needed was to darken the bottom and add in a sun! Heh. Even I could do that. What’s that triangle about that I added? Well, that’s a spoiler. You’ll just have to read the book 😉

When the cobbling with this piece was done, the doubt was gone. It was my cover, I knew it … and I crossed my fingers that the artist would let me use it. She did!

I invite you to browse Sabrina’s art on DeviantART. This piece is one of a beautiful series of prints with similar silhouetted horizons. Gorgeous! For an author, finding indie artists on DeviantART can result in original art for your original novel.

Thanks for reading,

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