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Monday, November 11, 2013

It's a girl!



The title gives it away (as does the graphic), but yes, the baby came at long last, and it's a girl!

The crazy thing is, we were SURE we were going to have a boy. Not that we were told--not specifically anyway. We wanted the sex to be a surprise, but we were sure the ultra-sound tech spilled the beans accidentally, and so we had it in our heads that we'd have another boy.

It was a wonderful surprise to have a girl.  Actually, although I would have been thrilled to have another boy, I was secretly hoping we'd have a girl this time, so I'm over the moon about it.

We named her Aubree, and she's gorgeous. Mom and baby are both doing wonderfully.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

THE EVOLUTION OF A BOOK COVER

As I’m gearing up to release book 3 in my Dean Curse series (going through editing at the moment), I thought it would be interesting to share the cover journey of my books. I wanted to do this post earlier, but I didn’t want to post designs without first getting permission to do so from all the artists (which I have now received). I’ll include links to the designer’s websites, so please check them out.

First:  As anyone who has followed this blog from the beginning knows, GLIMPSE originally sold to a publishing house only to be orphaned shortly thereafter when the publisher closed their doors.

No, no, do not sigh, or say “awww.” Do not gasp or express condolences (unless those condolences come in the form of chocolate, in which case, by all means, express away). It all worked out for the best. The only reason I mention it now is because the in-house designer had created a cover before the closure and I LOVED it. I particularly loved the clock element at the top of the page. The Designer is TAMMY DESNOYERS and you can find more about her and her incredible work HERE


GLIMPSE

 
Second: When I decided to release the books on my own, I approached a couple designers and gave them a brief where I provided a synopsis of the book, a couple key scenes that I thought captured the essence of  the book, and provided the overall tone of the story. I was really impressed with the concept this next designer came up with–both of them–and even though the spider element was total coincidence, I decided it was a bit too similar to the first cover. The designer of this one is Clarissa and you can find her website (which is full of incredible designs she’s created) HERE

GLIMPSE COVER OPTION CLARISSA GLIMPSE COVER OPTION CLARISSA2


Third: Now for the designer I ultimately went with. I asked the designer to create a darker book, with a young man running and a stop-watch exploding behind him. I explained the tone of the book and then crossed my fingers.

What I got was exactly what I was looking for. There were a few tweaks from the first concept to final design: lightening it a bit, adjusting the font, and changing the overall color, but I knew when I saw the main image that it was the right fit. The designer’s name is PINTADO and you can find more about him and his designs HERE

GLIMPSE PINTADO 1 GLIMPSE PINTADO 2 Glimpse 297 jpg

Each of the designers mentioned above created covers I LOVED.  They’re not just brilliant artists/designers, they’re also really laid back, and fun to work with. I highly recommend each of them and hope you’ll go to their sites and check out their portfolios.

So there you have it. That’s how GLIMPSE came to be. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

KID SHOWS AND WOOD-CHIPPERS



My son is now two, and at long last we’ve started to find TV shows that he will watch for upwards of 15 minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I'm not anti-TV, and I don't limit him to 15 minutes a day. I  would thank the stars if I could get him to watch a full 30 minutes of a show, but that’s just not in the cards at the moment.

Anyway, I’ve tried a number of kid-shows just to see if anything would click and in the process I’ve seen some things I’d like to forget.

What happened to children’s TV shows? Where’s Mr. Dress up or the Polk-a-dot Door? Casey and Pokaroo would hold my son’s attention, I’m sure of it, but if I had to guess those shows killed themselves when this latest round of kids programing entered the market.

Let’s get to it, shall we? It’s the month of Halloween, so I thought I’d point out some kid-shows that are CREEPY, and ones I’d very much like to see made into a Halloween movies…  violent Halloween movies.

First up, MAX and RUBY:

This one actually wouldn’t need a lot of work to turn into a Horror flick. If you haven’t seen it, let me give you a quick synopsis: Max and Ruby—two rabbits—are siblings living alone. Yep, that's about it. The parents aren’t anywhere to be found, and I’m fairly sure they’ve been murdered… no doubt by that psychopath Ruby. But, If Ruby’s not responsible, my money would be on the crazy grandma who pokes her head in every few days. I mean, seriously, where are social services?



CAILLOU:

Oh how I want this bald headed kid harmed. 

I’ve never met a parent who likes this show. It’s one of the only shows my kid actually LOVES. I mean, he will actually sit and watch a full 15 minutes. That’s 15 minutes I can use to get stuff done, and so I’m grateful for that, Caillou, truly. Thank you. I just want your winy little voice to be permanently silenced.





Feel free to print this image and use it in a gun range

TOOPY AND BINOO

Yep, that’s the name of the show, and just so you’re adequately warned, it's just not possible to listen to the theme song and not want jump into a wood chipper. It’s a rat and a stuffed animal and I wish them both a slow death. You know what, the Halloween version of this show would be brilliant with the inclusion of a wood-chipper.








 
 THOMAS THE TRAIN:
Um, am I the only one who thinks this is already a horror movie? The first time I tried this show on my son I had nightmares about those creepy human faces on the trains. Every time I see that show I want to throw holy water at the TV. 





 

CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG:

I’ll end with this one. We all know the story, and I don’t actually hate this show, but I think it would make a great horror movie. 

I mean, you have a giant dog on a secluded Island. I’d like to see Clifford get rabies and take down Birdwell Island like a … well, like a rabid dog! I want that blue dog, Machiavelli, to be the first casualty. I mean who names a dog Machiavelli? I’ll tell you who. Cat people, that's who.

 *No offense, cat-people, I know you control the internet and I mean you no disrespect, but you have to admit, the name "Machiavelli" belongs to cats (or Italian philosophers I suppose). 

So what about you guys? Any kids shows stand out in your mind as particularly horrifying? Do you remember any disturbing ones from your youth, or from when your kids were growing up? Let’s hear ‘em!

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Broken GPS and a Baboon... Enough Said.

Has it really been so long? 3 months since last post… wow.

I won’t bore you all the sordid details of where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. Let’s just say it involved a broken GPS, an abandoned farm house, a bag of frozen peas, and an unfortunate run in with a baboon. I’m sure you can guess the rest.

Let’s move on, shall we?

I thought I’d jump back into the blogging world today and share some of the books I’ve read, or am reading, that I highly recommend.

Gone girl, Gillian Flynn
This book really surprised me. It has quite a bit of language and the subject matter is  such that it wouldn’t be something I’d recommend to my mom, but I found the story surprisingly… surprising. I just don’t think I’ve hated a character (in a good way) like that in a very long time. I mean, I don’t want to ruin it, but they’re just a straight up sociopath, and the author painted it perfectly. I will say that I guessed the twist pretty early in the book, but not the ending.









 Allan Jones, Kill Chase
I’ve never heard of this series, and picked up this book randomly at my local library. Thankfully, this is one of those series that you don’t have to read in order (though it’s probably suggested that you do). I wasn’t lost at all, but as I read I was anxious to find the earlier books to follow the main character through their adventure.

I thought it was great. It had adventure, danger, travel, and dashes of humor. I will be reading more of these.








 
Infinity- Sherrilyn Kenyon
This book was tremendous.

 I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone who likes urban fantasy… or maybe it’s contemporary fantasy… let’s just call it fantasy. It was a new take on zombies–though the “zombie” story line was a sub-plot to the more important plot about the main character, and I doubt these zombies will be in book 2.

Sherrilyn Kenyon is an established author who is incredibly popular. I’ve read a number of her books, but this is the first one I’ve read of hers that is geared for the younger YA audience.


  


Books I’m currently reading (and loving!):

Russell Blake - JET Curse of the Scarab - H.Y Hanna WARP Eoin Colfer


So what’s on your to-be-read list? Did you get a chance to read anything good over the last few months? Please let me know, I’m always looking for books to add to my list.
(and I promise I’ll try to be more consistent with my posts from now on!)

 NEW WEBSITE 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Up for a breath!



Wow, has it really been so long since my last post?  Apologies all around! I’ve been working pretty hard the last few weeks, and hopefully I’ll be able to breathe a bit better in the next little while and get more blogging done. I don’t think I ever write quite as much, or quite as hard as I do when my wife’s pregnant. Something about the upcoming addition gets the creative juices flowing… I think it’s fear induced. Perhaps if I’m going to be really prolific as an author, I’ll have to have a dozen kids.

One of the things I’ve been working hard on is the Dean Curse Chronicles. Book #1, GLIMPSE is presently FREE. So if you haven’t read it yet, and even if you have, please click on the image below and download a copy. Download several copies… put them in drawers, hide them under your mattress… if you hate the book, download extra copies so you can use the digital pages to line your digital hamster cage.




The other thing I’ve been working on is my website. Turns out my first attempt was using a site that just didn’t translate well for viewing on different platforms. So I went to wordpress, and now my site is 90% complete – they’ll be a site for THE DEAN CURSE CHRONICLES and I’ll be releasing another couple titles that are unrelated to the DC books, and I’ll have links to pages about those series too. 

Check out www.stevenwhibley.com and let me know what you think. 

I hope all the Canadians reading this had a great Canada Day, and I hope all the Americans had a great 4th of July!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

News So Big It Needs Three Exclaimation Points!!!





I’ve been sitting on some pretty big news for the last couple months, but I’ve just been given the thumbs up to reveal it here. No, it’s not that I have developed an allergy to avocados, and no, it's not related to my books (though I might have some news in that regard in the weeks to come). This news is bigger than allergies, bigger than publishing contracts…

My wife is pregnant again (and it is currently the size of an avocado... apparently). I remember like it was yesterday when I posted about my wife being pregnant with my son, and how he was the size of a sweet potato. (http://stevewhibley.blogspot.ca/2011/02/sweet-potato.html). It will be my goal to come up with more interesting objects to use as size indicators this time around.

We haven’t decided if we want to know what it’ll be yet. We let it be a surprise the last time and that was pretty fun. I think we might do that again. It doesn’t really matter to us, and we’re not really big “planners” for that kind of thing, so knowing wouldn’t change much.

If I had to put my money on one, though, it would be a girl.


Monday, May 20, 2013

I Saw London, I Saw France, I Saw Switzerland's Underpants....and Monaco's too



Well I’m back. I didn’t have time to mention it before I left, so probably most of you are thinking, “Back from where? Were you gone somewhere?” 

Yes.

When my wife got into school many moons ago, we knew it was going to be a long haul and we agreed that kids or not, when she was done we’d take a vacation somewhere she really wanted to go: France.

That day recently came, and of course, our thinking was, if you go all the way to France can you really not visit a couple surrounding places too? Of course not… So we did Monaco and Switzerland and London, too.

It was a great trip, and I have to say, as far as travel goes, those countries were among the easiest places I've ever traveled. Public transit was simple and reliable, food was great, costs weren't crazy . . . in fact, France was a lot less expensive than Canada.  Switzerland was the big surprise however. It was never on our list, and we likely never would have gone that way had we not had friends living there, but it was a highlight of the whole trip. Beautiful country (the Alps are ridiculous), wonderful people, heaps of history . . . plus, we sneaked into the United Nations, so that added a bit to the overall experience. Add to that the fact that chocolate is practically a staple, and you very nearly have heaven on earth.

My son was injured during part of our trip ( I should say it was during our infiltration of the UN, but it wasn't quite so interesting). He dislocated his elbow, but I suppose it could have been worse, and perhaps it was interesting to visit one of the hospitals in London . . . that is, if I really needed to find a silver lining there.

He's all better now, and couldn't have been more of a trooper. We rewarded him with some time in Paris Disney which he actually really enjoyed. I was surprised since he’s so young, but he giggled at the characters, and laughed on the rides.

Jet lag has tweaked my usual sleepless nights to even more sleepless nights, but that works for getting some writing done. I didn’t have my computer on this trip and I have catch-up like you wouldn’t believe.

Summer is usually the travel time for most people, so do any of you guys have trips planned?

PS - that's the Flag of Geneva above. Why don't cities in Canada have cool flags like that? I'll have to start a petition or something, see if I can't make it happen. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

WHO ARE YOU REALLY????







Who are you?

The internet and social media has made it possible for people to have close friends thousands of miles away. It’s also provided a means to get to know people you might never really meet in real life. But with Facebook, and Twitter, and Linkedin, and Blogger, and Wordpress, and … the thousands of other social networking platforms that exist, how do you know which one is best. I mean, are you really the person you are on Facebook? Should people expect you to be the person you seem to be on Twitter?

I don’t know.

For me, I find I really over-think posts on social networking sites. I filter, and filter, and question if what I’m about to tweet, post, share… etc is something that will come back and bite me one day.  For every post I make, I probably write 25 and delete them, even though they're probably just fine. As a result, I likely come across rather stiff on certain sites.

But it got me thinking about the people I follow,  and if my opinion of them is based on fact of fiction... or even just filtered fact. Do I know enough to have an opinion of them? I started thinking about the sites I'm on, and if people would know me from those sites.

I’ve reached a conclusion. There are three sites where I am most myself, and I think the same three might apply to others too.


There are no status updates. It’s just a pinup board of things you’re interested in. My boards show my interests b/c I made each board for myself. I started looking at my friends and family boards and I saw that they too are pinning things for themselves. As a result, I think it's a great way to get insight into someone.


For most people, these sites are bookshelves. Reviewing a book is a lot of work and you have to really invest time to do something like that. I think you can get an idea, somewhat, of what a person is like by the books they read. Not fully, of course, but it’s a reliable piece to the puzzle.

3/ Blogger. (no link... you're already here)

Admittedly, I am totally guilty of over thinking posts on my blog. I worry about offending people, and I worry about my sarcasm not finding it’s mark, but when you post long posts, it’s impossible for your personality not to come though somewhat.

So what about you guys? Where do you think you are the most yourself? Where do you think you can look to get the best indicator of what someone’s like? If there is one you think represents you best, add a link to it in the comments section.