I’m really going the extra mile to ensure my first novel, Pa’u Hana, is as good as it possible can be. One of the critical areas I’ve been focused on this week has been ensuring the cover really grabs potential readers.
I had conveyed how important, on a personal level, writing my first novel was to the graphic artist I use for my covers. He sent over the following cover as a first attempt capture the spirit of the book:
The first draft cover for Pa’u Hana
I liked it. A lot.
Still, while it conveyed the Hawaiian spirit, it didn’t necessarily tie-into the story. We talked about it and he quickly started sketching a custom piece of artwork on his iPad. A few minutes later he flipped it around and bingo, there it was:
Pa’u Hana rough sketch of final cover
This piece not only captures the spirit of Hawai’i, it pulls the reader into the story from the moment you see it (two guys living on Kaua’i wanting to go to Los Angeles).
While I don’t have the final version back just yet, I know it’s going to be a gem, worthy as the showcase of my first-ever novel!
Let’s see where we are at in the three projects I am juggling right now…
Pa’u Hana (my novel) – My graphic artist is working on the cover and an interior graphic which depicts the Island of Kaua’i and many of the spots featured in the book. I thought this would help those not familiar with Kaua’i get their bearings.
Architect of Passion (my biography) – Greg Schredder, the person featured in this bio has read the book. I’m happy to report he loved it. He’s busy making notes on each page to ensure everything presented is 100% factual.
Bourbon Mixology – This book features one bourbon cocktail recipe from 50 different iconic bars. I have all 50 bars identified and more than 1/2 of the chapters completed. I’ve been very busy tracking down those that have committed to get them to send my everything I need to finish their chapter.
All three of these projects are coming along nicely. I don’t care if it’s a big project at work, tasks around the house or writing a book, the last 15% of the project takes the most of your personal effort.
While I didn’t plan it this way, I’ve got three projects finishing up at the same time. I set out with the idea of 2015 being the year of my first novel. I’ve completed it which was a pretty amazing accomplishment in itself. It’s been getting edited and now I’m submitting my ideas for a cover design to my graphic artist this week. I will have an editing copy of it within a few weeks.
After a dialogue with a successful businessman (he had read one of my books), and true character, Greg Schredder, I pitched him on the idea of having me write a biography about him. That project is complete as well. Currently, Greg is reading through the rough draft, gathering photos and some quotes for the back cover.
With things like editing, waiting for pictures to get gathered and cover designs going on, I’ve had some down time in my writing. With that time I’ve started working on the next edition of my Bourbon Mixology series. The focus of this book is going to be 50 iconic bars provide their signature bourbon cocktail recipes. It’s a combination of cocktail book, travel guide to some of the coolest bars in America. I’m more than halfway done with this project.
It seems to be working out that I’ll have all three of these books getting published at the same time. I can’t wait to get these out there.
Be sure to pick up my “three pack” of books when they are available later this summer!
As I’ve got a couple of people reviewing my novel (Pa’u Hana) and biography (Architect of Passion), I was in a bit of a holding pattern on those projects this week. With some down time, I went to work on a couple of other projects I had in various stages of completion.
First of all, I completed and published the second book in my Coffeehousehouse Jazz series. From the highest look, these books are simply lists of great jazz songs. The goal is to help build the ultimate jazz playlist. This little gem has something for everyone. For the biggest jazz fans, it’s a chance to compare and contrast the songs on my list versus yours. Perhaps I’ve uncovered something you never heard of before. For the minor fan, you might recognize the song but didn’t know the artist.For those who don’t like jazz, give these songs a chance, you may convert! The books in the Coffeehouse Jazzseries are only 99 cents which is less than the price of downloading a single song so check them out today!
My second project I spent some time on this week was a sequel to my book Bourbon Mixology. This time I’m featuring bourbon cocktails from 101 iconic bars. I’m having great luck getting some of the coolest bars in the United States, and around the globe, sharing their signature bourbon cocktails with me. Can’t wait to get this one out there!
After more than a week of slacking, I’m back to writing. (Note: “Slacking” is probably a little overstated… my daughter just graduated high school and we’ve been busy getting ready for the big event, we had out of town guests staying at our house, a party with about a 100 people and then we took a family trip to the Wisconsin Dells so I’ve been pretty far detached from writing recently).
Anyway, the first drafts of the two projects I’ve been working on are now complete. It begs the simple question: now what?
For my novel, Pa’u Hana, I’ve got some rewrites to do. It’s based in Kaua’i and I’ve let a few friends who live there take a look at the first draft. They’ve given me some insight on making it a little more authentic. I need to incorporate their changes into the project.
Once I get those rewrites done it’s more editing and then a proof copy. We are moving forward and I’m pleased with the progress.
I’ve also completed Architect of Passion, a biography on businessman Greg Schredder. I’ve been in contact with Greg to let him know it is done. He’s working on photos for the book for me. I’m busy doing some of my own editing before I get him a review copy.
When you get to this point, you really just want to get your work out there. Unfortunately, editing is every bit as important as writing so I need to stay the course and go through the process.
Can’t wait to get these two gems into your hands, though.
I have two projects I’ve started referring to as twins since they both are centered in Kaua’i. They definitely aren’t identical, so they must be fraternal twins.
My novel has based in Kaua’i since I started sketching it out late last year. The other book, a biography of a Kaua’i businessman, came together when he reached out to me after reading another one of my books. He’s a fascinating guy so I pitched the idea of writing a biography after speaking to him.
The novel is done. I’ve still got some editing to do and there are a few rewrites I want to make to give it a little more of local feel.
I just completed over 8 hours of interviews with the businessman from Kaua’i. It’s going to be a brief bio, about 100ish pages. I’ve already got about 60 of those pages written.
Even though they have nothing related beyond the Kaua’i connection, I’m going to release them on the same day. If one ends up getting done before the other one, I’ll hold it back until both are ready.
With the first draft of my novel Pa’u Hana complete I start to wonder, what’s next. Well let’s see…
Well, first of all, Pa’u Hana is far from done. There is the editing of my book. The rewriting. Getting a cover designed. Marketing it.
I’m also working on Architect of Passion, a biography I’m writing on businessman Greg Schredder. That piece is about 50% done. My goal is to get both of these books published at the same time since both highlight Kaua’i (the novel is based there and it also happens to be where Greg Schredder lives).
I’ve also just completed the second of my Coffeehouse Jazz trilogy. I’ve started talking to a guy about a different biography. My third jazz book is 75% done. I want to get another Leo book out there this year. Small Brand America VIbegins in November. Oh yeah, I just started a new Bourbon Mixology book earlier this week. Finally, my daughter challenged me to write a science fiction short story on aliens. I’m always game for a challenge.