Cover Design – Robin Lovejoy-Tolkien

Robin Lovejoy-Tolkien, a young MG fantasy author from London, UK, began by setting herself an unusual task; to self-publish and market her novel Banshee in the Well via Amazon Kindle for a total outlay of ten dollars only. The whole of this princely sum was spent on the eBook cover and we’re pleased to give our readers this sneak preview of the final cover design for Banshee in the Well. Robin’s story is about Sathra, a twelve-year-old banshee girl, who travels in time from the thirteenth century to the present day. She befriends farmer’s son Niall Carver, who regards Sathra as a harmless magical friend. What he doesn’t realise is that Sathra must sacrifice Niall, or another boy his age, so as to regain her magical powers and return to her own time.

Robin told us: “I got the cover through the website tenbux.com which, as the name suggests, is a community of people from all walks of life who are prepared to do online jobs for no more than ten dollars. That’s about £6.60 in real money. I was lucky enough to come across a graphic designer (someone who I didn’t know before) who was between ‘proper’ jobs and keeping busy by doing these ‘gigs’ on tenbux.com. I was a bit of an awkward customer because at first I thought the original colour version wasn’t spooky enough. Then the designer hit the ‘negative’ effect on Photoshop, sent me the results and wow! Already the cover’s had a mixed reaction but some people have told me the overall effect is good because of the ‘juxtaposition’ (what a big word!) of the ‘pretty flowers’ around the well compared to the otherwise gothic atmosphere of the picture.

After a bit of soul searching I decided on plain Robin Lovejoy for the author name, to avoid expectations of elves, dragons, hobbits, trolls and wizards etc. Ok so my book is a fantasy but it has a contemporary setting and there’s only one fantasy character (a young banshee.)”

No guest appearance on this blog would be complete without a little advice for aspiring writers, so we asked Robin about her writing journey so far.

“I’m a great believer in plot and plot structure, as opposed to character-driven stories,” she said. “I think the most important part of a story is the ending. A book should always build up to an exciting climax and a satisfying conclusion. No one has a God-given right to be a successful author. I had to learn the craft the hard way, and in as much as I’m qualified to give advice I would definitely recommend the following ‘how to’ guides:

  • OnWriting by Stephen King
  • Complete Guide to Writing Fiction by Pat Kubis
  • How to Write a Damn Good Novel by James Frey
  • Creating Characters by Dwight V Swain
  • Creating Character Emotions by Ann Hood
  • Newnovelist software programme – available from http://www.newnovelist.com

I don’t think I would’ve got anywhere at all without these six invaluable sources of information and inspiration.”

We wish Robin every success with Banshee in the Well, which is due for release on Kindle in January 2012. To find out more, please visit Robin’s blog at http://sathra-bansheeinthewell.blogspot.com

You can also follow her on Twitter @RobinTolkien or check out her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Banshee-in-the-Well/284955514872238

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