I feel like sharing a select few books from my massive TBR I have reserved for my summer reading. The Goodreads reviews, covers and the blurbs are quite promising and I think I will have a great time reading these.
If you like dark, dystopian fantasy or epic fantasy with a dark twist you might want to consider adding them to your reading list.
The Riven Wyrde Saga series by Graham Austin-King is the first in my list. This is a dark faery tale, which is right up my alley. I read plenty of grimdark but this will be the first grimdark fairy tale I will be reading. The first book of the series was the semifinalist for the best Kindle reads award and received plenty of high praise from the Goodreads and Reddit /r/Fantasy folks. The second one has excellent reviews, too, but I just skimmed through them for the fear of spoilers. I will start reading this series as soon as I’m done reading Prince of Fools by Mark Lawrence (which is a superb read, btw!)
The 3rd book of the series is not released yet so I should be able to read these two before it’s out.
The next book I’m mighty curious about and dying to read is Peter Newman’s debut novel The Vagrant. It’s fresh off the press, published just a few days ago from Harper Voyager. The cover grabbed my eye when I saw friends sharing it on Facebook. The blurb is quite intriguing and sounds like something I’d totally love. I have a thing for mysterious characters and the main character of this book is as mysterious as they come, judging from the blurb and a couple of reviews.
The next in my list is the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. My co-bloggers at Grimdark Alliance have reviewed it and I really need to catch up since this excellent series is one of the must-reads of grimdark fantasy.
The last one in the list the Aspect-Emperor series by R. Scott Bakker. I loved The Prince of Nothing to death and it left me with a major book hangover. I have been holding off on reading its sequel, The Aspect-Emperor, cause its 3rd book is not out yet. I’m dying to know what happens next and what evils the dreaded Consult are stirring, what Achamian is planning to do and whether Kellhus turns out to be a hero or villain.
This pretty much sums up my summer vacation reading list so far. Whether I will get to read all of them before the end of the summer is another question. There’s nothing like the joy of reading grimdark under the mediterranean sun!
I learned more graphics skills yesterday & today, put my new skills to use and made a few logo concepts as well as a new header for my blog if you noticed 🙂 The metal logos could be used for book covers and blog headers. If you click on the images, you can see see the big, high resolution versions. Are they cool or what?
Today I managed to learn some cool text effects and typography tricks on gimp and made a concept design for the title of my WIP novel. Feeling too tired to write, I played around following this awesome metallic text tutorial and put together the concept. Almost looks professional, doesn’t it?
Though this looks more like a romance design rather than dark epic fantasy. I need to pick a more suitable font next time I try.
It took me about 2 hours to figure out the typography stuff. As a first timer, putting this together was not an easy task. Doing the steps of the tutorial took about half an hour. But once you get the hang of it, it gets a lot easier and takes less time. Besides, you can save the steps of what you do as layers in your gimp .xcf file, so it’s hell of a lot faster to duplicate the same thing with different texts.
My artistic side has been neglected since I took up writing and it has been complaining louder and louder as weeks passed by. This book cover design business worked out quite well. Now I can resume writing my missing chapters!
As a starving indie author I can’t afford a professional book cover design, so I decided to brush up my graphics skills to get ready to make my own covers. I use gimp, a free graphics software which is also known as the poor man’s photoshop. (You can download it from http://www.gimp.org)
If you want to learn how to make your own book covers, Rachel Zellers is running an excellent tutorial series on her blog here: http://lillianasterios.blogspot.fi/
Anyway, I have downloaded hundreds of fancy brushes from deviantart (searching for gimp brushes reveals hundreds of results) and decided to play with them a bit. I was actually trying to do a happy, cheerful, fairy-tale kind of cover but ended up with a creepy gothic thing. Reading too much grimdark fantasy literature has that effect on you I guess!
This is not the actual cover for my own book, it’s just a concept I slapped together this evening. Gimp brushes are a lot of fun to play with!