New Q&A with an Indian blogger

http://varnam.nationalinterest.in/2013/09/interview-steven-a-mckay-author-of-wolfs-head/

Please take a look – his questions were a little different, and great fun to answer!

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How to create a kick-ass book cover

 Ever since I published my novel Wolf’s Head I’ve had people asking me about the cover. Someone on Twitter even told me I should think about making the image into posters.

I’m not sure I have a big enough readership/fanbase yet to make that a worthwhile venture, but it was an interesting idea, and got me thinking about maybe making bookmarks or business cards with the Wolf’s Head design on them.

So, how did I get such a cool cover on my self-published book?

Wolfs-Head_ebook-FrontCover

Well, first of all, I knew I wanted a professional cover. I spent a lot of time writing the book, a lot of money having an editor go over my first draft, then even more time working to fit in her suggestions and craft the finished novel. There was no way I was going to stick some crappy self-made Photoshop number on there. It deserved better.

I’d read Gordon Doherty’s Legionary (which you should check out, it’s great) and the cover really stood out for me.

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I asked him about it and he told me the guys at GB Print had made the image for him. So I emailed them with my basic idea for the Wolf’s Head cover: a medieval archer against a forest backdrop, basically.

The first draft they sent me was great, but not quite right. The overall colour was turquoise, the big arrowhead (which wasn’t my idea and I hated at first, but soon realised was a really eye-catching design) was a fantasy-style thing and, most importantly for historical purists out there, Robin was holding a small bow!

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 I asked for those things to be changed, along with some other very minor points like the fonts and pretty much what you see now is the result. I was very pleasantly surprised at how simple the process was, and how, after just a couple of emails, the designers had managed to craft what I think is a really striking image. It didn’t cost the earth either – I’m sure the cover has paid for itself tenfold. It was a sound investment.

I’m now working on the sequel to Wolf’s Head and I honestly can’t wait to see what the new cover might turn out like. The working title is The Wolf and the Raven. I think that opens up lots of interesting possibilities….

Stay tuned. The next book will be out within a few months, and I’m sure the cover will be fantastic.

Anyone fancy a poster for their bedroom wall…?

Extract from the sequel to Wolf’s Head

I thought I would share a little extract from the sequel to Wolf’s Head, which I’m working on just now. This is from near the start of the book (provisionally titled The Wolf and the Raven), when Robin and his men find themselves sharing the forest with a lot of NEW outlaws…

“These other outlaws have no respect for anyone. Someone should stop them.”

“It’s nothing to do with us,” Robin replied, glancing up from his log by the fire, where he sat stirring a big cauldron of pottage.

The men muttered in agreement, but Tuck fixed his young leader with a glare. “Will you still be saying that when they rape someone in Wakefield?”

Robin shook his head, looking away from the clergyman. “What would you have us do, Tuck? We’re oulaws ourselves. We can’t go around Barnsdale hunting down others. All we can do is hope we meet these lads and they join up with us.”

The men shouted agreement at that, but Tuck shook his head. “These outlaws aren’t like us. They’re desperate – starving.”

Matt Groves snorted. “Desperate? I’ve been a wolf’s head for years, friar! Men don’t get much more desperate than me.”

“What’s that in your hand then, Matt?” the portly friar demanded, gesturing towards the bowl of pottage in Groves’ right hand. “All of us here have food, money, warm clothing and a friend at our side to defend us if the foresters find us.”

Matt waved a dismissive hand and turned his back on the friar with a scowl.

“You might think you’re desperate,” Tuck stated, looking around at the other men, his eyes finally meeting Robin’s. “But I fear we’re going to find out all too soon what truly desperate men will do when they’re trapped in these woods with nowhere to run.”

Free Kindle version of WH with paperback purchase

Amazon emailed me today asking if I wanted to join their new scheme. Basically, if someone buys the paperback version of Wolf’s Head (which is on special offer just now for something like £8.24 in the UK and $11.83 US) then they can get the Kindle version at a discounted price. I chose to set the discounted price as “Free”, rather than charging $1 or whatever for it. 

Seems a nice idea, it’ll be interesting to see how it works out when it goes live in a few weeks. 

Remember, you can also buy signed paperbacks directly from me in the “Buy Books” section!