Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Are you busy making New Years Resolutions? Imagining a bright shiny new year where you will accomplish things, improve things, maintain things? I am. But then again, I’m a goals girl. A resolution maker. To be honest, I live for this stuff.

Every year I type out our family’s resolutions and post them on our peg board. (My husband participates because he loves me.) It’s always fun at the end of the year to pull that list down and see how things went.

One of the reasons that I do this every year is that I know the power of goal making. Case in point right here, this quote.

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It’s the reason I finally got my butt in gear about getting a book published. I decided that if I was going to get one published, I wanted to get it done before I turned 30/had kids. I added GET A BOOK PUBLISHED onto my New Years Resolutions list back on New Years 2009. And because my dream suddenly had a deadline, I started taking tangible steps towards making it a reality.

But, I will admit, that GET A BOOK PUBLISHED, got put on my resolutions list for MANY years, before I had the satisfaction of crossing it off my list in 2014. Some resolutions just take longer than a year, but remember….

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So this year, I thought I’d post my resolutions, at least my book related ones, here to keep me honest.

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Laura Martin’s Author Resolutions

  • Write a NEW book (Something fresh…brand new…probably without dinosaurs!)
  • Post to the Blog more regularly (I’m erratic at best…down right sketchy at worst about posting to this thing.)
  • Branch outside of Indiana with book promotion efforts (I’ve visited primarily Indiana schools and participated in Indiana events, but this year it’s time to visit some new places! Anyone have any suggestions where to start?)
  • Get a New Book Deal (With Edge of Extinction-Code Name Flood coming out in May 2017, the Edge of Extinction series is wrapped up…for now at least. But my goal is to get another book in the publishing pipeline this year. Cross your fingers, say a prayer, and wish me luck.)
  • Keep my office organized (Ha. This may be the most difficult. I am messy, and unorganized, and I bought a desk with NO STORAGE. It is essentially a glorified table. It looks nice, but where is a girl supposed to store her dinosaurs?!)
  • Dedicate a ½ hour every day to JUST writing…not book promotion, not blogging, not returning emails, just back to my roots writing. (This is one I’m looking forward to the most. My ‘writing time’ these days is usually more –‘book maintenance’ time. I need to start turning off my phone, disconnecting the internet, and opening up the imagination floodgates to see what happens.)
  • -Less Social Media/Internet distractions. I think social media is wonderful, but I also think that I pick up my phone to check the time and put it down a half hour later not sure where that time just went… It needs to stop.)

So there is my list. Sent out into the great wide web, and I think it will help keep me honest. I’ll post back at the end of 2017 to let you all know how I did.

On a more serious note, I wanted to take a quick moment to THANK all of you. This year was a big year for me. It was the year my very first book landed on bookshelves, and I am beyond thankful for every single person who read it.

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A story is not a story until it finds a reader, and I am not lying when I say that I have the very best readers.

You guys wrote reviews on Amazon and Good Reads, you showed up at book signings, you invited me to your schools, you instagramed, facebooked, and requested that your library buy my book. I just wanted to stay a huge thank you for all of that.

It was noticed.
It was appreciated.
And it means more to me than you will ever know.

As a writer, you pour so much of yourself into your book. I don’t want to be dramatic and say it’s like having another child, but it’s close. The words are chipped bit by bit from that something inside of you that makes you, you, and then you send those fragile little words out into the great big world and hope for the best. Thank you for being kind to my words. For diving whole-heartedly into the world of dinosaurs with Sky and her friends.

Thank you.

Really.

I hope all of you have a wonderful 2017 where all your resolutions and goals are met, and where you live big and dream bigger.

Happy New Years everyone!

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Code Name Flood-Cover Reveal

So.

First an apology. I’ve been sitting on this cover reveal for, you know, forever. Or at least it seems like that. I was given the go-ahead to reveal away a few weeks ago, and then it sat on my to-do list getting stagnant. Not as stagnant as the leftovers in the back of my fridge I keep giving the stink eye, but close. And then Amazon beat me to it and took all the wind out of my sails. Which, as I already explained, I completely deserved. Oh well. Let’s pretend that didn’t happen and do the reveal here anyways. Shall we?

SO! Book TWO! The questions will be answered, and you will finally find out WHAT IS IN LAKE MICHIGAN!

Sorry for the cliff hanger ending on book one guys, really and truly. In my defense, when my book was sold to HarperCollins, it was sold as a two book deal, which meant I took my original manuscript and cut it in half to make two books. Well, not really in half. More like 70/30.  Either way. I had to make the middle of a book FEEL like an ending, or at least a little bit like an ending so there would be enough excitement left over for book two. It was hard. I’m not sure I did such a great job of it. BUT. Guys. Bear with me, because book two is good. Really good.

However.

I’m biased.

So clearly my judgement can’t be trusted. I’ll let you decide. Deal?

I detailed how the cover for book one evolved here. And I thought it would be nice to do something similar for book two.

Once again the amazing Eric Deschamps was tapped to do the cover design as well as the interior illustrations. (Spoiler-The interior illustrations are gooooooood.)

Similar to book one, I was told by the brilliant Powers-That-Be what scene they’d like to see on the cover. I whole heartedly agreed with their choice, but as soon as they mentioned the scene, I knew how I wanted the cover to look.

I wanted it to look like this.

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Image from here. 

(Those of you who know me well will know how hilarious this is since I’ve refused to watch the movie the entire way through. Every time it’s on TV I watch until the shark shows up. Then I peace out. Because-I’m a big chicken. The End.)

There is something wonderfully terrifying about this image isn’t there? I love the fact that you get to see what is below the water and above the water.

So the first sketch we got back from Eric looked like this.

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It was GREAT. But, just like with the cover for book one, I had a few things I wanted tweaked. Thankfully, Eric is a patient man.

The first was the Kronosauraus in the foreground. You’ll meet him in book two. So will Sky and her friends. That’s all I’m saying. BUT the problem was that his profile looked a little too similar to the Spinosaurus profile from the cover of book one. Totally my fault. I apparently have a thing for toothy, crocodile-like dinosaurs. (Although, if we’re being accurate the Kronosaurus is NOT a dinosaur. It’s a pre-historic marine reptile. But if you want to call it a swimming dinosaur, we can still be friends.)

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This was an easy tweak, and Eric just rotated the big guy so his fins were clearly visible. The other issue was our long-necked friend the Elasmosaurus. I was worried that in the original sketch his neck was a bit to bendy ala LochNess Monster.

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Image found here. 

Research has shown that while the Elasmosaurus was a fierce predator thanks to that neck, he couldn’t bend it like a swan.

Here was our next sketch.

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MUCH BETTER! My only remaining issue was with Sky. I don’t know why, but it didn’t look like her. So I made poor Eric mess around with her body placement. Arm up. Arm down.  Poor girl was doing the hokey pokey there for a bit. (I mentioned Eric was awesome right? And so very very patient. Bless him.)

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Then I asked him to work on her face. Don’t ask me why, but it just didn’t look like Sky, something about the eyebrows? Her hair? I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Thankfully Eric send me lots of options and I was able to pick one that felt a bit more like Sky.

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SO. Drumroll please!  Here is the FINAL Cover for Book two.

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If you had told me ten years ago that I would think a book with sea monsters on the cover was beautiful, I would have told you that you were crazy. But, remember this friends, when we achieve a life-long dream, it might not look the way we thought it would. Life is surprising that way.

I think they look nice together. Don’t you?

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I have huge prints of them hung over the desk in my office. And someday, when I clean all the paperwork, dog collars, random kid toys, pens, expired coupons, and clutter off my desk…I’ll post a picture to show you. But, since I’m kind of an atrocious housekeeper (I wasn’t kidding about the moldering leftovers in the back of the fridge)…I wouldn’t hold your breath on it.

Here is the fun part. I have a few ARC copies of Edge of Extinction-Code Name Flood sitting here, and I’d love to give one away! Want to win it? Here’s how you enter.

Post something about this giveaway OR about Edge of Extinction-The Ark Plan on social media. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram…I’m not picky, but I love creativity! Copy and Paste the link to your post in the comments either here or on my Facebook account. BOOM you are entered! I’ll announce the winner next week Friday!  Good Luck!

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