The blog of author Harper Alexander

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The Creative Writer’s Handybook

Well, you might as well know, because it’s going to be published soon anyway – I’ve been working on a secret project, guys. Aside from the usual long list of fantasy/YA/dystopian/adventure novels I’m (supposed to be) working on, I’ve been putting together something of a different nature. Something NON-FICTION. We’re talking about a helpful handbook for creative writers!

It’s something that’s been on my mind as a vague project for quite some time, and recently I got inspired to start working on it, only to have it unfold double-time and produce itself with unexpectedly swift vigor. Who knew I had so much to say, and that it would be so much fun! I’m looking to release it next month. Some features of this handbook (which I have dubbed a ‘handybook’) include:

Writing prompts

Tips for Writer’s Block

Pep Talks

Gesture/Emotion Guides

Alternative Words for ‘Said’

Story-Crafting Advice

Quotes and Inspiration

Useful Publishing Links and Resources

A story by yours truly,  based on one of the writing prompts in the book

And more!

I’ve compiled it based on a mix of relevant blog posts I’ve already written on the subjects of creative writing and self-publishing, as well as new material I’ve put together based on things I’ve learned from others during my journey as an indie author. Lots of great stuff (if I found it helpful, I can only assume someone else might, too!) no matter what stage of the process you’re in, with a healthy dose of humor and of course the extra bonus of one of my short stories included at the end.

I’m really excited to share this project with you all! I plan to keep it on hand and continue to reference it to aide my writing process as well. Here’s a preview:

The Creative Writer's Handybook 3D

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Born at 7:29pm, Weighing in at 90,000 Words, 350 Pages

IT IS FINISHED. The Tournament of Eden has come to an end. It was officially born this evening at 7:29pm, weighing in at 90,000 words, 350 pages (ish). Both of those numbers are actually estimates, because while I’ve been typing the  book straight onto the computer for a good while, there is still a fair amount early on that’s hand-written and needs to be transposed. So I’m actually guessing there will be over 90,000 words, and the actual amount of pages remains to be seen based on the formatting of the book.

But it’s done! I’m so excited! Now I’ll put it aside for a few days before going at it with edits, which will probably be harder edits than I’ve had to do with a book in awhile, but I can’t wait to get it all polished and ready to introduce to the world.

Stay tuned for the exciting updates that always come with ACTUALLY RELEASING A BOOK!

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Awkward Author Moment Number 102

That awkward author moment when you triumphantly reach the end of your book and realize that reaching the end of the book is far more triumphant than anything your hero/heroine actually did in the book.

On the bright side, that means I have finally managed to write a ‘rough draft’, rather than my usual tendency of needing to get everything in there and just right up front. Again, more of a victory for me than my heroine, but I’VE BEEN TRYING TO WRITE A GOOD (BAD) ROUGH DRAFT FOREVER.

Also, I numbered this ‘awkward moment #102’ not because I’ve counted one hundred and two of them up until now, but in fact because its only the second one that I’ve notated and I know I’ve had way more than that. And besides, ‘awkward author moment #2’ just has a bit of a pathetic ring to it.


The Accidental Cover Change

While I was ‘supposed’ to be making pre-made book covers for my book cover design job, I accidentally came up with one that fits my upcoming YA novel The Tournament of Eden perfectly. This wouldn’t be as big of an issue if I didn’t already HAVE the cover for The Tournament of Eden.

Now I’m torn.

But I do like coming out with ‘special editions’ of my books (it’s a great way to offer double the promotions, and is just a lot of fun putting in the fun little extras that special editions might have), so maybe I’ll use it for that.

Here it is!

Tournament of Eden new cover

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3D Book Cover Mock-Ups

Hey all you writers out there – have you ever considered 3D mock-ups of your covers? I just started doing them! If you’re any kind of a Photoshop designer, you can probably figure out how to do this yourself, but if you’d like one done and don’t have the means, I’ve added this to my design repertoire as a cheap $5 service. Details below!

Example images:

3d book mock up fiverr 2 3d book mock up fiverr 1

Want to bring your e-book and its promotional material to life? Send me the image and I’ll render it into a 3D mock-up for you! I will send you both the 3D rendering by itself, as well as a collage that displays the 3D version with the original (as shown in examples above). I will deliver both files in .JPEG format, along with a .PNG of the mock-up with a transparent background for you to paste wherever you like. (For the spine, unless you specify a desired color, I will use either black, white or gray, depending on which works best with your cover, or colors/imagery from the cover itself if that works better for blending. Your title and author name will also appear on the spine, though I can’t promise to always match fonts. If I can’t match your font(s), I will use something that goes well with them.) Simply send $5 via Paypal and your cover image to: harperpages@yahoo.com, and I’ll deliver your order shortly! (If you like, feel free to include the names of the font(s) used on your cover, if you know them, and that will make it easier for me to try to match them.)

(The cover image I used for the examples is one I did for a friend (since I make covers themselves as well); check her out here: pageweaving.wordpress.com. And if you’re ever interested in cover work for your own books, check out my ‘I Do Book Covers’ page and shoot me an email!)