Designing Book Covers

The more I play around with Photoshop, the more I am beginning to think I can just do my own book cover for Starstrikers.  I was able to come up with some elegant titles and layout that was pretty much what I had in mind.  All I have to do now is come up with a proper unit coin for the center picture.  I think it would look best as a 3D object, but I have no skill in using 3D programs.  So I will most likely attempt it in Photoshop.

Then I have to come up with something for the back cover.  Write some copy for the plot summery and some how make it sound like you should drop everything and just read the book.  I think I should be using Illustrator for that, so will hold off until I can get that program.

You can see my latest version in my portfolio on the About page of this blog.

A Change of Pace

I’ve decided to give Null_Pointer a break for a while and work on getting my first novel ready for a contest and self publishing on  I first had to cut and paste the text from Open Office into my editor – CopyWrite.  This let me keep track of everything including versions.

Then I began the long process of reading and making edits and re-reading and re-editing until I am satisfied.  When I was in film school, many years ago, I can recall messing with a short film in editing until there came a point where there was nothing left to edit.  Same thing with writing.   This will be the third or forth time looking at Starstrikers and there really isn’t much left to do to it.  As I progress through the story, I will clean up some things that I noticed the last time I read it or that others have noticed, but I don’t anticipate any major edits.

I’m ready to hold it in my hands and put it on the shelf.  By self publishing it, at least I can let others purchase it and read it .  Instead of just refering to it idly in conversation.  I really do like the story and I want to write more in the series, but other things are more pressing at this time.

Book Cover

This is an open call for anyone who is good with graphics and art. I’m looking for a cover for my sci-fi novel – Starstrikers. You can read the novel here. I can’t afford to pay you, but will give you full credit in the book when I self publish it on If you are interested in working on the cover, please post a comment to this blog entry.

You can reach me on GoogleTalk at ken.mcconnell.

Here is a crude thumbnail of my latest idea. The story is about a special operations group, so I thought a simple, heroic unit patch would be the easiest to pull off.

Starstrikers Cover Concept

First Novel On-Line

If you are especially curious you can now read the entire text for Starstrikers, my first novel.  It’s in the menu under Pages to your right.  You can either read the whole thing as one long web page or just download it in Word format.  I’m going to be sending it to a publisher this week and if it’s accepted, it will probably be taken off the web site or at least offered in limited form.

If that happens, you can then buy it online or perhaps at your local bookstore.  Please do, I could use the money. :)

Science Fiction Novel

You may have noticed the pages for Galaxy Collision with two novels listed underneath. The second novel in a planned trilogy is complete and awaiting a final edit. Starstrikers is now down-loadable as a single Word document.

It’s a space opera story about special operations troops fighting in a galactic war. Good times, easy to read. Let me know if you read it what you think of it.

Centar’s Dream

I changed Centar’s dream after I read Carl Sagan’s “Demon Haunted World” and realized that I had similar dreams about my father. I had been wanting to rewrite that dream for years and now I have done it. I was going to have him dream about Sloan’s death to show he still had issues with it. Now the challange will be to work this dream and the ramifications of dealing with Sloan’s death into the rest of the story. There are a number of other points I need to make or clarify in the story before I can say I’m finished with it. In re-reading Chapter 1, I could find nothing more to add.

Insert Garnot Scene

Need to play up Garnot’s unusual relationship with the Con-One Base Commander. Show how the base CC is a Dezzian sympathizer, if it gets him what he wants – no labor difficulties. I think a whole scene with these two will be generated and inserted sometime before the Starstrikers get to Dezzen. Something might have to be added about Garnot while the Starstrikers are in route. I’m sure it will come to me after reading the next few chapters.

I’ve found a publisher for Starstrikers – LuLu?.com. They are a publish on demand company and they give the artist complete control over the end product. This is exactly what I wanted. I am currently stepping up the rewrite and hope to be able to offer the novel in a perfect bound version starting early 2006. If you just can’t wait to read the whole book, the latest version of the text is now available in .doc format. If you do download the novel and read it, please take a moment to send me your comments.

Cover Art

One issue yet to resolved is what thecover should look like. Currently, I am envisioning a Starstriker Unit Patch on the front and a blueprint of the Eclipse on the back. Both peices of art are now being worked out by my brother – Graphics Artist ByRon?. When I get some examples, I’ll put them up on the site. One of the challenges is to make the book covers match from Starforgers to Starveyers as they are all part of one series.

What Is That Image?

You may have noticed the new mast head image for My View.  It is a design for a enemy starfighter, “Terror Diver” from my novel – Starstrikers.  I came up with that design back in high school and it was updated and re-imaged as Line Art by a fantastic artist who likes to remain anonymous.  If you are a graphics artitst and like to do Sci-Fi, get in touch with me about doing a cover for my book.  I am close to publishing it as print on demand, but as of now, I have no viable cover art.