Redesign Time

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 5.57.05 PM

My new look

All women know there is nothing like a new hair-do or a new outfit to make you feel renewed and spiffy. I discovered today that applies to website design as well. I have spent the last few hours redesigning my page so I can add new content in hopefully a user-friendly way. (Y’all will have to let me know what you think.)

Even with a template to work with, I found it difficult to make decisions. I tried several templates before I played around with this one called ficitve long enough I got the colors and the placement of items the way I had envisioned. Not bad for a self-taught techie.

Experts talk a lot about the importance of branding for authors and I hope this color palette says beach and lowcountry to those who view it. The lowcountry is a setting, but it is also a character in my stories. To me, the palette of the lowcountry is blues, greens, and browns. I hope my books are beach read enjoyable and I am happy to report not only has that been a comment in reviews from readers, it is also a key phrase to find my book on Amazon. Seriously, a friend sent me a screenshot of her beach read search and my first book popped up on the first page.

So I hope you will enjoy my new look as much as I do, I have that swing my hair and look at my reflection in the glass feeling I get after I visit my stylist Mallory at the salon. I may just float out into the kitchen to take on my next task, finding something for supper.

 

 

Cover takes Award

 

2017-03-10 (2)

A portion of a post I shared on FaceBook

Fortunate is an understatement when I was introduced to Chris Berge of Berge Designs. He is truly a talented designer. He does book covers, Logos and all other kinds of design work for authors and businesses. I am thrilled to share that his design of my first book’s cover won in its category at the Spark Awards 2017.

I am completely biased when I say, I understand why. I think it is eye catching and conveys the book’s relationship with the South Carolina Lowcountry. For a debut novel, it is doing quite well and I totally credit this cover for getting people to read it.

I have said before that it vexes me that as a society we judge a book and just about everything else by its cover, this is one time I am glad for the judging.

Recently I had the pleasure to sit down with Chris over breakfast to begin the process for book three. I enjoy hearing about his family and sharing what’s gone on in my teaching and writing world since we last spoke. Once we are caught up we start talking cover and I so appreciate how it becomes a collaborative process. I share the story, Chris takes notes and asks questions and we bounce around some ideas. I love that he is open to my suggestions and always comes up with a product beyond my expectations.

I also love that he is local. This makes it possible to sit down at a table together. It also means he truly understands what a Lowcountry feel means. He lives it every day.

So I am tooting our horns, I am so pleased for him to get this recognition. I also like that I will garner some exposure from this as well. I am also so glad we will have a long collaboration ahead as I grow my titles. What a great way to wrap up this week!

 

 

A Feast For The Eyes

Feast for the eyesImages are in many ways as impactful as words.  In this age of multi-media and technology constantly at our fingertips, we are bombarded daily with images. Some draw us in. Some tell us  a story, think iconic photos in news stories.  Some manipulate us as consumers.  In the educational world we call these images visual literacy.

One site that has made us visually literate is Pinterest. It gives us a place to seek inspiration and collect images by categories and themes.  Sometimes an image sparks the idea. Other times the idea drives the collection of the images.

That is what happened with five of the boards I have created. I had written my novel, The Eyes Have It and I hope the scenes I described helped readers paint the pictures of my beloved lowcountry in their minds. I wanted to create some boards that showed how I see the lowcountry. How I see the natural beauty as well as the charm of Charleston and the surrounding communities. I also wanted to share the food that is such a part of  lowcountry culture and hospitality.

Madison Avenue has long understood the psychology of images. Now people use them regularly on blog posts, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I am sure that there are many more sites where images are essential, that this still learning the social media world writer is unaware of.

I find image searching a relaxing pastime. It helps me flesh out my ideas. It helps me dream of possibilities. It is a communication tool that has no language barriers, although I am sure there could be some cultural confusions.  Images help us connect with the world. Technology has made our world smaller. It has also given us the tools to make our personal worlds expand exponentially.

A feast for the eyes, a set of images can inspire, teach, and connect you with our world. They can also leave you hungry for some shrimp and grits with a hot buttered biscuit!