Bookwright, game designer, gamer, collector of too much stuff. Want to discuss a project, idea or send hate mail just email me!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Jerry Ahern dead at 66

Jerry Ahern was an influential part of my growing up, he wrote the series The Survivalist and wrote a lot of books and articles about guns/gun safety that I read was I was studying criminology.
He was one of the reasons I enjoyed Top Secret as well the post apocolyptic settings.
He is also the reason I have bought a Rolex, Tom Maringer blade and a Detonics .45.
Goodbye Jerry!

Total War (The Survivalist)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weekend Update 07/29/12

Let's see:
We converted the Dragori race this week and added a new NPC class, as well as adding 4-5 more POI's for C&C Bluffside.
Received 4 short stories and some ideas from a few others this week, need to send out notes for story #4.
Possibly working on a deal to get another one of our previous works back out there, a lot needs to be hammered out and we will not be converting this one.
Watched 21 Jumpstreet and really enjoyed it, it made fun of itself and wasn't a remake as much as a sequel set for 2012.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Games I am Waiting For

Right now I have two I am keeping an eye on, both role playing:

Dungeon and Dragons 5e (Next), the info coming out seems like it will be of interest to me and my gaming group where 4e left us flat, I am looking forward to seeing this product.

Monte Cook's new game, what he has written so far in his blog makes me think I will enjoy reading this game and will hopefully get my group to play it as well, my group tends to lean towards fantasy but this may help.

I am still looking forward to Wasteland II and Shadowrun for the PC and trying to play boardgames but my group is resistant.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cover Art: From Concept to Creation: Part III

After receiving a few great sketches and a rough of the background I decided it needed more movement.  I wanted it to feel that when you looked at the cover the characters were about to attack you.

We ended up tweaking the female, Fritien a lot.  In my initial thought I wanted her to be pulling bark from the ground and moving it up as a shield, it did not translate well on the page like it did in my mind.  So I decided to make her hold a wooden staff and cast a spell.

After looking at it I felt it was too static.  I asked the help of a long term writer and overall nice guy Ed Greenwood for some feedback.  He had huge insight on the image and helped bring the cover to its next level.

We moved the lion's head down lower to look more threatening, we moved her hand back as if she was launching a spell and we took the male and made him more threatening as well as had the bowstring pulled back more to add more tension to the piece.

As the art director I was more worried about the feel of the cover and Greg did do many tweaks (thank you so much) to get it to where we all felt it was ready to paint.
As far as what Greg did to tweak or change the piece, how the feedback adapted to the art, check his continuation of this on his blog soon!

Check out the Facebook page for The Awakened as well for all your The Awakened news and updates.

Friday, July 20, 2012

3 Submissions in for Anthology

I have just received my 3rd submission for the Anthology, I am reading them over to make sure it fits the setting and then gathering them up for the publisher, I have read 2 so far and working on the 3rd, it is very exciting to watch your world come to life via another person's pen. 

I am enjoying this process much more than I thought I would!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mid-week update

My agenda:
Received 1 submission for the book, read through it and enjoyed, just got number 2 get it read.
Get more work done on Bluffside C&C, the team is starting to really get the info and run with it.
Get part III of the cover blog done I am holding up Greg.
Discuss an interesting offer about another of our older pieces when we get more specific.

All to be done by Saturday AM!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weekend Update: Late Edition 07/15/12

Did some idea organizing.
Started to think out my next Concept to Cover blog post.
Got some updates from fellow Bluffside contributors (for those that have not updated me, shame on you!).
Going to see Amazing Spiderman today.
Hope to do some writing after chores (after movie, first showing for me).

What are you doing?

The Amazing Spider-Man

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Received my first Kickstarter Item--Dice!

I have bought a few things from but only just received my first item today.  OK, not entirely true I did get a pdf copy of a comic book already.

My first physical item, I bought some dice that were made from rare and/or unusal wood.  I have a thing for dice I have some made from  asteroids, dinosaur fossils and so this intrigued me....and here they are:

I really like the color.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Awakened has a Facebook page!

Please head on over and like it:
The Awakened on Facebook

Come with us on a journey to the fantastic world of Grimaton and the Awakened. In the world of the Grimaton most people, when they reach adulthood, get a banquet or perhaps some choice gifts but a rare few get something far more.
Some become “awakened” and a power born in magic springs to life within them. Whether this is a gift or a curse depends entirely on what strange ability has manifested in these youths and who else might seek to harness the powers born to the few who have these extremely rare talents.
Within the awakened, the range of powers and abilities vary greatly. Some get an affinity with a specific type of animal, some become healers, and others are granted the power to wield mighty spells. Be it royalty or chimney sweep, son or daughter, when you are awakened you forever changed, and forever hunted.
The first book of “The Awakened” anthology is set to release in 2013.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cover Art: From Concept to Creation: Part I

I will be honest I love art!  And when I see a piece that I thought of come to fruition, it is one of those weird great joys that I get.
This will be a look into the creation of one such piece of art, the cover for The Awakened anthology that I am the lead on.  Since I have an art director background I was fortunate enough that the publisher let me work with the artist on the cover and be my own art director.  I say this because it is true, not many people get that much influence over a cover.  So thank you Neal Levin.
I have had this image in my head for years, even though this book will not be available till early 2013.
I will not be going into how to find an artist, all I will say is find one that you feel can do your image justice, make sure the artists is comfortable with the medium and understands the project before you start.  I wanted a realistic feel to the piece, so someone who could pull that off, examples of whom came to mind for me were Frazetta, Ken Kelly, JP Targete, to name a few.

                                                                    © Ken Kelly
It starts out with a mental picture (for the untalented in art such as myself this is as far as it gets).  From there I like to describe the image to the artist with as much detail as needed but not too much because I really feel the more room you leave for artists the more they will embrace the image and try and take it to the next level.  

So once Greg agreed to do the piece I sent him a description like so:

Here is a description of the 2 humans:
  Tangris was a tall with shoulder length blonde hair male who hovered about 6'2" and had a tough sinewy build.  He was a good fighter and was going to be a hunter as soon as he completed his rights to adulthood.  He had a great family and felt blessed he would be a hunter, that was a position of importance to people in his village.  He had an old sword and his father's bow which he fletched arrows himself to save money.  His best friend Fritien was also of age to go through her rights of adulthood.  Fritien was medium build about 5'4" and quite well proportioned for a women of her size, she had long flowing brown hair that always had some bit of nature holding it in place, and wore frugal and smart clothing.

I envision all 3 maybe on a cliff side of a ledge looking straight out from the cover, Tangris in chainmail shirt and leather armor and a leather bracer on his left arm since he is a bow hunter, sword on his left side a quiver of arrows on his right hip and holding the bow with a notched arrow at a downward angle but able to move it up quickly so the bow will look like a smile not up and down.  Fritien will be looking out holding a long curled wooden staff, her area is nature magic, so I would love her hair to have a circlet of flowers and her "casting" a spell and we see bark raising from the ground to appear like it will be a shield in front of her, and then Vigi the lion, he is a standard lion but the IQ of a person, so he will also be patient but ready to attack on a moment's notice.  Background can be plains and one of the features in the world is 2 moons so maybe both coming up on the left side.  With them being on a ridge that gives the publisher some room below for authors names as well as the right side (no moons rising) and the top will be the title.

I figured Tangris would have ranger type clothes and colors and Fritien, well no idea so whatever colors work with the rest.

The 3rd character was a black lion.

 And here was one of the first versions of what came to me via the internet.
 Greg Opalinski

To be continued on Greg Opalinski's blog here....

The Awakened  ©Hal Greenberg

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Coming Up Later This Week:

Friday or Saturday AM I will have my first blog on the cover art, it will be about my initial idea.
This weekend I will give a Bluffside C&C update.
I received my first story for the anthology and will have it read by this weekend no matter how sick I feel!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Title and Logo of Anthology Introduced!!!

The book is part of a setting called The Awakened, and I would like it titled The Awakened:Anthology Book 1.  Here is the setting logo:
Greg Opalinski has agreed to do the cover and over the next few weeks/months we will be cross blogging about the cover art creation experience.

We will also have a Facebook page for fans of The Awakened set up soon.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cover Art Blog

I will be doing a series of blog posts with the cover artist Greg Opalinski where we will be letting you in on each side of the creation of a cover and the changes and tweaks made.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we will have writing them.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Weekend Update 07/07/12

Some good stuff coming some sketches of the cover are done and I am thinking we should have an approved rough by this evening.  Also got one of the short stories for the book sent to me, as soon as cover decisions are are done I can not wait to read it.

Was told by at  least one of the Bluffside C&C writers we will have some new updates from him
I am planning on writing some more today as well.

Oil change, grocery sore and some cleaning are on the agenda today, getting 3 more bookshelves tomorrow so looking forward to that-seriously sad but I am.

Good times, good times.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cover is coming all very fast, more Bluffside headed in.

Already have some sketches and feedback and I am trying to see if he is willing to make a blog so we can show the communication and stages it takes to make a cover.
Stay tuned, if publisher gives me the the green light I will try and let some of the early work on here so people can see what the excitement is about.

Hope to see some Bluffside C&C stuff loaded up from some of the writers,and see how it is going.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!!!!!

I hope you and yours have a great 4th of July and remember to thank a vet or current person in the military, without them we would not be spending out time with our familiy and friends speaking about what freedoms we have left.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Artist is Confirmed for Anthology!

Phew, we have a cover artist, came quick and out of nowhere but I am happy with the result.  Once we have some rough sketches I will check with the publisher to see if it is OK to sneak a few on here.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Post Weekend Update

Bluffside meeting done and sections assigned-check.
Rough idea on when we want to finish it, check
Phone meeting done and looking over a different project, check
Possible cover artist found, check.
No work on story because I am ill, check.
Decision that license is not going anywhere and moved on, check.
Bought some bookshelves, check.
Read a bit as well.

Overall not a bad weekend.  Now if I can just get my son's stomach to feel better and get out there and mow the lawn!!!!!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday, Bloody, Sunday

Having more medical issues may not write today....
Still have my PM phone meeting, and I just bought three of these bookshelves, because as you know geeks can NEVER have too many bookshelves.