“Coffee Cup Dreams” Has A New Cover!

2012 is a year of many changes. Not only am I writing and revising more than ever, I’m also looking back on what I did in 2011 to see if I can make it better. Specifically the stories already out there.

I’m in the slow and detailed process of getting several books ready for print. Before doing that, I want to make sure each is the best it can be. One of the big items that I’ve noticed, is that I’m not completely happy with some of the covers.

A good cover is crucial for basic marketing and promotion, and is in the top 5 points of a successfully selling book. It can sell a book to a reader 24/7. That is, if the cover represents the book well.

The first up for changes is the science fiction romance “Coffee Cup Dreams.” While I don’t think the old cover turned off readers, I also don’t think it attracted those who are looking for a dose of romance along with their science fiction. The original cover had several elements from the book, but fails in one crucial area: hinting at the sub-genre.

Coffee Cup Dreams Old Cover

Sure, it says ‘science fiction’, but where is the rest of it? While watching a few movies with the family, I started playing. I tried adding a human element, first by trying images of women, representing the main character Tish. Then tried adding in an image to represent the male lead: Arthur.

I came up with several options with Tish, but trying to add in one more figure just didn’t work out. The cover ended up far too complicated and did not shrink down well. So, in the end, I stripped it out and stayed with one female on the cover.

Then I started digitally painting. It’s odd, but I can usually look at a painting and remember what I was listening to or watching while I was doing them. For “Coffee Cup Dreams” this was both “Night in the Museum” movies.

Those are fun movies, by the way. I wish they would make a third, even though I’m not sure where they would go with a new story. 😛

The digital painting was fun, and I loved how the skin tones came out. Anyway, here is the result:

Coffee Cup Dreams New Cover

I’m much happier with this new cover, as I think it represents the book much better. It is now uploaded at all the retailer sites and will be propogating out to all the distribution sites and databases over the next few weeks.


J.A. Marlow

Coffee Cup Dreams New CoverCoffee Cup Dreams

She wasn’t supposed to wake up when dead…

During what should have been a simple operation, Tish Douglas died. And yet, she also awoke… in what the doctors called a ‘psi event.’

Despite having no memory of the incident, it means she’s required to go on a life-time course of debilitating drugs designed to reign in her supposedly new psi gifts. She’s left with the option of existing on Earth in a drug-haze, or leave the planet.

When an opportunity for a good paying job on a space station known as Redpoint One is offered, she jumps at the chance. Even though she doesn’t have any experience as a ‘maintenance engineer.’ Even though the station sits in the middle of nowhere, a still-operating construct of a long-gone alien species.

Between pirate attacks, intelligent repair robots, and maintenance emergencies, Tish must find a place for herself.

All complicated by a growing attraction to the one person on the station she can’t have: boss Arthur Getty.

A stand-alone 48400 word, 193 page (approximate), science fiction romance novel.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Tracy Hickman On Why An Author Writes

Tracy Hickman related a very moving story about an encounter while at a book signing. He also discuses the subject of why an author writes. It’s a fudge under 10 minutes, and a wonderful story. Bring the hankies and take a listen.

It is located on the Superstars Writing Seminar front page. Scroll down just a little bit and you’ll see the controls to listen.


J.A. Marlow

Tracy Hickman On Why An Author Writes
A planet-wide conspiracy is waiting at Grandmother’s house…

“Always wear the red hood and cape while you are in the forest,” Grandma admonished.

For a teen with purple and red hair, and an attitude to match, the small claustrophobic city of Oburos grows ever smaller with Uncle Travis’s attempts to take over her and her mother’s life.

An invitation to visit Grandmother’s house, nestled among the giant trees filling the planet, gives Kate a welcome respite. But, there is no time for rest. A conspiracy among the forest inhabitants, moving trees, and other mysteries await her at Grandmother’s house.

Kate learns just how little she knew of the forests, much less its animals. To survive she must learn fast, and that includes trust and teamwork.

And just where was Grandma, anyway?

A Science Fiction 83600, 335 page (approximate) word stand-alone novel retelling of the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood”.

AmazonTracy Hickman On Why An Author Writes | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords