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06 April 2012

Keven Newsome Talks about His Book, His Cover and a New Character

Your Clash Hostess: Gail Pallotta

Gail: Reading is a favorite pastime for many authors. What was your top reading pick of the last year?

Keven: Since I’m a full time graduate student, I don’t get to read much except for my text books. I do try to catch a few titles during breaks though. Last year, my favorite and most surprising title I read was Alpha Redemption, by my friend and fellow Splashdown author P. A. Baines. I think this book has the potential to become a classic on par with Asimov. Seriously, if you’re a sci-fi fan you NEED to read this book. It is amazing.

Thank you for sharing. It’s always great to find new books. Share something about your book that you think readers would like to know.
Winter is a four book series. As the series progresses, Winter’s ability as a prophetess grows to rival Elijah. She does not just have a gift of prophecy, but is an Old Testament style prophet. I worked very hard to make sure everything she does is theologically and Biblically accurate. Everything she does has a corresponding Biblical example.
The story is not necessarily about Winter being a prophetess or her battle with a Satanic priest. It is more about her fall and redemption through Christ. That’s why the story is told in two parts. The flashback story shows how she fell to become unlovable and unwanted. The modern day story shows how God can take the most unlovable and unwanted person and transform them into something amazing.  I want this story to inspire all readers that even though they don’t think they’re good enough for God, God thinks otherwise.

That’s a wonderful message. How about your characters? Who is your favorite you've created and why?
That’s like asking who my favorite child is. I do think I have an answer though, but it might not be what you expect. Winter is my first born (of published characters, that is), and I’m very partial to her. But one of my most favorite characters belongs to a book I haven’t yet written. I’ve kept this story very close and haven’t revealed much information about it yet. I hope to write it this summer. Here at COTT, I’m going to give you an exclusive first look.
The character I’m speaking of is an eight-year-old girl named Miracle. She’s blind from birth, and named Miracle because she wasn’t supposed to live. She is a free spirit, independent, bold, and blunt…often wandering off to do things a blind child has no business doing. And she has an intuition about life that confounds everyone around her…so much so, they think she can read minds.
Shh…don’t tell anyone about her.

Aww, I feel so privileged to get an exclusive peek into your future book and an introduction to the main character. Thank you. I know writers generally don’t create their own covers, but it’s interesting to find out how they come about. Can you tell us how you and your publisher or publisher’s artist came up with your cover idea?
The cover for Winter was a complete group effort. The concept was mine. I’m allowed a good deal of creative freedom with things like this because my wife and I actually have done several covers ourselves. The covers of I Am Ocilla, Star of Justice, and Aquasynthesis are ours. For Winter, I wanted a little more professional touch than we could do at the time. So I asked for the talented Holly Heisey.
The design inspiration actually came from a movie poster for the campy Japanese horror Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl. I took the idea and my favorite pose from the photo shoot and developed a concept cover that I sent to Holly, along with some detailed descriptions of what I was looking for. After that…well, Holly did the rest of the magic, exceeding all our expectations.

That’s great. You are one of the writers who can also create covers. Is there anything else about the cover for Winter you’d like to tell us? 
The subject photo on the cover was taken during a photo shoot done by my wife during the filming of the live action trailer for the book. So the answer is, yes. It is the same girl on the cover as in the trailer. She doesn’t normally dress like that, but prefers a more classical “Jane Austin” look. But she did ask to keep the jacket as a souvenir, which I gladly gave to her. Her hair is not naturally straight or black. It was colored with a black rinse and artificially straightened. If you watch the trailer, you’ll see just how straight it is. By the time we got to the photo shoot the humidity was starting to curl it again. You can see it on the cover. Lastly, the little lines under the letters in my name were very strategically put there. They are to draw attention to the weird spelling so that people don’t get it wrong when they’re trying to do internet searches for me. The lines have become a standard feature for my name publically.

Thank you for that behind-the-scenes look and for the interview.
And now, Keven’s question for us. Lots of us would like to know the answers to this, so please share.

What are some clever ways an author can become more “multimedia” in order to appeal to the growing microwave/visual audience expectations?

The polls are open until next Thursday at midnight!Be sure to vote. You can see the covers and read the blurbs here. Be sure to leave a comment here or on facebook to enter the drawing for a book. You gotta’ like these odds with three great possibilities.

Come back on Monday to read about the creative thought process Shelley Adina uses to write Steampunk.

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Item Reviewed: Keven Newsome Talks about His Book, His Cover and a New Character Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Gail Pallotta