A Note:


I once told myself: IF I am accepted into grad school, this blog would no longer be updated. As it turns out, in April, I received news of my acceptance for the Fall 2013 semester, where I will attain a Master's degree of Science in Nutrition.

Running a blog, as many of you may already know, is a demanding side job once the excitement wears off. And once I fell out of the blogging community's loop (have you SEEN how many blogs there are now? Wow!), it was like the kiss of death. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't get into a blogging routine once this happened due to the disconnect I felt from the community.

So I took a break. I struggled with the loss and with missing my blog. And then I realized I didn't have to run Book Faery to still be a book reviewer; I could read my books and post reviews online. I'm still a book review blogger, just not in the traditional sense.

I'll still be online. You can chat with me on Twitter, where I'll be posting links to my reviews and talking books. I'll also be posting links to nutrition articles. And if you'd like to connect with me where I guarantee I will post reviews, just add me as a friend on Goodreads.

So that's all, folks! It's been a fun and amazing journey, and I thank you all for listening to my thoughts about books. I hope we all can keep in touch elsewhere :)


Friday, November 4, 2011

Guest Post with Alicia Kat Dillman

Hey everyone, please welcome today's guest blogger, who is here to discuss the visual elements for a graphic novel!

Alicia Kat Dillman
Website: http://www.katgirlstudio.com/
Blog: http://www.katgirlstudio.com/category/blog/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/KatGirl_Studio
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3478175.Alicia_Kat_Dillman
DeviantArt: http://darkkitten8.deviantart.com/

Because of the rarity of illustrators guest-posting on book blogs, Tori asked me to go into a bit about the art of The Marked Ones universe. But first here's a brief summary of Daemons in the Mist so you'll know what I'm even talking about. Without giving too much away here's a taste of what's in store for readers:
Patrick is more or less your average geeky art guy hopelessly infatuated with Nualla, a beautiful girl at his school. After rescuing her twice from a run-in with her ex, she invites him on a trip with her and her friends. When he wakes up the next morning to find himself married to her, he is thrust into world hiding within our own, in the places we humans can't see. As their lives rush forward towards graduation, he finds his world growing increasingly more dangerous. In the end he sacrifices everything for her, but will it be enough?

Daemons in the Mist has a little something for everyone; romance, danger, trust, betrayal, assassins, explosions, mythology and super-tech. It's about as an eclectic a mix as the city of San Francisco itself.

Now on to the aforementioned art part of this post. Usually there is a pretty solid divide between authors and illustrators (picture books aside) but since my illustration background is based in visual storytelling, telling stories with words and pictures comes pretty naturally to me.

About the Cover
It took me about 3 days to create the cover for Daemons in the Mist. I actually drew two sketches for the cover but it was decided that the character (Nualla) looked too passive in the first design, and she is anything but passive. The second design we felt better captured her other-worldly quality without sacrificing her more dominant personality.

Wind and fog; two things that are nearly a constant in San Francisco.
The cover idea actually came to me while driving home from work one night. At the time I was working in the design department at a children's toy company in the city up by Telegraph Hill. When you're driving down Embarcadero to the bridge this is the view you see. That night, the fog was rising off the water and cloaking the bridge and it just looked so mysterious and magical to me, I just had to use it as the basis for the cover.

When most people think of SF, they think Golden Gate Bridge, but most locals actually take the Bay Bridge in and out of the city. Since DITM is a story about teens that are Bay Area locals it seemed far more authentic to picture this bridge in the background.

About the Process
My artwork is done 100% digitally. I do my paintings in Painter 11 (I'll soon be switching to Painter 12) mostly with brushes I created myself. I usually work in a 4-layer process; sketch, ink, base, details. First I sketch the illustration in blue digital lead. Then I turn the opacity on that layer way down and ink over it on a new layer. When that's complete I turn off the sketch layer since I won't be using it again. Then I create a layer under the ink layer and do my base painting. Lastly I create a layer on top of everything to do my details.

I included a process animation for the cover here. http://www.katgirlstudio.com/portfolio/book-covers/daemons-in-the-mist-cover/

Supplemental Art
This image was done for Illustration Friday's topic Sweater and not originally intended to be part of the book's cover. However when the editor saw it he immediately asked to have it included in the cover.

The image isn't a direct scene from the book, but more or less gives you a taste of the mood and feel of the book's world.

You can watch the process animation for this piece here http://www.katgirlstudio.com/portfolio/illustration-portfolio/sweater/

Another quick Illustration Friday piece, this time it's of Nualla as Patrick sees her when they're at Club Lunaris. I mostly use the IF challenge to try out new styles and painting techniques so this time Nualla is in a more American comic style. Even though my style from image to image may change they are still always created using my 4-layer method.

You can watch the process animation for this piece here http://www.katgirlstudio.com/portfolio/stir/

The Visual Novel
Books bring worlds to life through word but translating that world into a visual medium is different thing entirely. When I wrote Daemons in the Mist I never imagined that I would then have to visually create the world of The Marked Ones.

Korat Publishing is partnered with up-and-coming game company NovelEXP, who makes visual novel games. Visual novels are a popular medium in Japan but which is still emerging here. Not to be confused with a graphic novel, a visual novel is what would happen if you put a comic book, novel and click through adventure game into a blender. It's kinda like the visual version of those choose your own adventure books.

However, when a visual novel has no branching storylines it is called a Kinetic Visual Novel. DITM is going to be a kinetic visual novel released in 11 5-chapter blocks. The VN is full color with anime style characters and painted backgrounds much like a Miyazaki film and will be playable on a long list of devices.

Here's a look at the concept development for one of DITM's lead characters Nualla Galathea

Some of this post is taken from the ongoing behind-the-scenes blog posts about the production of the Daemons in the Mist visual novel. You can check them out here http://www.katgirlstudio.com/projects/visual-novels/


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