"" Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_8339780_put-emoticons-blogger.html WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus: September 2019

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Lovely email testimonial from Philip Sherman Mygatt (@large_marge), author of INNOCENCE LOST - A CHILDHOOD STOLEN ... This is why I do what I do :D


A lot of the time, the only time you hear from a previous client/author, is when you happenstance across a Tweet or Facebook post. 

Even better, they either need another project started (which is always good) or, hopefully, when their book has won an award, received a great review, or has a special promotion they'd like help spreading the word about.

All of these are great and make what we do as artists even more rewarding than their reaction when seeing their book cover for the first time.

The reward I'm talking about today is a little different ... a lovely, surprise email from an author I created a book cover for last year, right before Christmas.  Philip wrote ...

Dear Aidana,

I have really good news to share with you. My book INNOCENCE LOST - A CHILDHOOD STOLEN has become a very popular book on Amazon and Kindle. It currently is the 4,000th best seller out of over 1,000,000 titles and is # 12 in the Best Jewish Literature read on Kindle. I am also very happy with the monthly royalties which have been over $1,000 a month for some time now. I think that I can attribute part of its success to the wonderful book cover you designed. It is eye-catching and tells the whole story in one glance that makes the reader want to read the book.

Thank you, once again.

Philip Sherman Mygatt 

Isn't that an awesome email almost a year after the job was done? It's so cool to find out I'm a part of that. It reminds me why I chose to be this type of artist, a book cover artist. Unlike most artists, I didn't start out as an artist at an early age. I was a reluctant reader till my teens and discovered David Eddings & Terry Brooks my junior year of high school. I was hooked on epic fantasy novels. But I started noticing I loved the book covers almost as much as the stories they dressed. So I started to copy some of the covers, then I started creating my own scenes of what I saw when I read the stories.

Next thing you know, I was taking fine art, animation, and design classes with the express purpose of becoming a book cover artist. I didn't want to be in the gallery or work for Disney or DC comics ... I wanted to paint dragons like Michael Whelan's THE WHITE DRAGON (one of the Dragon Riders of Pern titles by Anne McCaffrey).

So anyway ... I wrote Philip back, asking if he minded I post about his email and add his testimonial to my testimonials rotated on twitter (design to help build both our networks and promote both my work and the wonderful authors I work with). He gave me his blessing, so here we are. 😼

Now let's talk about Philip's book and cover ... I had conflicting emotions working on this project. It's a very dark time in human history with an unexpected turn of events and based on a true story, to boot. I did my best to create fear, uncertainty, and apprehension. I don't want to spoil it for you, so I'm only going to share what's already on the book's back cover ...



Back cover text:
“I finished reading INNOCENCE LOST - A CHILDHOOD STOLEN last night. I read straight through one afternoon and the next day, because I couldn’t put it down. Mira’s story felt more real than any fiction I’ve ever read. The interview format places it in real time, and the complex characters further enhance the story’s telling. The reader is there, standing in line at Auschwitz. We all know where the lines end, yet we know Mira has survived to tell the story. We live the horror of the Holocaust through a child’s eyes and, then, the thrill of a life saved. It’s tense. It’s historical. It’s heartbreaking and, finally, it’s fulfilling. The use of German phrases throughout was the perfect touch. I highly recommend INNOCENCE LOST.”

~Nadja Bernitt, author of FINAL GRAVE, a mystery set in the wilds of Idaho.



(Grabbed from Philip's FB page):
History will judge The Holocaust as an unspeakable catastrophe and rightfully so. However, the divide isn't as black and white as many would believe; there are many shades of gray that lie between the forces of good and the forces of evil. My fictional book is written so that the reader can explore this murky area and see history through two different lenses. It's an opportunity to see history through the eyes of a young, Polish, Jew who is taken out of the Auschwitz selection line by a Nazi, SS doctor who takes her home as a "gift" to his wife to take the place of their young daughter who was killed in a bombing raid in Berlin and it gives Dr. Mueller a chance to try to explain how he became a willing participant in this horrible death machine.

This is a story of their journey as the two of them flee across Europe to escape the advancing Red Army accompanied by a third, unwanted, passenger - what really happened to her family at Auschwitz and did the doctor play a role in their disappearance? In the final chapter, Mira, now a young adult, confronts her savior and asks him what had really happened to her family and how could he, a God-fearing family man, be a part of it. He tries, as best he can, to explain his role and peels back the covers just a little bit to let us know what it was like to be part of the forces of evil. Once you start reading it, it will pull you in and not let go until you know the answer.

​Available through Amazon as a printed book or on a Kindle reader or part of the Kindle Unlimited program. Now also available on an iPad and iPhone.

Don't forget to follow Philip Mygatt on Twitter and Facebook.



Like my work? Buy the Book that inspired it at #WillowRavenOnAmazon



Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven



What's my most-valued social media tool? CircleBoom!

*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven but posted as provided by author/publisher.

*All art and designs in this post were created by myself unless otherwise noted even if some images have been replaced with newer ones to keep post current with my portfolio.

Monday, September 16, 2019

LETTERS FROM BLITZ ~ cover art and design for Dan Santos (@dansantosnovels):

What if your best friend crossed the Rainbow Bridge? What if he saw your suffering and wants to send you a message from that magical place to let you know he’s OK? This is the story of a dog named Blitz who changed the Rainbow Bridge forever.

Today's post features something a little different for me. Yes, Letters from Blitz qualifies as a fantasy ... after all, it's about a dog that's met by his Spirit Guide (that has some really cool abilities) as he travels the Rainbow Bridge. A lot happens after that, but I'm not tellin'. Ya gotta read it to find out. 😜

I like to mention what challenges any particular project present, but this one had A LOT, lol.

The 1st challenge was really a genre limitation. The story is a fantasy, where the primary characters are dogs. The problem lied in how to make it clear to fantasy lovers that this is a book they will enjoy in a split-second glance.

Think about some of your favorite fantasy book covers and what initially caught your attention, alerting you to the fact that it was fantasy. Did you see a mystical creature like an elf or a fairy? Or maybe there are swords and sorcerers? The challenge here was how to represent a canine Spirit Guide that looks like a regular dog, just bigger. I didn't think the environment, where the pair are walking on clouds was enough to express the bigger dog's mystical abilities.

The 2nd challenge was replicating a believable Weimaraner breed of dog. The multitude of photos available for reference doesn't truly represent the 'grey-ghost' quality the breed is famous for. Something in the photographic translation alters the colors to look more greyish-brown, which is not what Dan was looking for.

And the 3rd challenge was to make sure my cloud-world didn't look too flat. Depth and scale in cloud-scapes, ocean-scapes, and desert-scapes can be deceptive, even in the real-world, because there is little to judge scale or distance with unless there is a ship, or a tree, or cactus between us and the horizon line, to compare with foreground elements.


Dan Santos likes to tell stories.

He’s traveled to many places and seen incredible things, beautiful people, unbelievable goodness and despicable evil in all their manifestations. These places, people and things might go unnoticed unless someone tells others about them. That’s what he does, hoping to transport readers from their everyday reality to a different world.

His writing reflects years of serving his country and family as a soldier, diplomat, son, husband, father and human companion. All these he’s done with great intensity because he believes there is no other way to live life.

Author Links:




Like my work? Buy the Book that inspired it at #WillowRavenOnAmazon



Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven



What's my most-valued social media tool? CircleBoom!

*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven but posted as provided by author/publisher.

*All art and designs in this post were created by myself unless otherwise noted even if some images have been replaced with newer ones to keep post current with my portfolio.