David’s Bookshelf Issue Three

AI for Cover Creation

‘Cup of Tea Tales’ – The Build-Up to Christmas. Winter and Christmas Parties at Harehills County Primary School in the 1960s. Cup of Tea Tales

  1. ‘Cup of Tea Tales’ – The Build-Up to Christmas. Winter and Christmas Parties at Harehills County Primary School in the 1960s.
  2. ‘Cup of Tea Tales’ – Hippy Attempt on the Summit of Mount Snowdon. What Foolish Things We Did as Students!
  3. ‘Cup of Tea Tales’ – Ashworth’s Sweet-Shop, Harehills. Sweets, Victory V Lozenges, Sweet Cigarettes and Other Delights We Have Lost Over The Years. 
  4. ‘Cup of Tea Tales’ – A’ Levels, the Final Year at High School, Planning to Leave Home, Getting into College and Growing Older if Not Wiser.
  5. David’s Bookshelf Issue 5

I’ve been very busy at home this week, with family staying and with my writing, my blog, podcast and music. Even so, I have been continuously reading and I am coming to the end of The Thursday Murder Club and I promise I will give my opinions in the next edition.

I mentioned Ai for self-publishers and as I have been learning more about it, I can see this is a wonderful development that I am making great use of. The cost of having graphic artists produce covers varies, but rarely is it inexpensive. For those who don’t know much about AI there are two main platforms and by giving the programmes written prompts the software produces art it believes follows your directions. The resulting unique pictures belong to you and you own the copyright. You can find some programmes using the open-source software that is simple to use and charge a small membership, based on the number of images and complexity. I use Dream Studio and this charges ten Australian dollars for about a thousand images and is fantastic value. It is simplicity itself to use, but it takes trial and error with the prompts to get the style and content that you want, but the learning is a great creative process. The images you create can be downloaded and manipulated using programmes such as Photoshop to create the cover. It is possible to take parts and combine them to make covers of a high standard and image quality.

I found I was creating maybe forty images and then mocking up the covers. This would not take long and then I would seek second opinions as to which is the best, what needed changing, colours, fonts, layouts, etc. I found that I could improve my original covers, in a short time and for almost nothing and I have a few for you to see. Are they better than professionally produced covers? That is a matter of opinion, but I like them, and they cost me almost nothing.

The two books I am reviewing this week are two worthy reads from self-published writers, so if you are looking for something new, then they are worth a go.

The New God of Mars: Red Frontier Book 1- G. C Young

Mars, but not as we know it!

The first crude and disastrous attempt to colonise Mars, by China and the USA, left the population decimated, and those who survived, deformed. A second, more successful attempt produced a harsh but habitable atmosphere. New settlers moved in, and despite skirmishes with the descendants of the first settlers, they were more successful.

Jack Taylor and his parents live a quiet rural life of ranchers, and Jack receives news his application and scholarship to the military academy has been accepted. Life for Taylor is good, and he has big ambitions, not the least being his love, Emily. This all changes when his and other frontier families are slaughtered by a gang of descendants, led by an eight-foot giant, but some of the young women are taken captive, and Emily is one of these.

Taylor has to pledge his service to Shun, a powerful crime boss, to enable an attempt to be made to rescue Emily and the others. The Gray, a retired ranger, and Taylor go in search of the gang, in true Western style. Red Frontier is violent, compelling and a book you won’t want to end. Mars is not as we know it, but is nonetheless an alien world. If you like fast action, tension and gritty characters, then this is a book for you. Believe me, you won’t want it to end.

Zoe Hearty and the Space Invaders – TE Norris

They Are Here!

Zoe Hearty, an admitted killer, locked away, but never having faced a court, has a story that even she can’t believe. Through her eyes we experience her life, from her marriage, her slow decay, her children, her hopes, her dreams and then her nightmare. The man she married was no longer the man she lived with. No, really!  And she starts a journey to discover the truth.

The secrets of the Gray Eclipse lead her deeper into danger in a tale that is part science fiction and part thriller.

This is a great read, easy, absorbing and frightening. It has all the elements to keep you reading and asks the question of what would you do? I thoroughly recommend this book to those who enjoy science fiction with a throwback to the era of The Twilight Zone. You will want to know, you will care, and you will look at your partner with a new questioning insight! Do you really know them? Can you be sure?

My only criticism is the title. It is far too jaunty when They are here!

If you are reading my blogs, then please feel free to ask questions, or make suggestions. I will be back soon.

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