Archive for the ‘fiction’ Category

The Chattahoochee Review

September 27, 2011

Friends sometimes become clients and my clients often become friends. And best of all is when a client becomes a friend and then becomes a client again!

I worked with Anna Schachner more than 10 years ago to create a logo and business card for her side business as a designer of beautiful bead jewelry. As long as I’ve known her, she has been a talented writer and a professor teaching creative writing at Georgia Perimeter College.

Anna was named editor of  The Chattahoochee Review, GPC’s literary journal, a few months ago. This respected literary journal is celebrating thirty years in publication and is known for publishing new and established authors from the South and around the world. They even have an annual contest, the Lamar York Nonfiction Prize, that awards $1000 every year. (Submission guidelines are here.)

I was excited when Anna contacted me about helping design and format the first issue of The Chattahoochee Review published under her editorship. It has been great fun to reconnect and have a chance to work with her and her team, including Lydia Ship, the Review managing editor.

In addition to this issue of the Review, I helped them update their logo and designed bookmarks, signage & ads.

This is what Anna said about working with me, “When we hired Vanessa Lowry to do the layout and graphic design of The Chattahoochee Review, a literary journal whose editorship was given to me just a few months before, I already knew that Vanessa was a great designer. What I would learn, however, was that in addition to her design skills — the logo she did for us is so perfect — she brings a kind of intuition that we desperately needed. In other words, being new editors and new to the publishing business, we didn’t know what we needed, but she did! She was patient, insightful, and always very quick to remind us of how changing one element of a design changes the entire thing. She even caught some typos that we didn’t. Her ability to be accommodating under our very tight deadline also meant the world to us. I can’t say enough good things about her. 

All you have to do is look at the cover of the latest issue to see what I mean. All the other literary journals are jealous. Enough said.”

This issue of The Chattahoochee Review launched over Labor Day weekend at the Decatur Book Festival. Anna was interviewed at the Write Here, Write Now radio remote on Saturday of the festival. Listen to interview number 5 to hear more about the writers featured in this double issue.

Subscribe to The Chattahoochee Review for only $19 for one year or $36 for two years. They accept submissions of poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Check out their website for full details.

Let me know if I can help you bring your book from concept to creation! Or, let’s talk about your marketing and graphic needs. Contact me at 678-521-8820. Find out more about me by visiting my LinkedIn profile or watching my video profile.

Take Me To TEXAS

September 26, 2011

I’ve worked with Walter (aka TW) Lawrence on many projects and was thrilled he asked me to design his book cover for Take Me To TEXAS. It is an anthology of short stories… all with a Texas theme. Although, one story takes place in my current town of Roswell, GA.

Walter has a great marketing mind and is promoting his book in interesting ways. He launched the book over Labor Day weekend at the Decatur Book Festival in Atlanta, the largest independent book festival in the United States.

He posted this comment on his Facebook page after the festival: “Vanessa Lowry is the graphics designer for the book cover, front and back. She interpreted my vision for the artwork in a way that made it better and in the process made it FABULOUS. An independent bookseller told us it was ‘the best cover he’d seen in the entire festival.’ WOW.”

At the Decatur Book Festival, Walt was interviewed by Tim Morrison as part of the Write Here, Write Now radio remote. You can see how Walter took the audio and combined it with photos to make a YouTube video. Very smart!

Walter had posters printed of the front cover art as another item he can sell along with his book. He also had shirts embroidered with the headline type of Take Me to TEXAS to wear when he is out promoting the book. He has developed a 20 minute business presentation on the topic of the importance of creativity in business to share with business professionals at groups such as Rotary. He is an alumni of Emory University and they are listing his book in their newsletter with other published alumni. Walt’s joining groups in Atlanta that have Texas roots to network with others who love all things Texan.

The front of the card is just the book cover. This is the back of Walt's business card.

Walt was my first client to use a QR code on his business card. He tells me many stories of how that creates a conversation with the people he meets while networking.

He and two other fellow authors will have a booth at the Texas Book Festival in October 2011 representing the Atlanta Writers Club while each promoting their own newly published book.

Walter is using this book to build an audience for his upcoming novel, Texas Cool Million.

I guest host the radio show Write Here, Write Now once a month. Walt was my guest on August 9th when we talked about using the power of your network when writing, publishing and promoting a book. Walter’s interview starts at about 20 minutes into the show.

It is fun for me to work with creative clients like Walter. We learn new things together.

Let me know if I can help you bring your book from concept to creation! Or, let’s talk about your marketing and graphic needs. Contact me at 678-521-8820. Find out more about me by visiting my LinkedIn profile or watching my video profile.

Love Among Enemies

December 18, 2010

Anytime I can learn something while being entertained, it is truly a bonus. Brenda Ledford, writing under the pen name Lorraine Tate, has published two books of romantic historical fiction. These books are part of a trilogy, set in the time of the American Civil War.

Reading these novels brought to life the devastation, the hope and perseverance our ancestors lived through during that time in history. It also made me appreciate more clearly things like electricity, running water and having ample food readily available. I can’t wait to read the final novel to see how the love story of Faith and Jonathan evolves.

Love Among EnemiesWorking with Brenda on Love Among Enemies was creative collaboration at its best. One of the elements she wanted to use on the book cover was a Rose of Sharon quilt which is referenced in the novel. She also wanted to incorporate a rifle from that time in history.

I used lo-res stock images to create a design that Brenda approved, but we didn’t have access to high resolution images and the quilt design I found wasn’t ideal. Sometimes a custom photo is the best solution.

Brenda sewed a quilt section using the Rose of Sharon pattern she wanted. She borrowed an antique rifle that would have been typical of those used during the Civil War. I was shocked at the length and weight of that rifle. It made me appreciate the physical strength of the men and women during that time to not only carry that heavy rifle for miles of military marches, but also to be able lift and shoot it with accuracy.

Marti Griffin, a friend and extraordinary professional photographer, shot the photo while I had fun art directing. Luckily, Marti also knew how to make fake blood! We shot all of the elements separately and I combined them in Photoshop to create the book cover. Here is a photo of that cool rifle with the antique bone powder horn. Civil War era rifle

This is what Brenda said about working with me on Love Among Enemies which included designing her book cover and formatting the book interior: “It has been great working with Vanessa. She’s a wonder of information and talent when it comes to proof reading, book layouts, cover design, printing, promo ideas and more. I love working with her.  Best of all, she’s a delightful person, organized, fast and a lady of her word.

My hat’s off to you, Vanessa. Much Thanks.”

You can purchase Brenda’s books on Amazon. Going Home is the first of the series and Love Among Enemies is next. The final book of the series, Blood in the Coosa, is anticipated for release in 2011.

Let me know if I can help you bring your book from concept to creation! Contact me at 678-521-8820. Find out more about me by visiting my LinkedIn profile or watching my video profile.