Across the Wire by Stella Telleria
Publication date: November 2013
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
When Mia Mitchell, a hardcore but lonely former Marine, steps into an alley to pull some thugs off an unlucky foreigner, she walks into a fight she expects. What she doesn’t see coming is the foreigner making her a job offer any sane person would refuse. So, she takes it. She thinks she’s headed for some third-world country; instead she’s mysteriously transported to an Earth-like parallel world. That’s a mad left-hook.
Mia discovers a matriarchal dystopia where freedom doesn’t exist and fighting for it means execution. Lethal force bends all to the law; women fear for their families and un-wed men suffer slavery. Mia’s job is to train an underground syndicate of male freedom-fighters for a violent revolution. However, the guys don’t want a pair of X chromosomes showing them the way.
Eben, an escaped slave, is encouraged by Mia to become a leader among the men. But when he turns his quiet determination on her, it spells F.U.B.A.R. for cynical Mia. Their unexpected connection threatens more than her exit strategy; it threatens the power struggle festering with in the syndicate.
Haunted by nightmares and post-traumatic stress, unsure who to trust or how to get home, Mia struggles to stay alive as she realizes all is not what it seems.
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Author Stella Telleria shares her experiences with creating her own book cover.
I know a lot of authors who cringe at the thought of creating a cover for their novel. This creative process is different than the writing process, but I’ve always met it with anticipation as it signifies the book reaching completion. Being a self-pub author, I had full control over the cover which made it an exciting and scary experience.
While I’ve helped design covers or given feedback to authors on this topic, I’m no expert. But as an avid reader I know what I like and don’t like when it comes to covers.
What I do caution other self-pub writers against is the idea that the cover must accurately convey the story. I have a writer friend who is quite an accomplished painter and he has hopes of using his art as his cover. Instead of either of these two goals I suggest the author realize the cover is not about you or the story. Yes, it should relate to the story in some way, but realize that the cover is for your reader, not you.
Things to think long and hard about:
Who is your target audience?
What other novels/genres will the readers who read your novel pick up?
What do other covers in your genre tend to look like?
Is your reader male or female?
What’s the reader’s age bracket?
Would this image make you stop and pick up this novel in a bookstore?
These are the only things you should be concerned about and you should always get as many opinions as you can. One stock photo may alienate a gender, or embarrass a business man or mother, or not appeal to a younger generation. I also prefer to stay away from having faces on covers. I, as a reader, don’t like to be told what the characters look like. I prefer to imagine them myself. It’s okay if there are people on the cover if I can’t see their faces.
When I chose the photo for my cover, the image was originally a beige scale. It was pretty boring to me and I feared it would feel like an autobiography about a solider returning from Iraq. Though the image was a little dull, I felt it conveyed the story, complimented the title, and was interesting in composition. So, I asked my designer to ramp up the colour to give it an other worldly quality. I think it definitely feels like fiction now and the colour makes it pop.
I felt my story could be appreciated by men and women in a variety of age brackets. My story is categorized as Sci-fi, but I didn’t want to go with a genre specific cover because I felt it was a sort of mash-up of categories. That my novel could appeal to many readers, especially ones that don’t primarily read Sci-fi.
Last but not least, never underestimate the power of font. Font choice is so important. It can make a story seem serious, or silly, or boring so be careful. I chose mine for its military stencil look. And of course, be sure that the images or fonts you use are royalty free or are purchased and can be used in the manner you intend. No one wants a lawsuit.
All my life I’ve dreamed of stories or have had my nose buried in one. I live in Edmonton, Canada with my husband and my weird sense of humor.
I love old war movies, dystopian fiction, and any story with action, a good plot, and characters I’d get into a fight at the pub for. Not that I’m a brawler or anything. Unless you think that out-of-print book or vintage piece at the thrift shop is going home with you instead of me. Then, my friend, the gloves are off.