Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
I’ve added almost five-thousand words to Vivian’s Last Cigarette this week! The novel is sitting at just under thirty one-thousand words total in the final third of chapter nine this morning. There’ll probably be another five or six chapters to go after that.
In addition, I’ve also been creating cool artwork related to the story with assists from my wife who has a background in graphic design. They’re original works that pay homage and parody in style to bands that get nods in the story, while also serving as advertising.
Music is a really big part of Vivian’s Last Cigarette from a framing standpoint. Particularly late 70s and 80s punk… and 80s heavy metal. And the art is coming along well. So far, I’ve done an homage to the Dead Kennedys symbol and a parody of an iconic Sex Pistols cover. The one that’s looking fan-freaking-tastic, however… is the tribute to The Misfits! My wife crafted an original orc skull that captures all the feel of their mascot without ripping them off. I love it!
The designs are so great, in fact, it’s got us thinking about printing up actual t-shirts to sell and give away as promo! :-D The three acts above are particularly appropriate to honor in that regard… as in the story itself the main characters wear shirts from these bands. ;-)
It’s also been such fun that I’m considering doing another one for Iron Maiden… which, as you may know from reading the snippets from the story I’ve posted… gets a big tribute in the story. It’s such a great way to stay inspired on the project!
I really can’t wait to share the artwork once it’s ready! They’re solid designs on their own, but my biggest hope is that fans of the inspirational sources get a big kick out of them!
In addition to all of that, I’m also playing with cover concepts that look like a photocopied 80s fanzine for the book. Now, I was responsible for some fanzine creation back in the day… and in tossing ideas around with my wife we struck on the idea of offering Vivian’s Last Cigarette in a special edition format.
This format, in addition to an eBook version, would be an actual fanzine of four-ish issues! We’re talking real, folded and double-sided photocopies on 11×17 paper. It would be secured with staple binding and replete with “replication grit”, in-universe ads, and features like a letters section. Rounded-out with “talented amateur” production quality, my aim would be to provide as authentic of a photocopied fanzine experience as possible!
I don’t know if it’s an idea of genius or madness… but I bet it could be awfully fun! ;-) Here is a short snippet from chapter six where I played with a “fanzine page with photocopy grit” look:
(Warning: NSFW language and first draft snippet ahead!)
And now to skip ahead for another snippet, this time from chapter eight. It’s an important chapter that, among other things, shows us more of the world Viv and Gronk live as they talk about D&D, dimebags and what it is to be a changeling in 1989…
(Warning: NSFW language and first draft snippets ahead!)