A Newbie

I'm pretty new at this whole create a webcomic thing. But I figure I'll use Raher's webcomic to sharpen my skills as I work on the historical epic (1860s samurai falls for slave). Anyway, here's a test comic (really raw here, not the final, just placing things and seeing how she'll look)

Reach out and touch...by cell phone

Razher, the teen she-wolf



I've been working towards a phone app for my YA characters.
Got some new sketches that I hope to color tonight (edited to add, I did as I promised, the color versions are below also), but I think I love Havoc's the best.

Havoc the Teen Gargoyle poses


Havoc in blk and white (after I cleaned it up a bit in Photoshop. I hate re-inking, so I just darkened my pencil lines)



And here's the final result in color:



Mac1 Teen Vampire


Mac1 in blk and white:


Mac1 in color:


Mac2 Teen Vampire


Andre1 Teen Werewolf


Andre in color:


Andre2 Teen Werewolf


Andre2 in color:

TWO SITES with one goal in mind

What have I been up to?
Well, I bought my domain names RAZHER and CONFESSIONS OF A SHAPESHIFTER. And I'm hosting them on Wordpress. So what's next? Well, I've got to finish coloring my pages and then post them to get the ball rolling.

I've got two sites with one goal in mind. To increase diversity in paranormal romance, whether it be in YA or Adult.

Oh, and to tide you over, here's a couple of side stills of HAVOC, the Chinese Gargoyle (while he's YA, he's not under 18):







WHAT AGENTS ARE LOOKING FOR NOW

I just love when an agent gets specific about their wants, or what they aren’t currently looking for. Here’s two agents who go into detail about what they’re looking for, which helps when you’re trying to figure out who to send your query to. I’ll update my page with new agents whenever I see them.

What Jill Corcoran’s looking for, as of Dec 2009:
The Herman Literary Agency

http://www.jillcorcoran.blogspot.com/

1. Young Adult realistic romance with authentic dialog that makes me yearn to be the main character.

2. Paranormal MG or YA that keeps me at the edge of my seat and has a fantastic payoff at the end.

3. MG that captures the reality of Middle School with an intriguing plot plus authentic emotion. 7th and 8th grade =hormonal roller coaster where kids strive to be independent yet are still such babes in the woods.

4. Laugh-out-loud, fast paced Chapter Books, MG and YA.

5. Books that organically combine illustration with prose--MG and YA

6. Characters that reflect the popular kids, not just the loners, geeks, etc....I was asked on FB, 'If main characters are popular, healthy, athletic, gets straight A's, gets all the girls, has a perfect family, etc., where's the story?

The story is: who the world perceives we are, how we think about ourselves, and who we really are is usually not the same. I just read The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart. I loved the part where the mc realizes that the boys she thought were confident and had it all were actually self-conscious and insecure about 'issues' the mc never considered.

Some new favorites not on my original list: Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree/Fell in Love by Lauren Tarshis, The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart, Forever by Judy Blume, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, What is Goodbye? by Nickki Grimes.

For now: no high fantasy.




Elana Roth from Caren Johnson Literary Agency:
http://www.johnsonliterary.com/blog?currentPage=2

What Elana Roth’s looking for as of Nov 2009:
1. Middle-grade novels. I have been reading a ton of awesome MG novels lately. When You Reach Me is perfect. I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President (which I guess some people are calling YA, but the kid is in 7th grade, so dammit, I'm calling it MG) is cracking me up. So send me something with a strong hook and a great voice, and make it good. Think big.
2. Non-paranormal YA. I've had so many "I see ghosts" books cross my desk, that even if you are reinventing the hook, I can't see it anymore. I don't mind fantasy, or sci-fi elements, but bear in mind, I like my YA reality-based with a splash of those things. Go read CANDOR if you really want to get a sense of my taste. So give me a twisty YA, give me a voice I haven't heard before, a vision of the future I haven't seen yet, a POV that hasn't been touched on (I'm still waiting for the YA version of the movie SAVED! to cross my desk).
3. Conference invitations. I am sorely lacking in 2010. What happened? Invite me to your regions! I'm funny, I swear. Even if I'll yell at you for pitching me in the bathroom. You deserve that.
To submit to her, email elana [at] johnsonliterary [dot] com
Please note, on the blog site she says No Vampires

Are You Really Ready, Really?

I'm seeing this around the web and on different sites, and I'm asking myself the same question, so this applies to me too. The thing is, so many writers believe they're ready. If you truly think you are, then good for you. But there may be a few things you'll want to review before submitting that manuscript.

Have you cleared up all the typos and polished your prose until it shines?

Is your first page, or even your first paragraph a grabber and a keeper, and is it your best introduction to the world you've created?

Does your book flow, making the reader want to continue on with each chapter (lets be honest here) because they just have to know what happens next. And you're certain your middle doesn't let the reader down and the ending is satisfying.

It's like hearing a new song for the first time. If the melody appeals to you, you'll keep listening. If not, you change the station. Sure, all this is subjective. But if what you've written is really good, that song stays on your mind, and you may want to hear it again, or even download it (legally download it) so pretend this is your book. The first page works, then another page gets read, and if all goes well, you're on your way.

One last thing.

PLEASE tell me your secret, cos I just gotta know.

Short and sweet, gut check time. Are you really ready? Really?

I answered my own question, because I deleted a posting on my blog that had two lead in's for one of my novels. But truly, it wasn't ready and I realized that once I posted. I knew it deep down, and I had to make a decision. It's not three hundred pages down the drain. It's three hundred pages of perfecting my craft. I'll go back to it, but right now, I had to ask myself if this was the work I really wanted published. And honestly, it wasn't. Sure, it hurts, but you know what? I'll survive.

Has it been a Year?

Wow. I guess it has been a year since I started this blog, but if I remember correctly, I signed up but didn't post anything until this summer. Gotta change that, so I'll be posting more of my writing and completed comic pages (after this weekend, gotta get some rest)

Four days off. Four. Days. Off. :)

Progress, Part II

Worked in Photoshop this weekend while editing some of my novels. Here's more sketches that I colored using the program:




I think I like this version of Julian better.




This is a more detailed sketch of Razher, but I don't like the brown I used. Gonna go back and fix that. See what I mean about my pencil work? I left her eyes alone because I don't want to lose the softness of her gaze. Pencil is my strongest medium, but if I feel more comfortable once I gain a better grip on digital coloring, I might go back and work on her eyes.




Rahzer's man Machiavelli Faust. I think I'll stick with this flesh tone and hair color for him.




Razher punch pose (this is one heroine who doesn't need saving)



These are my boys from the other site. Just couldn't resist posting them here. Thomas, Scott and Bo (Wizard, Gorgon and Lycan)



One of my favorite Razher poses

In progress and making progress...

Still learning my way around Photoshop, but at least now I'm choosing the coloring for all the characters. I've found what works and what doesn't for me. While I have a drawing tablet, it still doesn't give me the feel and stroke touch like pencil and paper. And when I draw directly on the tablet, I'm not able to give the facial emotions I can with pencil. I prefer drawing and then scanning in my work (got a new scanner YEA!) then adjusting the levels, btu I still like leaving some of my pencil strokes in, so that's gonna be my style. I think every artist who works in digital early on has these reservations about their work when drawing with a tablet, but I do like digital coloring, and all the possibilities it provides.

Here's a sample of what I've been working on;

A few versions of Mac (hair color, trench coats still yet to be settled on)











Another Site

Hello all,

Changes abound. I've got another site up, specifically for an adult graphic novel. The pages of RAZHER are more teen oriented, so I decided to avoid confusion it was best to separate the YA and middlegrade works (different genres and comics) from the Adult (scifi, graphic novels, historic novels)

If you get a chance, check out the other site at:

http://confessionsofashapeshifter.wordpress.com

The link is also in the side bar. Remember, from this date forward this site will be for middlegrade and Young adult works. Thanks for stopping by!