Please join me in welcoming Starla Huchton to Team Tynga’s Reviews today! She’s the author of MAVEN, the first book in her new adult science fiction romance series. She does all sorts of neat things when she’s not writing so I’m sure you’ll enjoy this post. =)
For me, books are part entertainment, part obsession. Not only am I an author, but I have involved myself in other aspects of book-creation as well. So when I’m not writing and not chasing after my three kids while my husband is out to sea, I also design covers and do a bit of audiobook narration.
When I was younger and working in a U.S. Navy print shop in Keflavik, Iceland, I decided that I wanted to become a graphic designer. Specifically, I wanted to design covers for the books I loved to read and write. For me, it was another method of telling a story, albeit a completely visual one. For seven years, I worked toward the experience and education I would need to see this dream to fruition, and in January of 2012, I finally opened up shop as a freelance cover designer and graphic artist. I adore what I do; meeting new authors, translating the heart of their stories into images, and learning about the new and interesting worlds created by them. Every cover I do, I learn a new trick, a new technique, and grow as an artist. It’s a fascinating field, especially when someone looks at your creations and wonder if you aren’t actually a wizard. (Spoiler: I’m not, but I may play one on the internet.)
One of my other skills is in book narration. I discovered this talent after releasing my first novel as a full-cast audiobook podcast in 2009-2010. As it released, people came forward, complementing me on my narration and asking for my participation in their own work. In 2011, I did my first for-pay projects. The most notable of these is the Emperor’s Edge series, of which I’ve read the first three. As of this moment, I’m working on an audio version of Misty Provencher’s Cornerstone, book one of her YA series. I fell in love with this book from the moment I read it, so having the opportunity to spread it to new readers (or listeners in this case), is very exciting for me!
Along with all this business, I’ve found that I’ve become partially an educator as well. I’ve spoken on panels at conventions about the various things I do and with every new cover I post on my design site (www.designedbystarla.com), I try to demystify some of the process of creating covers by explaining what I’ve done, why, and how it was accomplished. I leave my door open (or email inbox, as it were) to questions and free feedback others want on their own designs. I do this because a book cover is the first impression a reader has about a book. If an author doesn’t have the skills to create a compelling image, their words should not be penalized for this. As my first priority has always been sharing great stories (mine or anyone else’s), it’s my way of assisting in this process.
So you can see I’m very busy. Juggling these things, along with writing and family life is a huge challenge, but one I’m enjoying immensely. And that’s what makes all the difference. If you’re doing things you love, it will never, ever be just “work”.
Thanks for stopping by, S. A., and sharing a bit about yourself! =)
You can also check out the other stops on the tour:
Here’s the scoop on MAVEN:
How far would you go for love?
Since losing her parents at fourteen, young prodigy Dr. Lydia Ashley has focused on one thing: an appointment on the Deep Water Research Command Endure. Now twenty-one, she’s about to realize that dream, but nothing is how she imagined it would be. Her transitional sponsor forgets her, her new lab is in complete chaos, and, as if that weren’t enough, she’s about to discover something so horrific it could potentially destroy all life on the planet.
Daniel Brewer, a noted playboy and genius in his own right, may be exactly what she needs… Or he may make everything worse.
Has she finally found a puzzle she can’t solve?
There’s a tour-wide giveaway of one (1) e-book copy and one (1) print copy of MAVEN!
Read the Rafflecopter for details since there are different options available.
Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!
Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!