Monday, July 23, 2012

All Things Writing Interview Today!

Dear friends,

If you get the chance, please visit my friend Kaye George's All Things Writing blog today, where she interviewed ME!  I KNOW, exciting, right?

Kaye was a tough interviewer, but asked questions that really made me think about my work.  And that's a good thing.

http://allthingswriting.blogspot.com/2012/07/interview-of-bobbi-chukran.html

And while you're at it, check out Kaye's excellent mystery series.

Happy trails!

bobbi c.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sneak Peek! Cover Art for PRINCESS PRIMROSE & the CURSE OF THE BIG SLEEP

Dear friends,

This is the third cover I've done for my upcoming middle grade/'tweens book---PRINCESS PRIMROSE & the CURSE OF THE BIG SLEEP--From the Case Files of R. Rapunzel & S. White, In Service to Her Majesty, the Queen.

Yes, I should win an award for the longest titles in the world!  LOL.


The book is the novelization of one of my award-winning plays that I wrote a couple of years ago.  I couldn't leave those two crazy gals behind, so decided to turn the play into a series of books.  This is the first in the series.

 The artwork has morphed from showing a boring brown office door to a much brighter, colorful illustration featuring the two sleuths---S. White and R. Rapunzel.  In general, I probably need to flip them since I use Rapunzel's name first, but this is just a rough draft of the finished cover.

I can't decide if I love it or not enough to actually use it on the published book.  I'll have to ponder it a bit.  The thing about publishing e-books is that you need a color "cover" that's basically just an image that's used online.  It also has to show up well in black and white, which this one does.

 I'll probably go with this one, maybe with a few tweaks.  Once the cover is finalized, I have a few more edits to do on the text.  I also want to do some black and white line drawings for the inside, basically making it an illustrated chapter book.

From there,  it will go through my publishing committee (which consists of Me, Myself and I).  Bottom line---the book should be available for sale by the end of September, if not before.  I have to brush up (heh) on drawing witches, frogs, elves and other motley creatures.  :-D

Happy trails!

bobbi c.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Interview on No Wasted Ink

Check out my interview by Wendy Van Camp that appeared today on her No Wasted Ink writing blog.

http://nowastedink.com/2012/07/18/author-interview-bobbi-a-chukran

Thanks again, Wendy, for having me!

Happy trails,

bobbi c.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

LONE STAR DEATH discounted on Amazon

Dear friends,

I was just notified that in their wisdom (and quirky marketing ways), Amazon has discounted my historical Texas mystery, LONE STAR DEATH, from $12.99 down to $9.35 with Free Super Saver Shipping if you buy at least $25 there.

http://www.amazon.com/Lone-Star-Death-Samantha-Emmeline/dp/1477673970

 So if you were on the corral fence, so to speak, about buying the paperback version, this would be a good time to do so.

And no, I don't know how long this price will last.  Wish I did!  Amazon didn't tell me nuthin'.  LOL.

Yeehaw!

Happy trails,

bobbi c.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Don't you hate it when this happens? Dreamus Interruptus!

Peeps!

So, I dreamed that I was in some sort of week-long camp of some kind with a lot of girlfriends.  I'm not sure where it was, but the Queen was supposed to make an appearance, and she invited me to have tea with her.  Not only once, but TWICE in one day.  Of course, this set me all a-flutter with anticipation.

Alas, Husband woke me up before I could actually do that, but I did catch a glimpse of her across the way.  Don't you hate it when that happens?  I call it "dreamus interruptus."  Turns out, it was Queen Floribunda, from my work-in-progress.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't THE Queen. Because well, um, they look a bit different.  I'm pretty sure Queen Floribunda's hat is pointy at the top, and THE Queen's isn't.

So, what brought this on, you might ask?  Well, I'll tell ya.  Yesterday I got one of my Wild Hairs that I often get, and decided that I wanted to not only do the cover for my upcoming PRINCESS PRIMROSE & the CURSE OF THE BIG SLEEP middle grade novel, but I also wanted to do some inside illustrations. In essence, it would be turning it into an illustrated chapter book instead of just a book with a color cover.  I spent hours looking at book covers online, working through a  few cartoon tutorials and learned how to draw a puppy, alien, and zombie.  All much needed skills.

This isn't totally outrageous, since I do have an (mostly unused) art degree.  But two years ago I announced that I was retiring from art.  It often takes me a while to process things, and to "get it."  I finally "got it."  I was doing a lot of really different and crazy drawings back then, using simple things like marker and ink, then decided to turn them into ginormous paintings.  That's where I took a wrong turn.  I should have stuck to the drawings, because that's where my absurd sense of humor really comes out.  The paintings were interesting, and colorful, but how many of these can one person really hang in a very small house?  You get the picture.  Yes, I sold a few of them to creative types who appreciate an absurd sense of humor.  (Thank you again, Little Sister!)

So, here's one of them. Yeah, I know it's a crappy photo.  Deal with it.  The point is---aren't those strange?  In an endearing sort of way?   I think at the time I was fighting an infestation of squash beetles in my Earthly Garden. 

So....the point to this is, maybe I can do the drawings for my book.  The cover is the hardest part, because it needs to appeal to adults with money, and the kids who will be reading the book.   (And practically, it has to look good in teeny-tiny size because it'll be an e-book at first.)  But if I can pull this off, well, heck, the sky's the limit. 

Because in those old sketchbooks I also  have a parade of crazy clowns, a whole lot of punkin head creatures, witches, cats with wings, strange and wonderful characters of all sorts who would just LOVE to get out and cavort around in a story of their own.

BTW, PRINCESS PRIMROSE is the novelization of my award-winning play I wrote back a few years ago. It's a hilarious mash-up fairy tale spoof featuring my series sleuths--R. Rapunzel & S. White, In Service to her Majesty the Queen.

Stay 'tooned for further developments.

Happy trails from la-la land!

bobbi c.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Looking for a Christmas Play?

Dear friends,

I just uploaded a long sample of my DOT & the (AMAZING TECHNICOLOR) QUEST FOR THE REAL SANTA CLAUSE on my website.  DOT is one of my family-friendly, award-winning comedy plays that has yet to have a production.  So it's a BRAND NEW, original play.  How about premiering it at your school or theatre?



Click on the title to see more information about the play and to download the PDF file.  I'll be happy to answer questions about royalty rates (affordable!), just e-mail me.

Happy trails!

bobbi c.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How to make a book trailer

Dear friends,

I'm pleased as punch at all the wonderful messages and such I'm getting today about my new book trailer for LONE STAR DEATH.  In general, the reviews are good and I've had quite a few views overnight.  And some even think that the "silent movie" treatment suits the book.  That's great, because I've still to figure out how to put audio with the thing.  Still, it was a first project, is a tad rough, but it did strike a fire in me to do more of them.

I've always loved multi-media projects.  Back in school, I was always the kiss-up who begged the teacher to let me run the film projector.  One of my projects for Speech class was a "multi-media extravaganza" using an opaque projector, cheap tape recorder, a poster and hand-outs.  LOL.  In college, while studying for my Early Childhood Education certificate (before my art degree), I took a few courses in multi-media where I got to play with bigger, fancier equipment.

Then, when I was chosen to set up one of the first Macintosh networks in Austin, I really had fun.  And recently, I've discovered GarageBand, iMovie, iTunes---and it's all multi-media again, just a bit more high-tech this time.

I had sort of forgotten about all this until I started messing around with Powerpoint two days ago.  I worked for Microsoft back when they first bought Powerpoint, and I have to say that it's been greatly improved since then.  It's still buggy as hell (LOL) but still fun to use for slide shows, etc.

So, this morning everyone's asking me HOW I made my book trailer.  Here's the short version:

It's not that hard to do--unless you want music in it.  Let's just say I'm a bit balder today from that audio thang.

Write a short script for the text, distilling your story into as few words as possible.  Mine is a tad long, but nobody's complaining much, yet, so I'll leave it for now.  The longer, though, the more memory it gobbles, so that's one consideration.  Audio also gobbles a LOT of memory.

Use Powerpoint and make a slide show, adding text, photos, pictures, whatever.  Then save it as a movie, and upload to YouTube.  That's the simplified version.

The long version-----insert where needed---pull at  your hair, go find some snacks, open a bottle of wine, drink a little, eat a little, drink some more, go yell at the cats who are scratching at the door wondering what all the strange noises are, go gobble down dinner, drink a little more wine----repeat.  Oh yes, and there was cursing.  Lots of cursing.

 The only step I didn't take, and should have, was to ingest massive quantities of chocolate. 

Maybe I'll try that today. 

Happy trails!

bobbi c.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Little Red Riding Boots is a Winner!

I'm pleased to announce that my LITTLE RED RIDING BOOTS & COOTER COYOTE, MASTER OF DISGUISE play won FIRST PLACE as well as AUDIENCE FAVORITE in the recent production in Williston, ND. 

The Summer Shorts 7: Animal Antics Festival, sponsored by Youth Education On Stage was directed by Jack Dyville.

LITTLE RED BOOTS is my Texas-style, insane crazy adaption of the Little Red Riding Hood story, except with a wiley coyote, a talking horse, fried chicken and an armadillo Sheriff ("Matt Dillo" natcherly).   As they say about most of my fairy tale mish-mashes, this ain't yo mama's fairy story!


Thanks to Jack Dyville, Director, and all the wonderful cast.

By the way, LITTLE RED BOOTS is available for productions right now.  Just e-mail me for details.


Happy trails!


bobbi c.