"And above all watch with glittering eyes the world around you, because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." - Roald Dahl

6 May 2014

STORM Author and founder of the Pretoria Writers' Group: LINZé BRANDON

You've been reading all about the STORM anthologies for a while now. With the launch of the ebooks, I'll be doing interviews with all the STORM authors, so you can get to learn a little more about them (us) all.

All the short stories featured in STORM Volume I and STORM Volume II are all available individually on Smashwords as well. I've asked the authors to give some insights into the designs of these individual covers.

My first guest is the founder of the Pretoria Writers' Group, Linzé Brandon. Linzé writes romance and sci-fi genres. Her stories are reGENESIS and The Cutting Horizon are currently both available to purchase.

1. How did you come up with the concept for your covers?

The concept for reGENESIS was easy. The story is about genetic engineering of the DNA helix which made it pretty simple. The difficulties came in deciding what image to use and how to present it as a cover.

 The Cutting Horizon was more of a challenge. It is a story about a marriage in trouble. That meant there had to be a man and a woman on the cover, showing both their connection, and division. While I had the idea in my head of how the cover should look, finding the right images posed a significant problem.

 I also did the cover for the STORM anthology. Both Volumes use the same background image, with the text providing the details to differentiate between the two publications. The concept determined what it would be: a storm. Given the variety of genres of the stories, using an image from the real world seemed the best option. 

2. Did you design it yourself or have help? If you had help, who helped you and on which aspect/s?

I did both designs for my stories. For reGENESIS I used a single image that I bought online and changed it to gain the end result. Some of the members of the Pretoria Writers' Group made comments on my design that I took to heart and made slight changes to the design. The changes involved the colour depth and saturation. I will check the design on a calibrated screen before publishing, to ensure that the colouring is perfect.

 The Cutting Horizon's cover consists of two photographs that I bought online and manipulated to get to the final design. This design I did on my own.

 The STORM cover was a more democratic process, it is not just my name on the cover after all. I picked several potential background images and presented them to the group. Each person had three votes to indicate the order of their preferences. The one that made the cover, got the most votes by far.

While the anthology was originally planned as a single book, it was split into two volumes along the way. The two covers still look much the same, with the exception of the Volume's number, the author names and the font.

3. Which software works best for you in the creation of your covers and why?

I use PAINT.NET. It is not glamorous and it is free. Easier to learn and use than the more expensive stuff. If there is some functionality that I do need, or either cannot do by myself, I ask my husband. He is for all practical purposes a professional photographer and knows more about Photoshop and Lightroom, than anybody I have ever met.

4. Of all the covers you've designed or had assistance with, which one is your favourite? Please provide a link.

Now this is the one question that is way too difficult for me. With the exception of KEEPER OF THE DRAGON SWORD (that was done by Jane Dixon-Smith), I did all the others, and I like each one for a different reason. But if I really, under-the-threat-of-severe-torture-by-writers-block have to choose, it would be OBSESSION's cover. It is not published yet. 


reGENESIS is part of the STORM Volume I Anthology
The Cutting Horizon is part of the
STORM Volume II Anthology

You can connect with Linzé online:
Linzé's Blog: (Butterfly on a Broomstick) http://www.linzebrandon.blogspot.com/



  1. Hi Carmen, thank you for the interview. Your cheerful blog makes my day :)

  2. You're welcome, Linzé! Thanks for being such a great guest :)