Monday, August 8, 2011

Introducing: Vampire Kitten and the 5 Fang Rating System

I'm what my mother used to call stupid-silly with sleep deprivation. School starts back this week so I'm going through the painful readjustment to normal people hours after weeks of summer vampire hours. The air conditioner picked the worst heat wave of the summer to die, and that hasn't helped matters. I also just upgraded from my older version of Adobe CS5 to the CS5.5 Master Collection. It's been fun picking through the more familiar upgrades and playing with images. All these factors combined to help create my new little friend, Vampire Kitten over there.

Yes, Vampire Kitten is the monstrous result of too little sleep, new design software, and a stock photo subscription. I saw him and, in a fit of sleep and heat-induced indiscretion, downloaded the little critter. I am not the cute kitten type, ok? But he was too cute not to mess with. And having invested time and a download into his creation, I decided to put him to work.

We all know I'm not really a review site. I just read like a fiend. Reviews just kind of happen. Vampire Kitten wants in, though. He thinks the star system is lame, and insists we go with fangs instead. Happily, we're both in agreement about Brenda Pandos's very newest release and the first book in a new series, Everblue:

Vampire Kitten gives it Five Fangs. Check out the full review at Goodreads or pick up a copy at Amazon.

There is actually a point to Vampire Kitten and all this playing around with graphics-intensive software: I was so frustrated trying to find covers for the Gifts trilogy that I did a few mock-ups of my own. It's not that I couldn't find good designers. My top two were booked solid, and I did I mention my cover art OCD? I figured that if I had even a sketchy mock-up of what I wanted, it would make the designer's job that much easier. Vampire Kitten took ten minutes in PhotoShop, but here's what a couple of hours of more serious effort yielded:

I don't think I have any writing that will actually fit this cover. It's more for practice than anything else. It was fun, though. Adobe's new InDesign and Photoshop, combined with a stock photo subscription, is like having a really complicated, sometimes frustrating, but infinitely fun coloring book. With a little more practice, maybe I'll be up to designing something I'd actually use.

Not that I don't love Vampire Kitten. Who has just discovered my "Cutest Kitten on the Internet" video from YouTube I posted back in July. He smugly claims I can no longer say "I'm not a cute kitten person." There goes my street cred.


  1. Meeeeoooow! Vampire Kitten is my kinda cute. I think the book cover you made is good too! I have a way, way, way to the side side-project that I'm considering doing my own cover for. It's something I should learn how to do if even just for mock-up purposes.
    It's hard to believe school is starting already! School out here doesn't start until September, but we don't get out until mid-June. Getting the kids and us switched over to school hours is going to take some doing! Good luck to you all!

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