Sly’s front cover (In progress)

There’s a lot to be done yet, but this is close to the final look.


Above: Cover-in-Progress. I’ve mooshed in a background quickly. That will be remedied.

Below: Sha-Sha, as a harem-girl, to go with Sly in his Sultan costume. My next task: to get her head onto a body. The two will eventually be a pair of paper-dolls: Sultan/Harem Girl. Elizabethan Dandy/Court Beauty. A swashbuckling sea-slug and his exotic port-o-call wench.


> The ornamentation on the hat is very poor, copied out of a 72 dpi image just to get something in place. I have to find 300 dpi baubles to replace those iffy trinkets.

> The ruff needs to be brought forward, to top the bottom banner. The subtitle needs to be brought forward also.

> I’m going to extend the tail of the ‘Y’ in ‘Sly’ so it whips around under ‘The Rogue Decamps’ making ‘Decamps’ more readable, and so it acts as a flourish under the subtitle.

> I will fix up the right and left edges of the cat, extend hairs, add whiskers, and so on.

> I’m still playing with the colors.

> The portion of body showing at lower right, I’ll do something with that, make it an asset instead of a nothing-blob.

> I have to adjust the kerning in ‘Sly’. That bugs me. Not easy to do in Photoshop, I’ll have to do it in InDesign.

> I have to reconfigure to a standard size. This one was by eye.

Other tweaks ­will come to me, I’m sure. This thing still needs a *lot-lot-lot* of messing with.


Where am I at with the manuscript? I will go through my notes and add in the best of what I find. I want to do one more intense read/revision. I figure it’s within a month of being published.


I have another *big* problem: what do I do with my website? I have the whole novel on there, and most of book two. I should have up the first few chapters as a teaser. I’ll sell the full piece for, what, ninety-nine cents, one-ninety-nine? Maybe I can make enough to pay to print a paper doll.

I still have to create my own art for the website. A publish may be pushed back, to Christmas. Wouldn’t that be a grand Christmas present to myself!

It would be great if I had book two, with my pirate episode in it, ready to go by February a year from now, and to launch my promotion on National Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day. National Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day is the creation of the guy who brought us The Flying Spaghetti Monster, and those nutty Pastafarians.

I should give Sly a colander on his head as a tribute to the man, in my rapidly accumulating gallery of headwear (a pharaoh giggle is coming next). My hat series is a start on a poster. I call the series The Cat In The Hat, circa 1584.

A sixteenth-century colander, what would that look like? And why would Sly be wearing it? Got to think about that. This is how a short story written thirty years ago grew into a six-book series.


I see I can get a small glossy postcard produced for around twenty cents each. This cover design is almost the perfect proportion.  It will cost more than that to mail them!


21 thoughts on “Sly’s front cover (In progress)

  1. GD Deckard says:

    Beautifully done cover & illustration, Mimi! You’ve got to get this opus on the road!

    For those who haven’t been following, Mimi’s historical research is deeper than Google, to include actual period books, letters & writings. Her stories from the 16th century are accurate. Well, the characters and events are accurate with one sly exception -Sly, the talking cat, as delightfully portrayed by our one and only Mimi.

    Liked by 4 people

    • mimispeike says:

      The day I place ‘The Final Evening’ in ‘Drafts’, that will be the day my thing goes up on Amazon. I’ve whittled the final scene–Sly makes his most compelling arguments for being allowed to withdraw from court with the king’s approval–down to 1500 words.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. mimispeike says:

    A question for those already published: how many have an ISBN number? (For now, I will only e-publish.)

    Also, have you done the formal .gov copyright, or the informal (we own the copyright as soon as we write a piece) one?

    Liked by 2 people

    • GD Deckard says:

      Copyright is easy & cheap. I do recommend that you get an ISBN -I think they can be gotten from Amazon. Ask Ian k., on Facebook. He somehow got us a free ISBN for Sci-Fi Lampoon magazine.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I had an ISBN on my first non-fiction book, A is for Author, which I bought from a friend who’d bought 100 of them. I’ve since renamed the book, which means yet another ISBN. Under the new title, Writing Your First Fiction, it will have an Amazon ASIN. I think in the long haul that’s the lazy way to go, but as far as I know, for an indie, it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference. My primary distribution is Amazon. (About 1% of my sales are through Smashwords.)
      Re the copyright, it’s more complicated. If you want legal standing in a court, you must have a formal US copyright which you can get on-line for, I think, $35. A mail-to-yourself copyright is invalid if you, for example, sued a pirate for stealing your book and making millions off it. It’s true it’s our property when it issues from our brains to the paper, but in reality I don’t think that has any legal standing at all..
      I am not an attorney and this in no way is legal advice but I researched the latter for the book.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. mimispeike says:

    I just made a big decision. I’m going to clear my main website of the contents, copy and paste all that elsewhere, and rework the site using the full color art I’ve recently created, make it splashier, more commercial, instead of what I have now, artsy. I’d intended to put my full novel up, with additional material, for free, as a teaser for books to come. Now I think I’ll put up three or four chapters, and sell the full book for three dollars or so.

    Since I am laid off, I think I’d better try to make some money now, to finance my subscription fee for the Creative Cloud Suite, to print mailers and such, perhaps to buy my own scanner instead of using my husband’s clunky old thing, that I hate.

    I think my redesign of my site will come together as quickly as my cover did.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mimispeike says:

      There was a gorgeous, delicate, hand-drawn-illustration book–with largely hand-written text!–‘Faeries’ by Brian Frond and Alan Lee, published about thirty years ago. Lovely sketches, some with color washes. I was going for that look, but this one is better for me.

      This is a unified, multi-purpose look. I couldn’t see my sketches as the basis of a paper doll. And this, you’re right, photographic look (I have combined elements from photographs and photo-realistic paintings) will have more impact in a poster, or anywhere, for that matter.

      I have never painted (successfully, to my eye) but I am manipulating color here, and that’s the start.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. mimispeike says:

    I’ve been on the verge of a panic attack today because after hours shopping the web for a full-body standing-up cat, I had nothing usable. I need a tabby cat that looks like he’s standing solidly on two feet, the feet in a position to show boots to advantage, and he has to be my aging, on-the-tubby-side Sly.

    I gave up. I’ve built my own cat, the head from my cover, an upper torso and arms off a second animal, a tiger-striped tummy from another, one leg from a fourth cat, the other leg from a fifth and that leg will have to be extra messed with, it’s off a black and white kitty. I think I finally have what I need to put this guy together.

    You never know what you’re going to find when you do a search. A search for ‘gold chain necklace’ turned up an extraordinary beaded cat mask. My original idea was that Sly meets Sha-Sha at a masquerade ball, she’s wearing an all-enveloping costume and he doesn’t realize for a while she’s a monkey. She smells a bit strange, but she’s a stylish female just his size, he’s knocked out by that. I had pretty much dropped the idea. I’m back on that. This mask is too wonderful not to make use of.

    Liked by 2 people

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