What I Did On My Vacation 2016–Or, I Think I Need a Vacation From My Vacation…

Hello, folks! Well, I must say, vacation hasn’t exactly shaped up the way I planned. I got a lot of work done on books the first few weeks and for that, I’m grateful. I also made a lot of art. I had to, there was a lot invading my head. Namely three things come to mind and as a woman of business and industry, I’m not sure I want to mention more than the most terrible one. The rest only adds insult to injury. Here in the neighborhood (American spelling because I’m American, for those who might not know) we had a tragedy. One of our residents was in a car accident and killed. He was young. As a matter of fact, my son and this other young man went to school together since they were four years old. They are now almost nineteen years old. Something I forgot, my son and his long-time friend were only about two weeks apart as far as birthdays go. He will be missed by many.

In the midst of grieving, it seems like all the year’s bad stuff falls on your head at once. Well, me being the constant typical self-deprecating writer, I always feel like every screw up I ever make lands in my lap during the time I don’t need it. Case-in-point below:

The art I made over vacation is something I needed to do because there is always a rare occasion when that one perfect thing you find belongs to someone else. In terms of that, I didn’t use the best discretion, I suppose, once. (You heard me, ONCE!) For one of my own novels. Although I find threatening me to be laughable at best, harassment trumps entertainment laws in the U.S. any day of the week unless you already have more money than you know what to do with. So, even though hollow threats don’t bother me, what bothers me is people resorting to name-calling like common children. Which is, in turn, harassment. SO, in the name of professionalism, I won’t tell you to bite me. (You can thank your friends for that, by the way. You know who you are.)

Building book covers is a form of digital artistry as well. I was, by all rights, needing something new anyway. It’s not like I made a million dollars by using an image it took someone two years to notice and yell at me about. Let’s be completely honest, I didn’t make enough to worry about asking permission. Zip, zilch, nada. That was karma, I suppose. Anyway, the new ones for the whole Revenging the Evil series were created using a lot of different elements not just Internet photos. I made them with my own hands using filters and techniques I learned while learning the program I use to do my work in. And I used (ohhh…wait for it…) a picture for one of the backgrounds I took myself with a camera! Let’s see, two photos, three or four filters all set to different lighting, fonts, colors…all me and my brain. Boy, it sucks being a fake artist. *insert sarcasm*

NEW JNH1_Butterflies2_FRONT

I will go so far as to admit something else I feel is necessary to say. At the time I started using the different picture I was using for my book, I didn’t know how to do all the stuff I later learned. Anytime anyone asked about it, I said I made the cover not the picture, HUGE difference. I told them it was a Google find. It’s not my fault what people thought. Anyhow, it’s all a wash and a million miles under a burned bridge as far as I’m concerned at this juncture. As I’ve mentioned above, I’ve had things ten times worse than being accused of stealing happen this month.

Just so all you good folks know, if that book had been a decent seller, which it never has, I think the right thing to do would have been to split the royalties with the original image owner 50/50 because at that time I was good at typesetting, not creating from nothing which I learned later in my career.

In the publishing industry, getting fifty percent of the take, if the money is good, is more than sufficient to pay one artist. Actual numbers dictate, unless self-published, the author only gets forty percent royalties at best from the publishing house, that’s not to say they get all one-hundred percent because they don’t. The other sixty percent of what they do get goes to pay back the publisher for money spent on the project which a lot of the time goes to pay the editor, formatter, and cover artist. Unless you’re me, that’s usually not the same person. Most companies aren’t as generous as mine was, they usually offer a 35/65 split. Research this and find out if you don’t already know.

On a positive note, I got the fourth book (Freed from the Past) in the Revenging the Evil series (JnH4) almost done and an in-between series book started. (12K+ words.) This other novel is canon for the missing years in the original short story/first book in the series. It begins right after the short story ends. So, if you’ve actually read that, you may be interested to know, I’m working on filling in the blanks.

I’ve also been working (editing) which I didn’t figure I’d get back to until I was slated to in June. I’ve been working on two assignments. Books, of which, I enjoy both stories. One gets a bit scary and gory at times and the other is a historical romance set in the time of the Civil War. Complete paradox of mental capacity, I know. All people are different and so are their stories. *smiles*

Don’t worry, if you’ve missed me being on social media, I’ll be back soon. I have some other photos I took while I was away to post up for people. Prom in this area happened while I’ve been gone as well. Not to mention, I was just trying to keep my eyes set on the prize of trying to live life. Unfortunately, not all things go as planned. I can say, I’m happy I took my vacation this year as I was able to. The last three years have been busy ones. Anyone who knows me and my career path knows this. Owning and running businesses takes a lot of time, energy, and effort as I’m sure some of you know.

Oh, I thought I would mention one more thing. I shut off all comments to this blog until further notice. You can thank the people whose mamas never taught them how to behave. I have absolutely no tolerance or respect for people who think they can be mean behind a screen. If anyone ever has anything to say to me, email me like a person with a little bit of class. It’s not like I hide my email so no one can find me. (WordPress has this neat little feature of collecting emails and IP addresses.)

And last but not least, my given name at birth for all of you who get confused is Jennifer Oneal Gunn—first, middle, and last. (I’m not married and haven’t been for a long time, folks! LOL!) The next person to screw that up is paying me a lot of money! LOL!

Jennifer Oneal Gunn—author, editor, formatter, and mom.