Monday, June 16, 2008

Getting artistic on you

We're working hard to put the last finishing touches to the new website before it goes 'live' in a couple of weeks. This afternoon's endeavor was the 'send an e-card' segment, which works beautifully, is extremely friendly, and colorful. Check this out:

We did over thirty 'cards,' which use the artwork from bookcovers and the calendar. They're quite eye-catching. I'm impressed ...

...and this is also a chance to show around some of the very new artwork, such as the cover for the 2008 edition of AQUAMARINE. Oh, yes, I'm proofing it. Even after all these years I can't believe what happened with the Millivres edition. Put yourself in the writer's shoes for a moment (or his hat, if you prefer), and imagine that the manuscript you turned in was published just as-is, without even a fresh pair of eyeballs to proofread it and pick up whatever typos! I'd been waiting to get the galley back, so I could go over it myself, and what did I receive? A box of presentation copies! Jaw hit ground, heart stood still for a moment, and then I do believe I screamed. Hmmm. [sound of sighing]

The chance to go back into AQUAMARINE and take another crack at it is very welcome. This will be the next Keegan book online, and it'll be up in July. (I have a mammoth amount of work to do on other projects, but this one is easy, and I'm actually looking forward to it. The last time I read this novel was about seven years ago, and I always liked these characters a lot.)

One of the jobs I have waiting for me is to sit down and talk lucidly (ha!) for an hour or two with the designers from DreamCraft. Subject: the NARC armor. The bloody NARC riot armor. Which has become another cause for screaming. No matter how the helmet is drawn, it's not right ... it's weird; I can 'see' it in my mind's eye, but the instant it drops to two dimensions on paper, it's wrong. Or at least, not right. What I see is something oddly graceful and yet deadly with menace.

A few folks have wondered if the armor from IRON MAN is close to what I see as the NARC armor ... and it is, and it isn't. (Incidentally, I liked the movie a lot. If anyone was asking moi, I'd have to say it's the best Marvel movie since the first X-MEN, and Robert Downey Jr. is so perfectly cast as that dissipated heap of debauchery, Tony Stark, the casting could have been done in heaven. If you haven't seen the movie yet: see it on the big screen if you can. It'll look great on DVD, but this is one film which really uses the massive screen, and is advantaged by it. And yes, it's a power trip. I get a very similar kick out of it as I do from the NARC stories ... and that's saying a lot. Kudos to Marvel on this one; cheers also to Robert D., who pulled a neat trick of acting with the character change in the middle of the picture. You really dislike him in the first reel, and the fact is, you don't have a lot of sympathy for him when he gets caught by his own weapon and taken prisoner. Rather than have him change utterly and become a moralizing goodie-two-shoes, the writers had him LEARN, and WAKE UP. In the last couple of reels, the character of Tony is still an SOB, still dissipated, but he's also a nice guy. I found the character very believable. As for the suit -- it's fun. It's only meant to be fun. Leave your grasp of physics in the bottom of your coat pocket, along with the turned-off cell phone and the cough candy (yes, it's mid-winter here. Cough drops. Donte leave home without them).

I'll paste in one more picture here, and leave you for today ... got to get some work done...


RedSeattle69 said...

Hello Mr. Keegan. I'm a HUGE fan of your books, and am really glad you've started a blog.

I was glad to read in this entry that you always liked the characters in Aquamarine. I have to tell you that this is my favorite book of yours, and was curious if you had ever considered a sequel (or prequel).

I personally think there are riches to mine in those characters, and would love to know what happened to Russell and Eric after Aquamarine.

Keep up the great work.

Michael in Seattle

Mel Keegan said...

Thanks, Michael ... I'm at work on AQUAMARINE right now, in fact. Ideas for a follow-on novel are like an itch I can't quite scratch! I have *so* many titles on my list to work through, and comparatively little time to spend writing. Hopefully this will change soon. It's never pleasant to drag money into art, but -- the better sales are, the more time I have to write. So here's hoping the advertising campaign which begins next week (!) is as successful as the recent launch of the new website.

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