Announcements

The New Cover for The Case of Jack the Nipper is HERE!!!!

posted May 19, 2013, 6:58 PM by H.L. Stephens   [ updated May 19, 2013, 7:02 PM ]

I am so happy to announce that the new cover design for The Case of Jack the Nipper has finally been completed and released! After a relatively good success with sales of my first novel, I decided to invest in a redesign of the cover. Not that the first cover wasn't marvelous. It was. It was also free....which made it even more spectacular, but there was a downfall. Yes. I admit it. There was an error in my calculations, and it cost me sales. Here is the gist of it. When people saw the cover, they would often assume it was a children's book. Even if I had spent significant amounts of time detailing the storyline and the complex nature of the characters, etc., etc., etc, they would still  see the cover and think.....CHILDREN. I knew I had to take action.
 
I saved the money I made in sales, I founf a fantastic artist in Greece. Yes, I mean the country....not some whimsically named town in Iowa or some such place. He had done some work for another author I knew, so I looked at his work. I loved his style. I also liked the fact that he had been nominatedc for an Emmy for work he did for the history channel in 2012. I sent an email, and prayed.
 
Nick Deligaris very kindly took me as a client and created a gorgeous cover for me. I gave him a few concept ideas of possibilities and he told me what he thought would work. He also yold me what he would adjust in the concept to make it work into what I was going for. I reached out to friends, family, fans, and fellow writers and asked them to take a survey of concepts to see which one they liked the best. Turns out, they liked the one that struck me the most. I sent Nick the go-ahead and the first payment installment, and within days, I received my first proof. After a few tweaks here and there, here is the finished product:
 

 

Saying Goodbye To the Real Sir Happy Heart

posted Mar 25, 2013, 5:58 PM by H.L. Stephens

On Tuesday, February 19, 2013, the real Sir Happy Heart - the inspiration for the Sir Happy Heart in the Chronicles of Mister Marmee series - died. He would have been 15 years old February 22. I wrote a memorial for my little boy on my blog. It has been a little over a month since he passed, and I still find myself longing for him. I look for him at the oddest times and feel his loss every single day. It is a miracle to me that I was able to continue writing. It took a few weeks after his death, but slowly, the words began to come again. On March 23, 2013, I wrote the final word on the first draft of the Case of the Wayward Fae.
 
There is an eerie quality to this book for me. In this book, the hero Sir Happy is lost to his friends but is restored. While writing the book, my own Sir Happy was lost to me, but unlike the hero in my book, my boy was not restored. My heart breaks because of it. Run free with the angels my little love. I will miss you, always.

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