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In the Spotlight at Evolved Publishing: Mallory Rock, Artist

Putting an Attractive Face on Our Books

As a publisher, we pride ourselves not only on the quality of the books we publish, but on the quality of the team we’ve assembled. Every great team starts with the people—quality people produce quality work—and Mallory Rock, graphic artist and designer, has been an integral and valued part of our team from early on.

Bio_Pic-Mallory_Rock_v2_300dpi_760x790Every book is approached from multiple perspectives before we publish it—great story revised and polished by the author, concise editing from the editor (or team of editors), professional formatting for every version of the book, and of course, a great cover. For many of our books, this is where Mallory comes in.

She has been our most prolific cover artist, as you can see on her profile page. As of June 14, 2014, Mallory has produced covers for 33 of our books, and she has several more in the pipeline, and more coming every couple of months. She’s put a face on books representing a wide range of genres, from young adult to literary, from women’s fiction to suspense thrillers, from zombie westerns to romance and erotica. No matter the genre or subject, she’s able to produce a cover that helps us tell that story, and draw the reader in to take a closer look.

If determining the quality of literature is a subjective thing—and it surely is—then determining the quality of artwork is hyper-subjective. A cover that makes one person say “Wow!” might well make another person simply shrug their shoulders. Such is the nature of art. We have always strived to put a clean, professional face on our work, understanding that it’s impossible to please everyone, and working within the financial constraints that are a natural part of our business as a small press. We ask our artists to work tight and work clean on our behalf, and to work cooperatively with our authors to please them as well. Mallory consistently rises to that challenge.

How does she go about her work? Here’s what she said in a recent interview: “Most of my covers are created from stock art, but not in the traditional sense that one thinks of stock art. I do photo manipulation on every project. I like to blend multiple photos together to make very unique pieces, so an author gets a cover that isn’t going to look like 100 others out there. I also like to create, combine and manipulate letters and fonts for the same reason.”

SS Title PageHer work hasn’t stopped there. She has also formatted the internal portion of print versions for many of our books, giving them an added flair and making them more visually appealing for the reader.

manticore_CompWhether adding fancy graphics for the title page or chapter headings, or finding that perfect font style for the specific story at hand, or adding character sketches, as she did in The Silver Sphere by Michael Dadich, she helps to enhance the reading experience for our customers.

Finally, for some of our authors, she has produced video trailers to help entice readers and generate excitement for a book. She also creates website banners, online ads and swag to help authors promote their book. As an avid reader herself, she’s even functioned as a beta reader on occasion.
So whatever the budget—and it can vary significantly from one project to the next—and whatever demands we as a publisher put on her, or the authors put on her, Mallory Rock consistently helps to support the primary philosophy of Evolved Publishing: Quality is Priority #1.

Author D. Robert Pease Discusses His New Epic Fantasy, “Shadow Swarm”

The epic fantasy Shadow Swarm just released on June 2nd!

Author D. Robert Pease has dropped by to introduce Shadow Swarm, his new epic fantasy. This is a tale in the classic epic fantasy mode, set in a unique world with a large cast of memorable characters caught up in an epic struggle. We’ll let Mr. Pease tell you about it.
Since I was about fourteen or fifteen, I’ve devoured fantasy books – great, epic tomes with fantastical creatures, vast wild landscapes and spellbinding magic. These are by far my favorite reads. From The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Sword of Shannara, The Chronicles of Amber and The Dragon Rider’s of Pern series, through modern books like The Mistborn Trilogy, and even some kids fantasy like Percy Jackson, or The Ranger’s Apprentice, I can’t get enough of worlds that are wholly different than the places we live in.

My latest release, Shadow Swarm, is my entry into the canon of epic fantasy. This is the book I poured all my time and energy into for the past ten years: drawing maps, developing languages, outlining timelines, building detailed calendars, designing city plans – everything I could do to make the world come alive for me, and hopefully for you, the reader. I don’t claim to be up there with any of the great books I listed above, but I did everything I could to make this the best book possible, and to write the kind of story that I love to read. So if this sounds like your kind of book too, please check it out.

It’s available as an eBook, or in print as a hardcover or a paperback. Also, for the next month, I’m hosting a giveaway over on Goodreads for 4 paperback copies. Click the link below to enter:

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3D-ShadowSwarmAberthol Nauile doesn’t know that he once led legions in a war that had raged since the dawn of time, against an enemy that could not be killed. He doesn’t know that he rode on a dragon with his father, or that his mother died while giving birth to him. He doesn’t know that he once saved his great, great, great grandfather by defeating the black enemy on the slopes of a volcano.

Aberthol doesn’t know that he beheld the creation of the world, as his grandfather eight generations before took the planet, ravaged by a war of the gods, and began anew.

All he knows is that he awoke in a coffin deep within a tomb, and now the whole world thinks he is their savior. All he really wants to know is his name, and why he keeps hearing voices in his head.

Find out more about all of D. Robert Pease’s books RIGHT HERE.

Author Majanka Verstraete Discusses the Making of “Valentina’s Spooky Adventures”

This 3rd book in the series just launched this week!

3D-ValentinaMaskedMummyThis children’s picture book is ideal for kids 3-8 years old.

When noises shake Valentina’s bedroom in the middle of the night, and her resident ghost, Jerry, hides under her bed, the little vampire girl tumbles into yet another adventure.

Eager to investigate the source of the uproar, she bumps into her brother Vlad in the hallway. He’s as clueless as she is, but at least he’s not as terrified of the noises as Jerry.

The trio follows the noise to the museum room, where they find an opened sarcophagus, and a mummy wearing a mask….

Valentina and the Masked Mummy is the third in this fun and exciting new series for kids. Be sure to check out Book 1, Valentina and the Haunted Mansion, and Book 2, Valentina and the Whackadoodle Witch, both of which are now available.
Bio_Pic-Majanka_Verstraete_760x790Author Majanka Verstraete has dropped by to talk a little bit about her writing of Valentina and the Masked Mummy. This is the third children’s picture book in the Valentina’s Spooky Adventures series by Majanka, featuring colorful illustrations by Noelle Giffin. Anyway, we’ll let Majanka tell you how this entertaining series came to be.

Turning a Little Vampire Girl into a Kids’ Favorite

I came up with the idea for the Valentina series in the middle of university exams. I’d been studying for hours on end, and wanted to relax for a while. I saw some people on the AbsoluteWrite forums talking about picture books, and I thought, heck, why not give it a shot. I’d never written anything of the sort, but I’m always up for a challenge.

So I started brainstorming, trying to imagine something different, fresh—the kind of book I would’ve loved to read as a kid. I liked reading about monsters as a young girl, but I didn’t want to make the book too scary, so I thought…. How about a monster playing the main role? How about a monster that kids could relate to and empathize with, and even think of as a friend?

That’s how I came up with the idea of a little vampire girl playing the main part. Sure, she’s a vampire, but she’s still a little girl who gets scared by things just like regular little girls do.

After Valentina was born, the other characters quickly took shape. I wanted her to have a best friend, but I didn’t want him to be a vampire. Enter Jerry the ghost, Valentina’s best friend. In the second book, a whacky, slightly out-of-sorts witch made an appearance. In the newest series installment, Valentina finds a mummy wandering around her house.

So there’s a large cast of characters to entertain the young readers, and each of them is not only unique but, I hope, a character the kids can really sink their hearts and minds into. Are these adventures of a little vampire girl spooky? Sure, but in a fun way, not a scary way, so the kids will have a great time with them.

Zombies Are Taking Over the Wild West


Author Angela Scott’s Zombie West series is thrilling thousands of readers.

We woke up early this morning to some exciting news, as Ms. Scott’s series set in the Old West has caught fire with readers. Just check out these Amazon rankings:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42 **FREE** in Kindle Store
#1 in Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Westerns > Horror
#2 in Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,424 Paid in Kindle Store
#77 in Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Romance > Contemporary

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,805 Paid in Kindle Store
#43 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Horror

How long will those rankings last? Will they climb higher? Who can say? We only know that this terrific series, which has won multiple awards, is hitting home with readers.

Why are readers swallowing up this series? Well, surely it helps that we’ve given you the opportunity to sample the series FOR FREE! Yep, the eBook for Wanted: Dead or Undead, the first book in the series, is now free most everywhere it’s sold. So really, what do you have to lose? We did this because, frankly, we’re confident you’re going to love it, and that you’ll want to immediately rush back and grab Survivor Roundup and Dead Plains, books 2 and 3 in the series. Or perhaps you’ll want to jump right to The Zombie West Trilogy, a special omnibus edition that includes all 3 books plus some bonus material.

These stories are rich with characters you’ll come to love, a fun setting in the Old West, drama and suspense to keep you turning page after page after page, and of course, zombies. Great stuff.

So take the leap today, but be careful! Those zombies can smell you from miles away.

For more information about Wanted: Dead or Undead, including purchase links for most retailers, CLICK HERE.

For more information about Survivor Roundup, including purchase links for most retailers, CLICK HERE.

For more information about Dead Plains, including purchase links for most retailers, CLICK HERE.

For more information about The Zombie West Trilogy (Special Omnibus Edition), including purchase links for most retailers, CLICK HERE.

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