The Paranormal Playground: Cover Reveal

I’ve been talking on my blog about short stories I plan to self-publish this year. Well, the first one is coming out very soon. Sometime this month.

Each of these six stories is a young adult paranormal told from the point of view of a teenage girl. Beyond that, they don’t really have much in common. Indeed, I’ve named the series the Paranormal Playground*, because that’s how it feels — like I toured the playground of the paranormal, spending a little time with demons and then fairies and then ghosts and so on.

The first story released will be My Sister’s Demon, and I’m thrilled to share the cover and the blurb. I feel like there should be a drumroll, so just imagine a bbbrrrrrrrrr pish in your head, please.

Book cover for My Sister's Demon short story

Every teenager thinks her older sibling is possessed, but Courtney’s actually is. When big sister Nickie shifts from sweet homecoming queen to evil mischief-maker, Courtney alone discovers the true source of change—demon possession. With Hell invading her home and no one to turn to, is she seriously the only one who can exorcise her sister’s demon?

Cover by Book Cover Corner

That’s it! I hope to release one story every 4-6 weeks and at the end put out a box set. It’s been a challenge and a joy writing short stories. I’m eager to share them with readers!

ROW80 Update

1. Read 12 books. Finished Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress by Tina Ferraro. By the way, I don’t know how this YA contemporary novel got on my radar, but I really enjoyed it. 4 of 12 done.

2. Finish editing SHARING HUNTER, a young adult contemporary novel. Well, I’m on fire for this goal now! Here’s where I struggle about announcing good news: I never want to come across as bragging (because I totally hate that). But hey, I submitted the first chapter to the Utah RWA Great Beginnings Contest and received 1st place. And that’s exactly the impetus I need to get me back into the story to polish it up and send it off! A bit of progress.

3. Edit one short story to publication quality. I was struggling with a plot hole on one story and finally figured out the problem involved my not understanding my antagonist well enough. At the suggestion of fellow writers, I wrote the murder scene from the point of view of the villain. It was an exercise just for me, and I felt sick to my stomach when I was done. But yeah, great writing exercise — because it totally cleared up some questions. When I returned to the story, things fell into place, I fixed the plot hole, and I got through one full edit. Major progress!

4. Publish and promote two short stories. Tweaked the book cover with my designer and chose colors for each short story. This series of shorts will have a standard image book cover, with variations of tone and title to distinguish them. I’m hoping to release the first short, My Sister’s Demon, in mid-May. On track!

5. Stay on top of ROW80 sponsor duties. Visited 10 blogs this week. Done!

*Major thanks to Melinda VanLone for suggesting this title while we were brainstorming together. It fits perfectly!
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37 thoughts on “The Paranormal Playground: Cover Reveal

  1. Ohmygosh! Prepare for a total fangirl rant, Ms. Julie! This. Is. Awesome. I LOOOOOOVE the cover. It’s so beautiful and creepy and just spectacularly put together. You are on a roll and don’t even think you’re being braggy, we all know you’re anything but. Go celebrate! I love the idea of this series and I’m beyond pumped for your 1st place win in the RWA contest. That’s years of hard work paying off and something you SHOULD brag about. *bear hug* I’m so so so so happy for you! Wish I lived closer to take you out for a big paranormal party dinner. And after that, we could hit the playground. Race you to the swings! 😉

    1. And next, the slide! Thank so much, Jess. You should have heard me gasp when I saw that cover. I was soooo excited! Please save that paranormal party dinner for me. I’ll make sure we get together sometime. Thanks for being my “fangirl”! 🙂

  2. I also love the cover, and the concept! Super cool! Short stories are definitely different, both in the writing and what in the heck to do with them (I’m struggling there!). Good luck with this collection!!

    1. Thank so much! Yes, shorts are a different animal. I really should write about that soon…because I struggled with it, and it might help someone, somewhere to share my journey. I appreciate the well wishes!

  3. Wow! Congratulations on the win and the upcoming publication! You are really making progress. That is very cool and inspiring. You are motivating me to keep my butt in the chair. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Emma! You can always lift that butt off the chair long enough to do a happy booty-shake when you complete a goal or two. 🙂 Have a great week!

  4. OMG! I’m so excited for you. The blurb is awesome. The title and cover are superb and a 1st place for your chapter. Way to go, Julie! 😀

  5. Oh good luck with the short story! That is an awesome cover by the way, very creepy.

    And congrats on finishing first place at that contest, that must have given you such a boost – nothing better than getting encouragement on a MS in progress!

    1. Thanks, Celine! indeed, Melinda at Book Cover Corner did a beautiful job!

      And yes, I certainly got a boost. It was well-timed, and I’m eager to get back into the novel.

  6. well how many congratulations can i send your way:) too many to count, methinks – well done and enjoy the excitement – as we all do for you – all the best and keep smiling:)

  7. I have to say, I loved your cover so went to the company website. Honestly, I think you have one of the best ones they’ve done. That is usually a sign that you gave them a good brief. Well done.
    I’m about to dip my toe into the serial writing pool, so will be interested to see how your short story then bundle project works. I plan to write seven ‘episodes’ and then bundle the season. (Though, it’s chick lit, not paranormal). Good luck.

    1. Melinda did such a marvelous job capturing the feel. I honestly didn’t give her direction–simply shared my stories and let her create. As designers often do, she provided more than one choice, and I was happy to discover later that I had chosen her favorite option. We were just in sync! If you are looking for a well-designed cover, I’d give Book Cover Corner a thumbs-up review.

      I like your 7 episodes idea! And I enjoy chick lit! (Even my paranormal has a sufficient amount of snark.) Great idea, Buffy, and best wishes with it!

    1. LOL, Alica! It’s not really horror. But I guess this one and another story coming later are fairly creepy. But I think they’re the good kind of shivers. 😉

  8. Nice cover! Your short story sounds very R.L. Stine-like. I remember just eating up his books when I was younger.

    Congrats on taking 1st place in a contest! That’s great news, so feel free to brag a little. 🙂

    1. Would you believe I’ve never read an R.L. Stine? Go figure! I do remember enjoying Mary Downing Hahn, who wrote some great middle-grade spooky stuff.

      Thanks for the congrats, Denise! I appreciate you stopping by!

    1. Thanks so much, Tiffany!

      But let me put that R.L. Stine thing into proper context. I graduated from high school in 1986, and the 1st Goosebumps book came out in 1992 (the year I got married, by the way). So really, is it all that surprising I haven’t read them??? LOL.

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