I love writing. Even if I never made any money from it, I don’t think I could ever not write. This month marks five years since I first published. And while I do actually make more from my writing than my day job these days, I’ve kept my day job for various reasons.
1) It’s only part-time.
2) It’s safety blanket income.
3) I’m good at it.
It’s come to my attention that I don’t talk a lot about my day job. As a freelance graphic designer, my job description isn’t that simple to nail down. Also, it’s something I’ve done for so long, I feel like it’s just part of who I am. Many of my readers already know that I designed my book covers, and some know that I also design a monthly real estate guide book, but that’s really just the tip of it.
The first freelance job I remember taking on was at the age of sixteen. A local a cappella group was planning a show and needed posters and programs designed for the event. One of the singers worked with my mother, so she knew that I was enrolled in a graphic design vo-tech class. The project was a lot of fun, and I remember being so amazed that I could actually make money doing something I loved.
I never put much effort into soliciting freelance jobs, and I almost always had other work: grocery store stocker, movie theater attendant, bartender, real estate agent. For the longest time, graphic design was just supplemental income. Word-of-mouth eventually sent more and more projects my way. I’ve designed everything from business logos to billboards, vinyl yard signs to websites. I’ve even done video editing for YouTube channels. For the past five years I’ve been designing real estate guide books, on top of writing novels.
As an indie author, the graphic design skills have been a lifesaver. I’m not only able to design my own book covers, but my own website, bookmarks, banners, author swag and merchandise. It’s also come in handy when inventing the world of Lana Harvey. Limbo City is an interesting place, full of interesting people. And these people have set up shop. Allow me a moment to be cheesy and melodramatic as I say, “My whole life has been leading up to this moment.”
Creating Limbo City was too much fun. The business names were a must, and I couldn’t help but come up with a few slogans and logos along the way. While I didn’t have much use for the logos at first, I eventually set up a Cafepress store and began printing swag items for giveaways and conventions. Here are a few of my favorites…
Reapers Inc.: Your soul is in good hands.
Purgatory Lounge: One Hell of a Good Time!
Athena’s Boutique: Where Fashion Comes to Life
Ambrosia Ale: Nectar of the Gods (Gabriel’s booze of choice)
There are so many other businesses that I’d like to expand on with slogans and logos. In a fictional world, the possibilities are endless! Being able to use my day job skills to design book covers was kind of predictable, but taking it to this level was an unexpected surprise and a whole new world of fun!
So tell me, fellow bookworms, what businesses from Limbo City would you most like to see brought to life on merchandise and swag?
Urban fantasy author Angela Roquet lives in Missouri with her husband and son. When she's not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys painting, goofing off with her family and friends, and reading books that raise eyebrows. GRAVEYARD SHIFT, the first novel in Angela's Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, is now available for FREE on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and more. You can find Angela online at www.angelaroquet.com
Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc.
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: October 14, 2014
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 63,000
Cover Artist: Angela Roquet
In war, everyone loses...
Reaper Lana Harvey is finding out the hard way. When Grim's new second in command, Jenni Fang, recruits her for a special mission, the biggest victory over the rebels is tainted by a crushing and immediate reprisal. The rebels have a new general working in the shadows of Limbo City, luring gods, reapers, demons, and souls to the dark side.
The Afterlife Council’s orders to locate the new rebel base are overshadowed by a desperate and mysterious plea from Grim to find the abducted Greek god of sleep, Hypnos. Where Lana and Jenni find one, they hope to find the other. But some discoveries have a way of bringing one to their knees.
Caim’s ship hadn’t changed much, except for the addition of a few dozen hell spawn scaling the masts and railings of the black boat. The main deck was an overflowing mass of leathery flesh and barbed tails. A herd of satyrs paraded around the quarterdeck, puffing into wooden panpipes, while sirens and succubi danced to the haunting tune, spinning frenzied circles around splintered mast poles. The wind ripped at their hair and grazed their naked bodies, leaving chapped patches along their thighs and breasts.
Caim lounged along the edge of the stern deck. His pale skin looked sickly and transparent. Despite the heat and the abundant nudity, he wore a thick, dark robe. His black wings were oily, almost sparkling in the broad daylight. Where his chin and jawline ended, the flesh peeled away, leaving the length of his neck raw and tarry. The sight of him made me cringe. I couldn’t imagine what it did to Jenni.
Caim reached out to fondle a siren as she spun by, clawing at her flesh with his blackened fingertips and leaving deep cuts that quickly welled with purple blood. He cackled, flashing sharp teeth and black gums. The siren hardly spared him a gasp before falling under the spell of satyr pipes once again. She swayed and rubbed against a succubus, smearing the forgotten blood until they were both coated. A leathery winged demon dipped down to steal a taste with his forked tongue.
Gabriel’s grip under my arms tightened. “This is a terrible idea.” He grunted under the weight of me and my axe. The paint on his wings probably wasn’t helping either. One slid up my arm and I hissed from the roughness of it.
“I agree, but it’s a little late to turn back now.” My heart accelerated in my chest as I scanned the ship, desperately searching for an opening. It was looking more and more like a crash landing would be our only option.
A few seconds later, Maalik rounded the stern with Jenni in tow. It had been a smart move putting me with Gabriel. Maalik would have never dropped me on Caim’s ship, and the plan would have been shot all to hell. He glanced across the chaos to find Gabriel and me, and I could tell that I was still getting top billing on his worry list. I could live with that today I decided, taking in the scene unfolding beneath us.
Gabriel sucked in a tight breath. “Show time.” Then he dropped me on a pile of napping hellcats on the forecastle deck.
About the Author:
Urban fantasy author Angela Roquet is a great big weirdo. She collects Danger Girl comic books, owls, skulls, and random craft supplies. Her obsessions include the Wizard of Oz, over-sweetened coffee, and all things Joss Whedon. She's a fan of renewable energy, marriage equality, and religious tolerance. As long as whatever you're doing isn't hurting anyone, she's a fan of you, too.
Angela lives in Sedalia, Missouri with her husband and son. When she's not swearing at the keyboard, she enjoys painting, goofing off with her family and friends, and reading books that raise eyebrows. GRAVEYARD SHIFT, the first novel in Angela's Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series, is now available for FREE on Kindle, Nook, & Smashwords.
You can find Angela online at www.angelaroquet.com
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