Monday, March 18

Interview with Kim Mendoza, Cover Artist for the Disaster Crimes Series

Everyone, please help me to welcome Kim Mendoza, cover artist from The Wild Rose Press and the woman who had created all of the covers for the Disaster Crimes Series.

Welcome, Kim!


1. How did you become a cover artist?

I was working in the chapel in the U.S. Army and had nothing to do day-in and day-out. Then the graphic designer quit to have a baby and I asked if I could take her job. That was my first exposure to graphic design, which I did as a career for fourteen years. Then, I published a book with TWRP (way back when it first began). At the time, there were only two artists and one of them was one of the owners. The company was growing so fast, and they needed more artists, so I applied and got the job.

2. You have an amazing background. (Read her bio below, everyone!) What program(s) do you use to create your beautiful covers?


3. Where do you find the images you use?

TWRP has used various vendors, but right now we use Deposit Photos.

4. Is there a book genre you enjoy making covers for the most and why?

Definitely Crimson Rose. I love the mysteries. There is something just dark and fun in creating them. I can use a more edgy touch, than I can for the really sweet and romantic ones.

Chrys: “Crimson Rose” is the romantic-suspense line.

5. The couple of the covers of the Disaster Crimes Series books look similar, how do you find images that look close to images used on previous covers for the series?

I just have to have an eye for what looks similar. The author gives me some idea what the book is about and then I try to find something that fits that general concept. Once the first book is done, it is usually easier to match the tone of the next one.

6. Many people point out the Golden Gate Bridge on the cover of Seismic Crimes. What architectural structure did you have the most fun adding to a cover?

I love working with haunted mansions and cityscapes. They always just give a nice visual to the book. But probably one of my favorites was just a London phone booth with Old Ben in the back.

7. Hurricane Crimes was the first cover you ever designed for me and I just love the blended layers of images. For those of us less knowledgeable about this technique but are interested in cover design, can you walk us through the steps you take to achieve that effect?

This is basically two pictures. The scene and then the faces. The faces are placed over the scene and then the opacity is turned down so that it becomes more see through. I then took all the color out of the faces. Then I use blending tools and erasers to make it fit within the scene smoothly.

8. Have you read any of the books you’ve designed covers for?

Back in the beginning, I used to order them and read them. Also, a few authors sent me a copy. But as the company grew, and I was doing way more covers, so did my life. I just finished my dissertation in 2018, so I haven’t done much “fun” reading in a while.

9. Congratulations on finishing your dissertation! Do you enjoy other creative artistic outlets other than creating fantastic book covers?

I’m a novelist and playwright. I direct plays and teach humanities courses at a college. And I’m starting to learn how to be a stand-up comedian. Stay tuned.

10. If you could design covers for any author, who would it be?

Probably Stephen King or Dean Koonz. That's the kind of covers I typically like doing.

Dr. Kimberlee Mendoza resides in Southern California with her husband and two adult boys. She is the Director of Instruction at San Diego Christian College and has been an adjunct professor for San Diego Christian College, Northwest University, University of Phoenix, and Landry Academy. She is
also a cover designer for The Wild Rose Press, and the author of over a sixteen novels, one non-fiction book, dozens of plays and several poems. She has a Ph.D. in Leadership and Higher Education and an MA in Humanities
with an emphasis in literature and playwriting, and is working on a MFA in writing. She is also the winner of the Sherwood Eliot Wirt Writer of the Year Award for 2006.


Thank you so much for your talent and creativity, Kim. Your artwork gives my stories to life. I hope to have you design a couple more covers for this series. ;)

Everyone, please leave Kim a comment. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 6

Bactine for Writer's Burnout Part 6 (One Day at a Time) / IWSG

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a safe place for insecure writers of all kinds.
Sign up here: Insecure Writer’s Support Group

NOTE: I am one of Janice Hardy's part-time contributors for the year. I'll be contributing 4 guest posts to Fiction University. My first post is 6 Gadgets to Take to Your Next Book Event.

What is writer’s burnout?

Burnout is very different from writer’s block. It’s worse. Writer’s burnout is something you feel deep down…bone-deep. It’s just like when athletes burnout from working themselves too hard and too much for too long. They can lose their love of the sport, physically and mentally. You can get writer's burnout from doing anything related to being an author.

To read my story and the tips I previously shared check out:
Bactine for Writer's Burnout Part 5 (Free Your Mind with Walking) Tips 14 - 15

More Tips to Help You START Reversing Writer’s Burnout: 

One Day at a Time

Yes, I know you’ve heard this one before. Everyone who has ever been in a tough spot has heard the phrase “One day at a time.”

But it’s a good one.

Looking too far ahead can stunt our growth, paralyze us, and prevent us from going forward. Looking too far ahead can be…in one word…daunting.


I’ve hurt myself by looking beyond the day I am in while in the midst of my burnout. I would think about what I “should” be writing now and how much in order to publish certain projects at specific times. I kept reminding myself that I needed to have the final book of the Disaster Crimes series submitted to my publisher by the summer of last year (2018) in order to have it released early 2019. (I’ve been trying to release one book in my series a year.)

This thought hindered me and contributed to my burnout. I couldn’t begin that book. And reminding myself I had to begin it, and now, stopped me dead in my tracks. No words came on that project. Worse, because I told myself I had other stories I could write and publish instead, that prevented me from going forward on any of those, too.

Thus, my depression strengthened.

Don’t do this to yourself.

I’ve learned my lesson. Take it from me, one day at a time is the trick.

BACTINE #16: Only look at the day you have.

What can you do TODAY? Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next month. Today and today alone.

What can you do today?

Take a deep breath.

Feed your artistic soul.

Go for a walk.

Surround yourself with nature.

Read. Anything.

Take a nap.

Play with your pets and/or kids (nieces/nephews, grandkids).

Write in a journal.

Go to a writer's meeting.

Write about yourself.

The next day, do it again.

The day after that, repeat. And so on and so on.

BACTINE #17: Know that personal deadlines can be delayed. Even canceled.

My personal deadline of publishing the last book of the Disaster Crimes series early 2019 inhibited me. It took me a while to realize that I didn’t have to write and submit this book on the original timeline I had set for myself. I could write it and submit it whenever. My readers could wait and would understand if Books 4 and 5 were separated by two years instead of one.

Since I came to this conclusion, I canceled my deadline. And that lifted so much pressure off my shoulders, freeing me to write something else, anything else that I was capable of working on while I reversed my writer’s burnout, which mostly was writing about my childhood.

Give yourself permission to cancel any personal deadlines that are bringing you down and preventing you from writing.






Another Bactine post for Writer’s Burnout coming soon!

QUESTIONS: Have you tried any of the techniques I've shared for this Writer's Burnout feature? Have any of these tips helped you?


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