August 8th, 2012

In transition

DSC01461I just turned in Dirty Little Secret, my YA romantic drama for publication in July 2013. Now I need to write a proposal for the 2014 book; revise the adult romantic comedy, Star Crossed, coming out in February; and write the YA romantic comedy scheduled for May 2014. No problemo.

But not today. Today I'm going through the pile on my desk that I sort of neglected while on deadline. What is this stuff, besides a fire hazard? I am also a little behind on my shredding. And then I'm going to re-design my web site.

Here's the original at jennifer-echols.com. I am actually planning to keep this whole site in all its pink giddiness. But my publisher seems to want me to keep the YA and adult books somewhat separate, though I'm using the same pen name for both. So what I'm planning is that when you go to the home page, you will see a screen asking you whether you want the adult side or the YA side. If you click the YA side, you will go to the pink side. If you click the adult side, you'll find yourself in whatever world I'm about to create.

DSC01462For the asthetics of the new side, I'd like to wait until I see the cover of Star Crossed and follow that lead. But I can go ahead and figure out what pages I will have and where they will go. Which brings me to my question for you: What author sites do you love (including your own)? What features do you appreciate on a page, and what junk leaves you cold? Post some links in the comments.

I probably should not be this excited about tinkering with my web site. Art and design are things I've never been particularly good at, yet I've been very interested in them. When I first started work as a newspaper copyeditor, I was thrilled the one day the Montgomery Advertiser allowed me to design the front page (it was Labor Day and I was the low person on the totem pole and therefore the only one who had to work). After I've done pretty much nothing for long stretches but read and write, design uses a different part of my brain, and I find it a relief. I love to go shopping and not buy anything for the same reason, just wander around Anthropologie and look at it.

And I'm pretty proud of what I've done on my YA page. Granted, I am easily impressed with myself. I just use HTML coding and an antiquated Photoshop-type program, but look, when you click the words in the banner, you go to the different pages because I divided up the banner into separate gif files. Go look. I'll wait. See, THAT is the kind of impressive display of 1998 technology that I am planning to bring to my new era of writing.