The Opposite of Popular

The online home of alleged author Victoria Leybourne

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2016 Week Forty-Five: *flailing*

If you thought I’d be relaxing this week after sending my manuscript to my editor a week ago, you have no idea how my brain works. That’s okay: neither do I.

Anyway, it turns out that what I do after finishing – or at least reaching a built-in pause in – a big project is… everything. This week I’ve had a huge ridiculous burst of productivity, of the type that I could have used a week or two ago when I was, like, face-down on my sofa trying to coax myself into at least turning the computer on. Here are some things I have done:

Discovered felting

I impulse-bought a kit in Hobbycraft and made this little dude.

a felt polar bear with a knitted scarf

Quick question: WHY DID NONE OF YOU TELL ME THERE’S A CRAFT BASED SOLELY ON REPEATEDLY STABBING THINGS?? I can channel my rage into something cute! …Wait, never mind, I think I get it.

Redesigned the cover for Venetian Masks, again

Okay, look, I had to remake it, because I needed a design that included a spine and back cover, and all I made last time was the front cover. But I will admit to getting carried away:

a water colour mask on a background of a watercolour painting of a galaxy, with gold text

the galaxy continues over the spine and back cover, where there is also a gold swirl above the blurb

I’m pleased with it, though I’m sure I’ll fuss over it some more before publication! (And replace the Lorem Ipsum blurb with actual words, of course!)

More website stuff

I told you guys a couple of weeks ago that I bought At the same time, I also bought – basically because I get a ton of hits from people searching “opposite of popular”, since this site is, and I wanted to see if that would work for something I’d actually like to get search results for! The site has an “Under Construction” page covering it at the moment, while I work on it, but here’s a little preview:

screenshot showing the layout of my new website - the header says

I’ve learned a lot about WordPress and GIMP this week.

Plus, I also wrote this epic blog post about the new Beauty and the Beast trailer and this one about Wattpad futures. And, you know, went to work. It’s amazing how much the aspiring writer can get done if writing is removed from the equation.

A woman with dark hair and brown eyes staring out of the cover. She has a mask pushed up over her forehead. In gold text: "Victoria Leybourne, Faustina: Beauty and the Beast in Venice"


New cover for Faustina!

I’ve been weirdly energetic lately, at least by my own low standards. Picture a red-haired sloth with a Red Bull and you’re most of the way there. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to channel all of that energy into writing because my attention span is terrible (exhibit A: virtually every life choice I have made since 2012). But I have done some work on Faustina and I’m feeling pretty good about it at the moment.

I’ve also made a new cover for it. Sure, you could argue that a book I haven’t finished yet doesn’t need any cover at all, never mind two, but I’m toying with the idea of putting it up on Wattpad, where pretty, shiny covers seem to help. I was doing that with an earlier draft (the one I threw out after 38,000 words and missed sorely) and it was nice to get feedback as I went along. One of the things that’s really hard about writing for me is doing it in a vacuum, with no one but the squirrel to tell me if it’s any good or not. So, if you’re on Wattpad and feel like popping over there to preemptively follow me, you should definitely do that.

Anyway, back to covers. Here’s the one I made last year. I was pretty pleased with it at the time, and it is kind of pretty, but it was really hard to find anywhere to put the text and it doesn’t work well in thumbnail. Which is, you know, the only way that covers ever show up on Amazon et al, so that’s kind of a problem.

The cover for Faustina: a woman wearing a gold Venetian mask and a coy smile.

And here’s the new one:


A woman with dark hair and brown eyes staring out of the cover. She has a mask pushed up over her forehead. In gold text: "Victoria Leybourne, Faustina: Beauty and the Beast in Venice"

I’ll probably end up tweaking it a bit more but basically I’m pretty proud of it. I looked through about 1, 328,574 stock photos of women with masks (that’s an estimate but I’m pretty sure it’s accurate) before deciding on this one. I really like the way she’s looking out of the picture. The model in the picture actually had bright blue eyes and bright blonde hair, which is not what Faustina looks like, so I had to learn how to change the colour of part of a picture, which I didn’t really know how to do before. It occurs to me now that I could just have changed my description of Faustina to match the picture the way it was and spent that time on GTA Online, but doing this was pretty satisfying. Much like it would be to finish writing the book.

Do you guys like it too? Would you change anything about it? Is it at least better than the old one? I’d love to know what you think!