Book Design for “Beautifully Broken”

I recently did the cover and interior design for Celeste R. Warner’s book, Beautifully Broken. It was one of those crazy hectic, last minute emergency projects, so there were several sleepless nights and plenty of euphoria afterward when it was delivered to a very happy client. This project was a ton of fun, and you can purchase Celeste’s book here for only $5.57!

Here’s the cover I was able to design.

Celeste's Portfolio Cover Spine Adj

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Book and Design for “Timelines”

As a professional writing major at my college, seniors have to compile their best work from over the last four years into a bound, designed book. It’s been a project I’ve been waiting for with bated breath ever since I learned about it.

Older students told me as a sophomore to save every paper I ever wrote, keep teachers’ notes, and to be thinking about a theme that can tie everything together. Back then, I couldn’t imagine picking out a theme that could encompass all my writing: after all, I liked to write about different things, and some of my stories were vastly different from others.

But as my senior year came upon me, I found the perfect theme. My stories revolve around either hope or memory. Many of them look to the future with either a warning to society about our faults, or an expected adventure just out of reach. And when not writing a social commentary on America’s morals, I’m pulling nostalgia from the cracks of my mind.

I thought “memory” and “hope” were much too generic for my theme, but finally it hit me: I also write about time. Time looking forward to the future or back to the past. “Hope” and “Memory” go hand in hand with time.

The final book was named Timelines, and you can purchase a copy here for $6.97!

Over Christmas break, I got the jump on designing my cover. This is what I came up with:

Timelines Cover Blurb Cover

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Cover Design for “Up the Ladder”

I was able to design this cover for Pamela Collazos’s book, Up the Ladder, which you can purchase on Amazon for $5.00! She asked specifically for a simple, vector-like cover made from only artwork, as opposed to my usual style of using photography. This was an incredibly fun project, and I really enjoyed the process.

The concept for the cover came from the idea of the biblical Jacob’s ladder. Pamela described her book’s theme as the idea of climbing this ladder to Heaven to gain enlightenment from God, then bringing it back to earth to share with others. Using that idea of enlightenment, I illustrated lightbulbs hanging from Heaven. The seeker for knowledge must climb a ladder, much like she would to change a lightbulb in her home. Through this image, I was able to convey the idea of Jacob’s Ladder, the quest for enlightenment, and receiving wisdom from God.

Pam's Portfolio Cover V2

The Writer’s Block Syndrome

This past month, I’ve been struggling with severe writer’s block. I almost never succumb to it’s cold, calloused embrace, but this month has been a doozy for my writer’s mind. What’s worse? I had a paper due; a long paper.

In an attempt to conquer this…impediment…I wrote this short soapbox rant for my nonfiction class:


Writer's Block Syndrome

Today, I have a problem. A real, big-time problem. It’s a problem every writer faces, a problem every writer fears. It comes with no warning, but strikes a quick, agonizing blow to your self-esteem, your peace of mind, and your overall sanity.

I’m talking about writer’s block. The wicked, wicked illness of every writer.

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Cover Reveal and Designs for Author Zachariah Wilhelm

I’m about to mention Zachariah Wilhelm’s awesome new book, A Spark of Light, which is now available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle. Inside you’ll find a collection of short fiction and essays that center on the universal theme of light in a world of darkness. Also, if you want to keep up with his current projects, you can visit him on his website!


In college as a writing major, we get to the end of our education and have to compile a portfolio of all the best work we’ve done in our core writing classes. What’s even more daunting is this: we have to print it in a physical book form, complete with a cover.

Most writers are not graphic designers. We imagine all the cool book covers we’d like to see with our name on them, sure. And we might actually attempt to design a few, but for people at PCC, they typically syphon the project off to a graphic design friend to better focus on the content (since that’s the main part that will be graded).

My portfolio is next semester, but half my class is doing theirs this semester. Eager to practice and attempt a book cover myself while helping my fellow writing friends, I asked Zachariah Wilhelm, who sat next to me in Creative Nonfiction, if he had a cover designer yet. He said no, and the design was due in two weeks.

I volunteered. And boy was I ever excited.

This is what we came up with in the end. He wanted the spark to have severe contrast with the darkness around it, since that’s a strong theme he has throughout his stories: that spark of light in the darkness, that flicker of good in a world of evil. We also wanted to try to connect some of his pieces together with the cover, so we decided to rely on a dark forest and a tire swing, both of which are mentioned in the book.

Zach's Book Final Flattened.jpg

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Saratoga Pool a Hot Spot to Cool Off This Summer (Springfield Connection)

Click here to read the PDF version.

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Saratoga Pool a Hot Spot to Cool Off This Summer

Local pool continues to be a source of community for its members

After the climatic deluge from rainstorms throughout the last weeks, Springfield had a few days of blazing sun one would expect at the end of July. Nestled between the neighborhood and Saratoga Shopping Center, the Saratoga Pool provides a respite from the heat and haze prevalent in the late summer months.

“This is kind of my kids’ first exposure to water,” said Lucy North, recently moved from New York. “It’s great because being around friends or other kids their own age has made them stretch themselves in their ability and what they’re willing to try.” Continue reading

Seven Ways to Write Betrayal in Your Novel

I don’t know if I’m just sadistic, or if I have some deep buried emotional trauma from my past, or I’m just a stereotypical writer who likes to bring emotional tragedy on her readers…but I’ve always loved betrayal. I love reading it, writing it–it doesn’t matter.

If I really had to guess why betrayal has always been my go-to literary plot device, it might have something to do with the way I think of loyalty. Loyalty is one of the most important qualities a person could have, in my opinion. And sadly, because we’re human, we rarely find that friend who’s loyal until the end.

We’re all disappointed by one another at some point in our lives, but luckily, it’s a common wound we all share, which makes betrayal in novels a powerful tool to wound your readers, yet still have them come crawling back for more.

I’m going to be using the following examples from TV and literature, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, run awaaaay: Treasure Planet, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1, Star Wars, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Inkheart, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Legend by Marie Lu, Mean Girls, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Betrayal.jpg

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