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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Clean and Simple or Cozy and Antique?

The Birth of My New Website.

I spent the last few days designing a new website and realized that my book covers tend to be clean and simple, but my characters are not. Well, sort of not.

There's a touch of the cozy and antique in both the Everly Gray series and the Gemini Women Trilogy. Taking a closer look at this...

The inside "logo" for Everly's stories looks like this:

When I found this on iStockphoto, I had to buy it because it's Everly. Not the vibrant redhead sleuth, but the grown-up child that read Nancy Drew. This picture is how Everly thinks of herself when she's busy tracking down bad guys. It's one of the core components of her personality--and the one that's most like me. But I'm not going to ponder that too closely.

The inside "logo" for the gemini women looks like this:

Again, I think it appealed to me because it shows the ancient connection between the women. They were born gemini, it fits their soul purpose to have blessed the earth with their presence during that particular astrological time, so the symbol had to be ancient. I think I chose this because it respects the eternal link between my characters.

Interestingly, my young adult books don't have a symbol. Maybe because they're young, maybe because the Fates are more than enough ancient mythology to anchor their personalities.

When I looked at my new website, I realized something was missing. And that's what inspired me to write this post. The background was originally a picture of the universe that looked like this:

It didn't work at all.

So I went to the first cover art that I'd used for Creation, which looked like this:

It had the red, but still didn't work. So I went to a new stock photo site, 123RF, and looked for antique papers. Love this site, by the way. I found this:

It worked! Well, I think it works, but I'd really like to have your comments on whether it does or not.

In addition to the background, I stumbled over (as I'm prone to do when I'm trolling stock photo sites) this photograph of an old book--a well-loved book:

I had to have it! When I added it to the website, it brought everything together. I'm not sure what this says about me, but I'm obviously not comfortable unless I mix the contemporary with the antique. Maybe I'm an energetic bridge between the two...not that I'm going to spend a lot of time thinking about that. Seriously, not going to.

I would love to hear your thoughts about my website, the mixing of old and new, or whatever else you'd like to chat about.

Please visit the site and leave a comment for me on the contact form (which seems to be working alarmingly well) and let me know what you think. What works for you on the site? What doesn't?

L. j. Charles website

Thanks for visiting my blog.

L. j.


  1. Wow, thanks for sharing the thought process that went into your website design. I knew you to be thorough, but you've outdone yourself this time. The site is stunning, all of the elements you've chosen make it feel just right. I appreciate the new, fun designs for Everly's books, the florals for the Gemini series, and the "universe" for your YA work. Congratulations on a job well done!
    I'm looking forward to reading your next book.

  2. Thanks, Patrice.
    It was a lot of work, but I think it's so much better for readers than my last website. I loved being able to add the photographs of Hawaii so readers can Visit Nia's World. I'm working on photos for the other books and have a few up for Whitney's world and Everly's world.