My publicity image for Dora’s Box was so popular, I decided to use it for the official book cover. I don’t know if this will help the book sell any better, but it’s fun giving my personal touch to the book. Now my four novel-length works all have covers that I drew myself. They’re a set! Collect ’em all.
Here’s a surprisingly touching review of Dora’s Box by Sally Bend over at Bending the Bookshelf.
Dora’s Box is a surprisingly touching story that is equal parts comic, romantic, and erotic.
I’ve finally finished the drawing for my Dora’s Box publicity image. Now I can plaster this all over and (hopefully) interest a couple people in reading the book.
It turned out in my initial draft I had the wrong leg in front. No wonder the anatomy wasn’t making sense! Now, however, things line up much better. As a bonus, she is able to show much more skin. That’s always a good thing. And talk about long legs! If you scaled an average woman to fit those legs, her head would be off the top of the picture.
You may notice some suspicious shading on the front of her dress, as though there’s something hidden underneath. It’s quite subtle and could just as easily be ordinary draping of the fabric. Between you and me, though, there’s a magic cock under there. Shhh. Don’t tell.
I’ve also added a few snappy quotes from some of the good reviews of this novel. If the leggy futa doesn’t convince you, I’m hoping peer pressure might help. This is a good time to shout out to the great people who leave reviews. Thank you so much! You guys rock! The time you volunteer for writing reviews will help make sure there are weird-ass stories like this one for a long time to come.
I’ve been working on a publicity image for Dora’s Box, and I decided to give you all a little sneak preview. I was so inspired by Robert McGinnis’ brilliant painting for the Breakfast at Tiffany’s poster that I just had to try my hand at creating my own version. This image represents Dora after her roommate, Julia, has put her through a complete makeover. Dora is starting to come out of her shell and build confidence in herself. She’s ready to take on the world!
Like all of my book covers, this was drawn in Inkscape. Most of the techniques are ones that I used in the Swapship Troopers cover: color gradients give her skin tone more natural variation. Highlights are made by putting down a white spot and blurring the hell out of it. Shadows are done in much the same way. One big difference is body shape. Quantrill from Swapship Troopers is a short, voluptuous woman. Dora, however, is long and lean (which is why the McGinnis painting seemed so perfect).
Another technique I haven’t done before is sequins. Fucking sequins! I couldn’t figure out how to make them look real, so I had to draw every single fucking sequin. Actually there was a lot of copy/paste involved (thank Jove for computers) but it still took for-damn-ever. I think it turned out pretty well, but I can’t recommend this method unless you don’t mind going crazy.
Of course, I meant this to look like Audrey Hepburn, but my artistic skill is not quite up to that challenge apparently. For some reason she looks more like Keira Knightley. Oh well. There are worse things.
Hey, go to Amazon and read the book!
Today I’m going to unbox the novel Dora’s Box. Spoiler alert! This article will give away some of the plot twists, so you might want to read the book first. Think about it. Now would be a good time.
The seed of Dora’s Box was planted by a strip from the brilliantly perverse web comic Oglaf. In this comic some guy is cursed to be the “best in the world at blowjobs.” He’s apparently a typical homophobic male who never sucked cock before. Now he’s suddenly the “very very beeeessssstttt” at it and is too embarrassed to tell his friends.
The idea of a person being granted sexual prowess that they don’t actually want was intriguing to me. It seemed like a great avenue to explore the importance of keeping an open mind about sexuality. What better way to expand a person’s horizons than to give them the gift of magical sex awesomeness? What they initially see as a curse gradually becomes a great gift.
Then I thought of one of my favorite conventions in erotica: the futanari. Futanari is a Japanese word for hermaphrodite, but it has come to mean a fictional character with overall feminine appearance and masculine sex organs (sometimes with female sex organs as well, sometimes not). There are lots of anime and manga and other erotica about futanari and it’s always pretty hot.
A reluctant futanari seemed like an awesome story idea. A young woman suddenly getting a penis would definitely feel like she had been cursed. It wasn’t hard to imagine ways to change her mind about that, too. She would slowly be introduced into a whole new world of sexuality and as a result become more comfortable and confident in her own skin.
How does she get this dick in the first place? In the comic, the fellatio supremis curse was selected by some creepy spirit. What I wanted, however, was a tragic hero who unknowingly sets in motion the wheels of her own downfall (but not really downfall as much as orgy). Basically I was looking for an irony beat-down, like the horror story “The Monkey’s Paw” by W. W. Jacobs.
Except instead of wishes coming true in the most awful way imaginable, I wanted wishes coming true in the sexiest way. I considered various wish making mechanisms (like a genie in a bottle or a primate appendage), but finally settled on a box that you whisper wishes into and then they come true. A box like that could be used accidentally. It also answers the question of “Why not just unwish the penis first thing?” by refusing to open for some refactory period after a wish. Even better, the word “box” is slang for vagina.
The wish box also suggested a title. Remember the myth of Pandora’s Box from the ancient Greeks? Talk about unexpected consequences! Pandora just wanted to see what was inside and wound up releasing all evil into the world. Bummer. Of course, I couldn’t name my main character Pandora — that would just be weird — so I shortened it to Dora.
It was shaping up as a real “Watch what you wish for” cautionary tale. I imagined a whole series of poorly worded wishes that would be interpreted in ways very different from what Dora intended. Far from being out to get her, however, the wishes would gradually move her into the arms of her true love — much to her own surprise.
Speaking of love, I originally intended to have Dora end up with a bisexual guy who enjoyed bottoming. As I wrote the early chapters, however, I felt more of a connection between Dora and her roommate Julia and decided to explore that further instead. That can happen in my writing. I start with a rough outline to give some idea where I’m going, but I’m always open to new destinations if I come to a promising fork in the road.*
Check this one out on Amazon Kindle!
*that’s my lesson on writing** for the day
**it’s not a bad lesson on life either
Here is a short excerpt from Dora’s Box. In this scene, Dora is feeling insecure and unattractive because she was just ignored by her crush. At the same time her roommate, Julia, has admirers coming out of the woodwork. Dora decides to use her magic wishing box to level the playing field. In what turns out to be a trend in this story, the wish doesn’t turn out quite like she expects…
“Okay, okay,” she tried to collect herself. This wish could change everything. “I wish I could be pretty,” she told the box in a clear, steady voice.
The lid snapped shut. Dora smiled and set the box back on the nightstand. She walked to the mirror on the back of her door with knees feeling a bit unsteady. What would she look like? Would she be more beautiful than Julia? Would she even recognize herself? She took the last few steps with her eyes shut tight. She could feel her heart pounding in her ears. She took a deep breath and opened her eyes.
And saw the same face she had seen her whole life. The same long, angular nose. The same narrow, thin lips. The same scraggly, brown hair. She hadn’t changed at all.
“Oh, damn,” she sighed. She leaned forward against the betraying mirror and pressed her forehead against the cool, smooth surface.
A quiet knock on her door made Dora jump back. “Dora? Can we talk?” a hesitant voice called out from the other side. She pulled open the door and saw Julia standing in the hall. Her roommate’s eyes were red and gleaming, as though she had been crying too.
“I’m so sorry,” Julia pleaded. “I shouldn’t have left you alone last night. I knew you were upset about that jerk Kyle.”
“It’s okay,” Dora replied softly. She let the door swing open and turned back to her bed. “You didn’t do anything. You’re just … gorgeous. And I’m just … blah. Of course all the boys want you and not me.”
“You’re not blah, sweetie.” Julia sat on the bed beside Dora and put a hand on the taller girl’s knee. “You have your own unique allure. Maybe he can’t see it but that’s his loss.”
“If you start talking about inner beauty I’m going to barf,” Dora grumbled.
“It’s true though,” Julia giggled. “I have an idea! Do you know what I do when I feel insecure about myself?”
“You? Feel insecure? In what galaxy do you ever feel insecure?”
“Everybody feels insecure sometimes, Dora. But it helps if I do something to feel good about myself.”
“I’m not going for a run,” Dora insisted immediately.
“No, silly! I’m talking about a makeover!” Julia exclaimed. “I get out all my makeup and just go to town. I mean like totally glammed-up stripper-style!”
“Oh, God,” Dora groaned. “I think I’d rather go run.”
“Come on!” Julia hopped up off the bed and pulled at Dora’s arm. “It’ll do you some good to feel pretty for a while.”
Dora rolled her eyes. She did wish to be pretty. That box had a pretty sick sense of humor. She suspected she would regret it, but allowed herself to be dragged along.
Read more on Amazon Kindle!
Today, I am going to review Dora’s Box, by Walker Long. Much as both my blog post title and the title of Walker’s book insinuates, this book is based on the Classical myth of Pandora’s Box, as well as an erotica. This novella is certainly interesting. Not quite my cup of tea, but not ill-written. […]
This might be the easiest book cover I’ve done. It’s pretty much just a stock photo of a girl’s legs. This particular photo gives off a serious sexual vibe, but it also has an element of shyness and/or surprise in the way the model’s feet are turned inward. That totally suits this story of a shy college girl who accidentally wishes herself an enormous penis.
Once I had the photo, the hardest part was finding the right font for the title. I went with Gelio Retsina. This free font suggests ancient magic and brings serious Greek flavor (think Pandora’s Box).