Today I am revealing the face of my baby!
Please say hello to Olivia and Rhys my heroine and hero in The Dressmaker’s Duke!
As a writer you spend hours and hours imagining your characters, living in their skins, coming to know and love them (despite the fact that he is obsessed with clocks and she can’t hold a tune in a bucket). You embrace all their quirks and faults.
But will the cover artist assigned to your book have the same vision as you?
I won’t lie, there are equal amounts of eager excitement as well as finger-gnawing trepidation when you receive the email that the “face” of your debut novel is ready. You close your eyes and hold your breath, your finger hovering over the “open” icon. Will your heroine have three arms? (Yes, this has happened! click to see.) Will you fall in love on the spot, or perhaps learn to love this face, or simply grimace and bear it?
Click. Breath expels. Yee Haa!
I am one of the lucky ones. I had Debbie Taylor of The Wild Rose Press as my artist for The Dressmaker’s Duke. Debbie created a rich, painterly cover with two yummy lovers—my Olivia and Rhys. I proposed some minor tweaks and Debbie listened, took my suggestions and ran with them.
The process got me thinking about what goes into creating a cover. At The Wild Rose Press, an author fills out a detailed Cover Art form—what your H & H look like, the setting(s) of the book, a brief synopsis of the story. You can submit covers you admire and get as detailed as you please. But ultimately the publisher/artist know what works and sells.
Today I have Debbie as my guest to talk about a day in the life of a cover artist.
Hi Debbie. Thanks so much for joining me.
How did you come to be a cover artist?
I have been a graphic artist for many years starting in TV commercials, media, and business advertising. However, it wasn’t until I started writing and publishing my own books that I began paying attention to cover art. I hated what was out there and so I started learning how to make my own. That is why I like working closely with the author. With my 30 years in business and advertising I know what sells. I enjoy creating a cover that pops and that the author loves. Covers are just the wrapping to all the work the author put into writing their book. I am always honored when they choose me to create their cover!!!
What is your inspiration?
Photos, music, color. I have always loved to see paintings and see every little detail. The magic is there with every stroke of pen or brush.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
I have a lot of artist friends but no favorite one.
How do you begin a cover?
I ask the author to fill out a cover art form. I get a good idea what the book is about from the input. That is how the cover design forms in my head. They I try to work that image on the cover.
Do you work in layers?
Yes I do work with layers, many of them. Every change I make is on a new layer. It keeps changes simple. 🙂
Do you begin with the main figures? Or does it change with every new project?
I start with the background and work forward. This helps with placement. Those things never really change in any project. What changes is concept, and font. I work for many different companies and each one has their own wants and needs for the cover styles they like. 🙂
About how long is the process?
That depends on the concept and the author. For the most part a few hours but at times(very few) the author can be very picky, not know what they want, or not answer communications. I had one take six months to finish. But we got it just right. 🙂
Do you work with models? If so, do you have a favorite model story?
Yes I have worked with models but not often. We have lots of fun.
I actually modeled for a romance poster (long ago!) I just remember the male model being very tall (I think my head fit under his armpit.) We ended up having me stand on an apple box. I didn’t mind, it made my legs look very long.
What do you love other than art?
Music, writing, and gaming!!! LOL Life is awesome.
OK, you have to tell us what is your game du jour?
LOL a few I enjoy are World of Warcraft, Minecraft, Halo, GhostRecon, Fable, Final Fantasy. I normally don’t have time to play much, but they spark my imagination. And as a published author of 7 books and a cover artist, gaming can be very helpful.
I will tell my son that. He will be thrilled.
Thank you for asking me to join you on your blog Jessica!!! I was so thrilled and honored. I can’t wait to read your new book The Dressmaker’s Duke from The Wild Rose Press.
Thanks, Debbie. I can’t wait for it to come out.
Please stay tuned for my version of “Say YES to the Dress.” You will get a chance to help me create a Regency gown from scratch! And remember, The Dressmaker’s Duke is out September 26th.
You can find more of Debbie’s work at:
The Dragons Laird by Deborah Y Lynne
What a gorgeous cover! Debbie is awesome. She designed my cover as well. Love, love, her. Congrats on your novel!