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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Cover Art

There's an interesting blog discussion about cover art from the art director at Tor/Forge that got me thinking about my covers this morning.

On my first book, Ravyn's Flight I spent hours and hours filling out the art facts form I received. I described my characters, their clothes and the scenery in a fair amount of detail. (Lots of detail for the characters, a medium amount on their clothes and sketchy on the scenery. :-) I included pictures of what Ravyn and Damon looked like and described some scenes I thought would make a good cover. None of which involved the h/h in bed.

Here's my cover. Beautiful art, but it didn't match the tone of my book. Cherif looks nothing like Damon who was in the army and had short hair. The woman is much closer to Ravyn, though.

I do use pictures of all my characters as I write. I have to have them before I get too far in a story. To check out the heroes and heroines of the books I've finished, you can go to my Characters Living HEA page.

Now, I'm not unrealistic. I knew there was no way in hell I was getting Lucky Vanous or Kristin Alfonso on my cover, but I did expect a cover that was made for my book. This wasn't. It was already drawn/painted art that my publisher bought the rights to use on my book. I'd include a link to the original art, but I can't find my bookmark.

For The Power of Two I didn't spend as much time on the art form as I did the first time. Still, I did put forth a fair amount of effort, especially describing the characters. Do you see a trend here? I'm not too into the scenery, but very into the people. :-) I did say they were undercover and not wearing their army uniforms. I described their clothing as khakis and whites because it's an extremely hot and humid climate and they'd want to stay cool.

Jake is wearing a military uniform--including a sweater with insignia. Cai is in long sleeves. I think both of them are going to die of heat stroke. :-) I added the red shirt when I did revisions to TPOT because I wanted the characters to match to some extent.

Overall, I really like this cover. The red pops against the bright blue background and if you look closely, you'll see that Cai is wearing a ring on her right hand, exactly as I described in the form I filled out. That was hugely exciting for me and I ran around the office with a cover flat pointing out that ring to all my coworkers. They smiled, nodded, and started looking up the number for a mental health facility. :-)

For Through a Crimson Veil I spent less time on the art sheet, but I included more pictures of Conor and Mika. )Six of Mika, five of Conor.) This is my favorite cover so far. The people are very close to how I envisioned my hero and heroine (he just needs to be taller). I know, I know. Everyone who knows anything about cover art is thinking it doesn't matter if the people on the cover match the characters. I know that too, but I still want them to look the way I see them. :-) This time I mentioned that Mika always wears bright colors.

I added the all black outfit to a scene toward the beginning of the book on revision. BTW, I love this cover so much that I had it blown up to poster size. When I get around to decorating my house, it's going up in my computer room. (BTW, I also love the lettering they used for the title and my name. Way cool!)

One of the things I find interesting is that in the Crimson City series, my book is the only one with both the h/h on the cover. I love that they're both there, but I'm curious why. Is it because in my stories the h/h are always a team against the world even if they have problems with each other? Or am I reading way too much into this and it was just a fluke?

When I filled out the art sheet for Eternal Nights I added more pictures--pyramids, crop circles, military uniforms, insignia and characters.

I really love this cover! The colors are cool, the model is hot (and the longer you look at him, the sexier he gets!) and the pyramid and city give it a real mystical, futuristic feel. IMO. I'm debating getting this one enlarged too, although not to the size of TACV.

When I filled out the art sheet for my book for Tor, I took the lessons I'd learned from my previous four books. I included pictures, tried to get the tone across, gave a real general idea of some scenes in the book and I'll leave the rest up to the art department. I'll admit to getting excited to see this cover. Tor has done some fab work for their paranormal romances and I'm sure mine is going to be way cool too!

Anyway, I need to get going. I have a lot of work to do today. Bottom line for me on the art, I guess, is that as long as it sells books, I'm happy. But I'm happier if the characters look like I imagine them and if the cover matches the tone of my story. :-)