Here’s what happens when you get so busy with deadlines, family obligations, marketing efforts, and taking care of two dogs, one of whom is a senior canine whose bladder has shrunk to the size of a pea: You forget what you have already done and agree to do it again! A month or so ago, a bunch of my writer friends invited me to participate in a blog hop, in which we took turns posting info about our upcoming books, and linking to other writers who were posting about their books. The title of my post, if you want to look it up, is Hopping Along the Blogging Trail.
So last week, my BFF and fellow author, Leanna Ellis ( www.leannaellis.com) invited me to join a blog hop called THE NEXT BIG THING… and it turns out the questions are the same as for the previous one. Rather than repeat myself, I’m writing today to answer a question I get about all of my books: How do you get your beautiful book covers?
It starts with Kristen Vasgaard, my uber talented designer at HarperCollins/Nelson. Once the book is written and turned in, Kristen and my editors ask me for ideas about what the cover should look like. We discuss the setting, the season of the year, and the main character–especially the color of her hair and eyes. We discuss the time period, as this affects the type of dress the model will wear. Often I provide photos of the locale of the story and Kristen begins working on what we call a “cover comp” –a basic idea of the major elements in the design, where the model will be placed, the background and the color scheme.
In the meantime the search is on for a model who matches my description of my main character. Then my editor sends the models’ photos and together we decide on who best represents my idea of the character. Once we make a choice, Kristen and her assistants begin looking through the wardrobe room at the publishing house to find the perfect dress. For my next book, CAROLINA GOLD, which releases this fall, I chose a dress with a beautiful ruffled collar, but it was green. Since my BEAUTY FOR ASHES cover model wore a green dress, the plan was to Photoshop the dress to a different color. But then we discovered that the same dress had been used for a recent book by another author at the same publishing house…..so back we went to the wardrobe room to find another dress. We finally decided on another dress that had a full skirt and a pretty collar….but it was a grayish- brown.
Next, I received several different poses of the model placed against the background you see here and together with my publisher, my editor, and my agent, we decided that the best fit for the story was to have her gazing toward her home. But the brown dress made the overall cover too dark and muddy. Back to the magic of Photoshop and voila! The dress morphed into the gorgeous, rich burgundy color you see here.
The process takes several weeks and the talents of a team of people. I’ve been lucky to have had remarkably beautiful covers on all my books, covers that invite readers to peer into a window on the past and experience life in another time and place.
Next Wednesday, March 6, my good friend and fellow adventurer Sandra Robbins will be writing about her Next Big Thing. Please pop over to www.sandrarobbins.net to see what she’s up to and to continue following the blog hop. I know you will find some authors whose books you will love.