So I had this great idea, but I didn’t seek permission from Decadent Publishing or the cover artist, Valerie Tibbs of Tibbs Design, and now it’s too late, because here I am facing my Literary Lagniappe blog post deadline. Sigh. My middle name is procrastinate. So anyway.
FROST, my fifth book, and my third for Decadent Publishing, releases on February 12, in time for Valentine’s Day. And I still have NO FREAKIN’ CLUE about how the cover artists come up with the covers. Except that I have so far been wicked lucky. After I send in the cover art form, I basically just close my eyes, stop breathing and hope for the best.
The first cover I was sent for LIGHTNING was already “Mockup 5” before I was even asked my opinion. I do not want to know what 1-4 looked like. Well, okay. Maybe I do. But it was my first book and first cover with Decadent. I try not to be Difficult Author when it comes to editing and covers because a.) who wants to work with someone like that; and b.) because I am so Difficult in Real Life.
THUNDER was “Mockup 2.” Valerie the Artist was concerned that the couple and the heroine’s mansion might not be right; Valerie the Editor was concerned that the cover model was pictured in a bra. And that was before I even got there!
When I saw it, I thought the heroine’s house was perfect. I thought the font, which matched LIGHTNING, and color scheme were perfect. I liked the heroine cover model. I did not like the hero so much since, to my eye, he was not the hunky, masculine Sean Jones in my head. And, as for the bra issue…the book takes places on July 4th; the heroine, when clothed, is wearing a halter. I agreed with Valerie the Editor on that. No bra. So…back to the drawing board. New cover models. Better cover models. The final cover…a screaming success!
And now there is FROST. This is my favorite of the three so far. And it, too, went through a number of transitions. The first mock-up I saw was pretty awesome. The color scheme was blue with lots of white, matching LIGHTNING and THUNDER. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the cover models. One of the Valerie the Editor thought the blue background needed to go, because it was too much like LIGHTNING. (I didn’t; I kinda like it, not just for the call back to LIGHTNING, but also ‘cause it was, well, frosty.) I was pleased that the heroine was perfect and the hero was super perfect, dark and rugged. (One of my begs on the art cover form was “Try not to make the hero too soft or effeminate looking.”) This may not be politically correct. But when he’s a hunk in my head, I need him to be a hunk on the cover. Valerie the Artist, whom I never communicated with directly, thought he might be too dark. But he’s a demon, and he’s damaged, so dark=good. My response, through Valerie the Editor, was: “He’s not too dark at all. I LOVE him. (And he’s a dark kind of guy!)”
But then I got to be DIFFICULT AUTHOR. Under the title, there was a snowy scene with beautiful, white-blanketed woods and frosty evergreens. Except the book takes place primarily in an art gallery. No really frosty outdoorsy scenes. I suggested perhaps some art gallery stuff instead of trees. Which goes to show why I am not a cover artist. The next version had a wall with pictures hanging on them. This is not a very exciting visual – unless you happen to be actually viewing one of Maxwell Raines’ paintings in FROST. In which case…EXTREMELY EXCITING, if you get my drift. But in this version, the perfect cover models were set in reddish tones on a reddish background… and since Max is a fire-sex demon and the book takes places on Valentine’s…the color was wonderful. The finished product has a swirly effect, like flames, instead of objects.
What do you think? Isn’t it awesomesauce gorgeous. A perfect Max. A perfect Dagney.
Here’s the blurb:
Dagney Night, a sought-after succubus, is no stranger to blazing hot sex. But as Valentine’s Day approaches, she longs for something more. When oddly erotic paintings arrive for display at her art gallery, arousing everyone who views them, she wonders about the mysterious artist who created the works.
Maxwell Raines, a fire-sex demon, lives a life of solitude and seclusion behind the walls of his compound at Sleepy Hollow, channeling his lustful impulses into his art—until his muse deserts him and his temperature rises past the danger point.
When Madame Evangeline arranges a torrid Valentine’s 1Night Stand for them, will the flames of their encounter be too hot to handle?
I’ll give away a book from my backlist and some swag to a random commenter. Contest ends at midnight, January 10, 2013