Saturday, 9 February 2008

In the lap of the Gods…

I realized I’ll have to start thinking what I want on the cover of my latest contracted book – Penned Again. This is, of course, a good situation for a writer to be in so it’s not a chore. What’s Penned Again about? I have yet to write a blurb but basically it’s about a three hundred demon, Penn Ripley, who married a mortal woman, Arlo, without her knowing his real identity. Naturally she was a tad pissed off when she found out the truth. They split up. Six months later Penn is back. Why? It’s all to do with a bet. Now I just have to put that into blurb speak.

Anyway what makes a good cover? I have to admit I am pretty flexible when it comes to cover requests. You get this form that you fill out and send away. It’s all about what you would like and how you see your characters. You can ‘suggest’ how the cover could look but there are no guarantees as to what you get. This does not bother me as I have been very lucky with the Ellora’s Cave Cover Gods. I appreciate their time and talent. Am I sucking up? Nah, ‘cause I suspect it wouldn’t work anyway. So you send off the cover
request once your Editor has checked it to make sure you can spell your own name correctly and you haven’t written something dumb on the form – for example – for my last cover request, for Anyone But You, I wrote under “Possible symbols or items that could be included on the cover” – ‘a purple person.’ My Editor emailed back and said a ‘purple person?’ Being the wise women she is she had read the story and knew, that unlike author Anny Cook’s novels, there were no purple/blue people in the book. We did however wonder how a reader would look at the cover and think “The two people in a clinch I get, but the purple person watching them? What’s that about?” And how disappointed would they be if they bought the book expecting a ménage with a purple person and there were only two people and a purple diary. See, this is why writers need Editors. Writers are rarely ever logical.

So, after you make suggestions – half naked, fully naked, do what you like as long as he has a tatt, I’m sure I’ll love it – those are my real life, general suggestions to Coverland – you get the cover

back. I have never been disappointed. But then I do not have a rigid belief in how my cover should look and therefore no other will do - foot stamp, angst ridden pout. I don’t have to have the hero holding the heroine on an alpine mountain top with the early morning sun highlighting, on a ninety degree angle, the blue-blackness of his hair while the heroine’s porcelain-like left hand is placed three-quarters, no more, along his muscular arm. Her fingers nails do not have to be persimmon pink, her bottom lip does not have to look like its quivering nor does her eye shadow have to be a particular shade of Rimmel - and how would I know if a cover model has size 34C breasts or not when they are squashed against the hero’s naked but not hairy chest? The doves that are flying in the background do not have to look like they were trained in the Himalayas by the monks, nor do the sheep you can barely see have to be merinos from the New South Wales Highlands. I do not ask for the impossible or improbable. As for the title and my name – as long as they are spelt correctly, I am good to go. Just give me a cover that people will be attracted to and want to buy the book. I

trust the Coverlandians to do this. They’re professionals. They know what they are doing. Pouting because your expectations are not met is your problem, not the cover departments. I think sometimes authors need to remember that ‘suggested’ means just that and expectations are sometimes a little too high faluting. As always, feel free to comment.

Eternity contest…nah, I don’t have the “My Darling…” line but someone does. Are you playing along? No? You’ve been on another planet? Welcome back. There is still time – just trawl through the sites below and find the line.

What could you spend an eternity doing? What is your passion? Your hunger? Your deepest desire? Each day beginning February 5 and running through February 14 one of the ten authors will complete the line, "My darling I could spend eternity…" on either their blog or website. Collect all ten answers and e-mail them to with Eternally Yours in the subject line to win some hot, romantic books. There will be three lucky Valentine winners.

The prizes –

1st prize--5 books

2nd prize--3 books

3rd prize--2 books

The books

Sandra Cox Silverhills
Mona Risk To Love a Hero
Brynn Paulin Tribute For the Goddess
Bronwyn Green Mystic Circle
Cindy Spencer Pape Stone and Earth
N.J. Walters Seduction of Shamus O’Rourke
Elyssa Edwards Mating Stone

Amarinda Jones Shades of Gray
Kelly Kirch Time for Love
Anny Cook Honeysuckle

Entries must be in by February 16 at midnight EST. All books and prize winners will be drawn randomly.

Remember to check out Anny on and Kelly on – they’re always up to something interesting and if they’re not – check out the blogs to the left.

Quote for today....

To err is human, but it feels divine--Mae West
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


Anonymous said...

Good way to look at it Amarinda. Honestly Cover Artists don't set out to upset Authors. Unfortunately expectations do get in the way and we are not mind readers.

If there's something specific an Author wants to see on their cover, then let the artist know. But do remember that we are also limited by stock and the publisher's signature style/look.

I could go on and on of course but believe it or not, most cover artists set out to please. We love nothing more than to see authors blogging about how much they love their covers.

barbara huffert said...

I'm with you. I absolutely love my covers. The last one won a cover contest on one of the groups. Great for the exposure it got me but I immediately passed the kudos on to the artist. She's the one who deserved them. All I did was say "Hey everybody, look at this!"

Ashley Ladd said...

Hot hot hot covers! The cover gods certainly blessed you.

I think getting a great cover is a lottery sometimes. I've had some really great ones and some not so great ones. But like you said, we have to remember that we only get to "suggest" what our cover art should look like.

I try to be specific and even provide photos when possible.

On the whole - the vast majority - I love my covers. All three of my publishers have STUPENDOUS covers and cover artists.

Sandra Cox said...

Penned Again sounds like another keeper!

Sandra Cox said...

Your covers are great!

Kelly Kirch said...

Naked guy, check. Tattoos and nipple ring, check. Would love a cover like that. But alas, I am CP and ever so much more tame.

Bronwyn's Blog said...

I don't think I've seen a cover of yours that wasn't seriously gorgeous.

Anny Cook said...

Lovely, lovely covers, but where is Alex???? Where???