In this post I’d like to thank the imaginative, talented, patient woman who designed the covers to my two novels, Michelle Rene Goodhew.
I also love the covers Michelle Rene created for other books and am in love with this little fellow in particular -
It’s not easy explaining what you want on a cover when you’re not sure yourself, let alone to someone on the other side of the earth, via email and not over a cup of coffee with the advantage of waving your arms around to get your point across …
The founder of Smashwords, Mark Coker, suggested imagining your cover with all the words removed, then asking – is there a question in the cover image the reader wants an answer to? I thought that was really helpful advice (I’ve discovered anything Mark says is helpful! I’ve learnt a lot more about Microsoft Word formatting from his free Smashwords Style Guide).
The cover briefs were tricky to explain because I’m still not exactly sure which genre Arafura – Blood, the Wet and Tears and the sequel Arafura – Unfinished Business belong to. Romantic suspense/comedy/drama/action/?
Here is my description for the first book in the Arafura series:
Nobody said the build-up would be easy. No body …
Sensible schoolteacher Kat is planning to marry when her long-term fiancé finds the time. When the mysterious and damaged Adam arrives in town, Kat is jolted well out of her comfort zone. Despite her loyal intentions, a dead body and enough pre-monsoonal weather to strangle a Kat, she must wrestle with an instant attraction that is emotionally risky and absolutely, definitely fraught.
Arafura will appeal to female and male readers who enjoy quirky, witty suspense with dark edges.
My favourite cover is Michelle Rene’s bold design for the second novel in the Arafura series :
The storyline of Arafura – Unfinished Business just needs a bit of tweaking and will be published by the end of October this year (I keep changing the dates as other life admin sneaks up on me, but this is a deadline, and I’ll be taking a brief blogging hiatus to make target).
The tagline is – Love is patient. Love is kind. Sometimes love is explosive.
This is what Michelle Rene has to say about the process of her design for Arafura – Unfinished Business.
“Working on ‘Arafura: Unfinished Business’ has been full of rewards. The sunset was a new venture that I started with a wax base for texture. I’ve never constructed a painting this way and thought it was vibrant and captured the color I was looking for.
Susan responded with a request to give the clouds more definition and I’m so grateful she did. The final result is striking compared to my first draft. This is a great new style for me and I look forward to trying it again.
I guess I had a good vision of the ship from nearly the beginning. I had started with a side profile and then Susan recommended the front view of the ship hoping for a more ominous feeling. I ran with that and had a clear Idea of how I wanted the colors to play on the surface of the steel.
My intention from the beginning was to have a bit of an abstract feel in the final piece. I thought it would allow me to really bring those bold colors forward, and I think I managed that in the end.
Putting the lights on the ship was tedious but satisfying because each one just seemed to spring to life with a little glow. It was the first time I have ever attempted party lights and my technique proved successful. Joy!
I love the energy I have had while putting this together. Susan has been an amazing author to work with, she has a delightful personality with an edge of humor that really is a great combination to collaborate with.”
I encourage you to visit Michelle Rene’s blog Book Cover Designer to see for yourself what a talented, thoughtful and positive illustrator and writer she is. I’m really looking forward to her first graphic novel. And one day we’re going to have that coffee (or champagne) together. :)
If you’re interested, Arafura – Blood, the Wet and Tears can be purchased from Amazon here, or Smashwords here. It’s also available at Smashwords’ global network of on-line retailers, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Angus and Robertson, Collins, Kobo, FlipKart etc.
So, if you ever need an illustrator …