Wednesday, September 03, 2008

GUEST POST: Evolution of a Cover: Fangs and Fur by Michelle Houston

Like many authors, when I sent out my cover art request for FANGS AND FUR I was worried about how it would all turn out. I have seen some fantastic e-book covers, and I have seen some that frankly I would be ashamed to have.

I’ve really lucked out with both Whiskey Creek Press Torrid and Phaze in that my covers have been at least close to what I had in mind, and have been something I have been happy to have my “name” associated with. Part of the problem is that there is only so much that can be done with splicing images together to create a concept, and I understand. I also know that many cover artists don’t or won’t take the time to work with the author to add that additional element to their book – which I don’t understand.

Some I know think that with e-books a cover isn’t as important as in a brick and mortar store. I disagree. When someone is looking at e-books we have only the first few lines of the blurb and the cover to hook them with. Print books can be picked up, skimmed, and so on. For us, we have an excerpt, often chosen for us by the publisher, to try and seduce a reader. That’s it.

So I always very hesitant when I see the email waiting on me -- cover art for _______ book.

When I received the cover for FANGS AND FUR it was so very close to what I had in mind. It had a sexy couple, and a pair of wolf eyes glowing from the bottom of the image. But something was missing.

Ms. Heaston was wonderful; she asked if there was anything I would change about it. I sent back an email asking if we could incorporate more of the shifters into the cover. There isn’t just a wolf shifter, there is also a tiger and a fox. And as much as I liked the idea of the font adding the ‘fang’ feel to the cover, I hated the font. I also wanted some claw marks somewhere, to help with the feel of it all.

She, bless her, got EXCITED! (It could have gone the other way entirely, which is what I was afraid would happen) It was wonderful. Her energy about it all, the way she talked about having an idea come to her that was perfect was highly thrilling.

When I got the cover back the second time it was almost, not quite but almost, perfect. Rather than a black strip along the bottom of the sexy couple image there was tiger fur. And the claw marks were spot on.

The only issue I had was that in trying to bring in a vampire image, she put a small set of human eyes at the top in the first claw mark, and they were kind of creepy looking. The wolf eyes were still at the bottom of the cover, and I suggested moving them up where the vampire eyes were.

She was more than willing to do so and then I got the cover back. I was shocked, and so very excited myself. It was FANGS AND FUR. It accented the book that I loved writing, giving it an additional depth.

For more information about FANGS AND FUR visit: michellehouston.com or
whiskeycreekpresstorrid.com/authors/Michelle_Houston.shtml


If you are an author and would like to contribute a 'behind the cover' post about the cover art of a recent release please email Emily at veinglory [at] gmail.com

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