The most beautiful book cover ever

IMG_1513I’ve seen a preliminary draft of the cover for His Forgotten Fiancée! I’m so excited. I can’t share it here, since it’s not the final version, but I’m still jumping up and down inside. It made the book seem so much more real.

They did a photoshoot with models. Real people, posing as characters from a story I made up. Bizarre.

And not just people. One of the secondary characters in the story (Elijah) is a kitten, so I’d asked if they could put him on the cover. For some reason, I had thought they’d just photoshop a cat onto the background, but no. IMG_1427The Harlequin team went and got a cat model for the photoshoot, bless them.
Even more impressive, the kitten on the cover looks exactly like the kitten I had originally based Elijah on. Black and white and adorable.

I suppose I shouldn’t have been so surprised. Vicki Essex wrote a blog post about her experience as a Harlequin cover model. They brought a horse into the studio for that photoshoot. Up an elevator.

I learned something else today. I’d listened to other authors gush about their beautiful covers, but I never understood why they were so proud. It’s analogous to bringing home a new baby. To someone else, a baby looks nice enough, but to its proud parents, it’s the most beautiful baby ever. I have no doubt that other people could find things that might need improvement. But I can’t see any.

I will share it later, when the finished version becomes available. For now you’ll just have to take my word for it. It’s the most beautiful cover ever. At least, it is to me. 🙂

Here’s an excellent post on what makes a good book cover, with some great examples.

Editing between the lines

Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre
The specter of a Line Edit looming over a defenseless author

At first glance, [Line Edits] can be daunting enough to scare the pink off a pig.
-Amy Woods

Line Edits can be
fun
a barrel of laughs
educational.

The process can damage your self esteem — if you let it. So I am not going to let it.

It is humbling to have an editor asks what a sentence meant. Especially when I re-read it and wonder too. I am sure that the sentence made perfect sense when I wrote it.

I feel like Robert Browning in The Barretts of Wimpole Street, in the scene where Elizabeth Barrett asked him what one of his poems meant.

ELIZABETH BARRETT: Well?

ROBERT BROWNING: Well, Miss Barrett, when that passage was written only God and Robert Browning understood it. Now, only God understands it.

For a Harlequin author, this is the last chance to make any changes to the story. The final opportunity to see any typos or major errors. Even though by this point the manuscript has had several eyes looking at it, I need to go through one last time. Deb Kastner recommends sending the doc to a Kindle, since it’s easier to spot errors when they’re in a different setting.

mugI always think I’ve caught all the typos before I send the story off. Always. And still the pesky things crop up when I’m not looking. In the normal course of things, I do not believe in gremlins. When it comes to typos or other errors in my cherished manuscript, however, they are clearly the only answer.

Quote: Writing & Perfection

Never put off writing until you are better at it. -Gary Henderson
Never put off writing until you are better at it. -Gary Henderson

That’s something I have problems with sometimes. The words on the page never quite match the excitement of the bright shiny ideas in my head. I do believe the experts who say that you get better at writing the more you do it. If I wait for the words to come out perfectly, I’ll still be staring at a blank page next year.

I suppose it’s a form of laziness. I want the first draft to be perfect, so I don’t have to re-write it later. Note to self, learn to love revisions. Really.

Trust me

My hero needs to get other characters to trust him, let him guide them through dangerous situations. He is trying to win the villain’s trust without destroying the heroine’s faith in him.

Becca Puglisi wrote a good post on how to gain someone’s trust. This is a useful skill for my current hero to possess, so I’m going to try to include some of these traits in his portrayal.

  • Good at listening to people
  • Quick to pick up clues from body language
  • Able to control the situation without coming across as manipulative. So he has to appear caring, willing to use his people-reading skills for a good cause.

Might be useful if I ever want to take up a career as a con artist. I suppose there are some similarities between that career and writing. An author is someone who tries to persuade readers that characters she made up really exist, even if only between the covers of a book.

Newbie Author Checklist

August Müller Tagebucheintrag

  • ☐Refresh Amazon page obsessively to see if ranking has changed – Done
  • ☐Google name and book title –Done
  • ☐Calculate how long before the cover is ready – Done
  • ☐Re-calculate just to make sure it really will take that long. –Done
  • ☐Remind self that It Takes Time, Okay? Calm Down Already.
  • ☐Control the urge to tweet ‘Buy my book! Buy my book!’ in an endless loop.

Still have a couple things left to do.