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How did you get into cover designing?
I always tell people I owe it all to Josh Lanyon. ;-) I had been thinking of doing cover work (I’ve always worked in the graphic design field), but I didn’t have a portfolio so I never bothered to reach out anywhere. I think it was 2010 now, the first year Josh decided to offer a contest for his fans to design a new cover for his self-release book, In a Dark Wood. Me being a fan and ho boy! Getting to do a cover for Josh? So I did up a few designs, threw them in the pot, and crossed my fingers. My design ended up being the chosen cover [big squees ensued at Chez Chase], and then people who saw and liked the cover asked if I wanted to do a cover for them. But of course! One thing led to another, and here we are. I love doing cover design. :)
You write as well as design covers. Do you design your own covers? When you don’t, are you tempted to?
I do design my own covers when I can, absolutely. The only ones I haven’t designed are my books with Loose Id. They were my first publisher and I wasn’t sure I could do my own, but next book with them I’ll definitely ask. That said, I’m sometimes curious to see what another artist will come up with for me.
What’s your favorite cover you’ve designed?
Hmm… This is a tough question. Can I say all of them? :) Or maybe, whichever one I just finished?
What’s your favorite cover someone else has designed?
Again, too many to choose just one. I love Paul Richmond’s Evolution, Anne Cain’s Invisible Friend, Reese Dante’s Warrior Angel… on and on.
Where do you find your stock photos for covers?
I have a big bookmarked list I source from. Mostly Shutterstock and iStock, but I also regularly source some independent photographers. All depends what I’m looking for on any given cover.
What’s your favorite font?
Too many! I have over 2,000 fonts on my desktop, and I choose them by how well they fit the genre or mood of each individual story. For an historical romance I might combine Mutlu and Ruthie, like on Marie Sexton’s Cinder. For steampunk my favorite right now is Ornatique, which I recently used on R Cooper’s Wicklow’s Odyssey. For cowboy romance I’m kind of partial to LD Eleanor Ray that I used on my Pickup Men series covers.
Are you as sensitive to feedback on you cover designs as you might be on your writing?
Nope. I’ve been doing art and design for a long time so I’ve become pretty good at distancing myself from negative feedback and criticism. Not everything works for everyone, so getting in a dust-up over it is energy I don’t need to expend. I definitely appreciate constructive criticism though – it helps me grow. I only feel bad if I haven’t delivered, but that just makes me want to work that much harder to do better the next time out.
How important do YOU think a cover is to selling a book?
I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I’m just as guilty as the next person. I avoided an amazing book for ages because I didn’t like the cover. So, I’d say the cover is extremely important. It’s the first thing a prospective reader sees and, if the cover designer has done a good job, it gives a snapshot visual of what the reader can expect inside. When I design, I try to make sure I’m creating a visual that not only attracts the reader, but also accurately represents the story either in image or mood. Once the door is open it’s up to the author to tell a good story. ;-)
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