Monday, December 24, 2007

PSI Blue by Robert Walker

The cover art for PSI Blue by Robert W. Walker, Echelon Press,was designed by my son, Stephen R. Walker who owns and operates his own Computer Graphics company The choice of the cover was Stephen's once he read teh book, and it depicts the sort of twisting, confusing images that the main character, Rae Murphy Hiyakawa, half Asian, half Irish, and all psychically empowered woman gets when she goes on a psychic quest for answers to murder and mayhem. Rae is done in a Janet Evanovich tongue-in-cheek approach to a serial killer novel, so it is both humorous and ghastly at once and meant to be.
Personally, I feel the cover "covers" the story within, but it seems to be not so
appealing to others who are "confused" there are a lot of images and details to take
in at once. Once a reader begins the story, I am told, they "get" the cover art. I love the feel of it,
the look of it because it is vastly different from so many "simple" or straightforward covers, but that's
just me. I wouldn't change anythiing about it save making it a bit lighter in color as the printers got it
darker than the original. This was not the publisher's fault.

The novel is about the strange, mysterious world of real life psychics and based on one that I know;
picked her brain a great deal for details and character of the main lady at the helm of the ship PSI
Blue. PSI Blue can be ordered via or at, and or on E-book

My website opens with an image of the cover and will guide you to my many other titles. That is at

Dark Shines My Love by Alexis Hart

Dark Shines My Love is a special book to me. It is the first interracial story I have written, though, that is my background. This book has been through a series of covers (three re-issues and three covers) but this one fits the theme and tone of the books nicely. While I helped pick the images to be used, I did not put them all together. I did have a lot of input on the cover and that allowed me to feel better about the final product.

This book, while it is an interracial book, is more about the characters. Thought out to be a contemporary gothic, I needed to convey the dark and foreboding tendencies of the main character. It was extraordinarily difficult to find the perfect images, seen from the hero’s eyes, as he is blind. This put us into the heroine’s mind and how she saw things, while still keeping in theme.

Echelon Press is blessed to have Nathalie Moore (Graphic Muse Designs) as our sole cover artist and she does remarkable work. With the initial two covers, I was okay with them, but it wasn’t until this “final” cover that I really felt good. Nathalie did an excellent job

One of the most unique characteristics about this cover is its darkness. And yet, the soft rose brings out the hint of romance that can bloom in even the most forbidden places. Gives me shivers.

You can learn more about me and my other books at or visit my publisher site at

What is the link to buy your book?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Lightning Days by Colin Harvey

Did you or your publisher design the cover? Did you get to give any input about the cover design?

It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say that the cover almost designed itself. My publisher and I were talking generally about cover artists, and I had long been a huge fan of Duncan Long’s (I hadn’t realized for just how long until I looked at the date on the gallery; barely a month after Strange Horizons started, and over seven years ago now…) so when Dindy asked if there was anyone I wanted included in the bidding process, I named him.

When the sample cover turned up – and we hadn’t given any briefing to any of the four artists, just asked for samples of their work – it was spooky; the cover was almost exactly what I’d been visualizing in a very vague sort of way.

So we told Duncan some of the key points of the book, and he changed one of the skulls to a Neanderthal shape, while keeping the other as Homo Sapiens. The star got changed to a portal. OK, so it looks like the wormhole from DS9, but how would you go about representing a rent in the fabric of space-time? Finally, Duncan included some lightning and some James-Bond-type people to represent the hero and heroine, and hey presto! one cover.

Are you happy with the cover?

Very! I forget how much I liked it, until I sat down and looked at it again. That’s the thing about the familiar; it loses its impact until you look at it anew.

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?

In paperback:

In electronic format:

Please send me a copy of your cover along with your answers so the blog readers can see your cover and read your thoughts.

Novels from Swimming Kangaroo Books:
Lightning Days -- SF, Finalist for the USA Book News Awards
The Silk Palace -- "compelling" Library Journal
"Intrigues, betrayals, murders, love affairs, transformations, and
revelations," Bruce Boston, author of The Guardener's Tale

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Willing Sacrifice by Gloria Oliver

Did you design the cover? No

Did your publisher design the cover? Yes

Did you get to give any input about the cover design? Yes. The publisher asked for ideas up front and then later let me see the first draft so I could make comments.

Is there an interesting story behind the cover design? If so, please share the details. Actually, the cover for Willing Sacrifice seems to have been cursed. One artist went AWAL after comments were made, the second got turned down by one of the owners after comments were made, and finally the third came through!

Who is the cover artist? Cover art by Brandy Everett. Cover design by Martine Jardin

Are you happy with the cover? Overall...yeah

If not, what would you change and why?

Tell us what you think is the best part of the cover. Love the background and the rift in the fabric or reality

Is there anything else about your cover that we need to know? Feel free to share.

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?
Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic

Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

(2007 Cover)

Whale Song
~ a compelling novel about love, lies, family ties, tragedy, sacrifice and forgiveness that will change
the way you view life...and death.

2003 edition: cover designed by Charles Biddiscombe; cover art by internationally acclaimed marine artist David Miller.

How I got the 2003 cover:

In early 2003, I was looking for artwork for my debut self-published title Whale Song, which would release in the fall of that year. I searched online, knowing that I wanted something beautiful, something with killer whales and something that evoked emotion. I found a painting by David Miller titled Sanctuary and fell in love with it. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted it for my cover. I emailed David to enquire how I could obtain rights to use it on my cover. His wife Nancy responded, and they were very interested. I sent them a few chapters of Whale Song and we continued talking about Sanctuary. Finally I got up the nerve to ask how much licensing fees would be. I was devastated when I was given a very high number. My cover budget was quite small in comparison. I was also just a bit embarrassed, knowing that David's work was worth far more than I could offer.

So I wrote back and said that I was sorry but I couldn't do it. I told them what my sad little budget was. Within a few days I received another email. Derek and Nancy were very interested in my novel and very interested in helping me. They offered the rights for next to nothing, saying that I could pay them "whenever" and "whatever" I could afford. All I can say is that it was meant to be. And I was sincerely grateful. Shortly afterward, I ordered a print of Sanctuary. It is hanging in my family room, signed in gold by David, and it will be treasured forever. That cover drew in crowds of people and it gave me the boost I needed as a newly published author. The memory of how I got my first cover is something I will always treasure, along with the friendship of David and Nancy Miller.

*This edition is out of print and no longer available. If you have it, it is now a collector's item.

2007 expanded and revised special edition: designed by Kam Wai Yu of Persona Corp.

I did not have a lot of input in the 2007 cover of Whale Song. I was lucky that Kam saw the mystery
element in the novel. He created a cover that is more haunting than the original. The face in the water sold me on it! The girl's face is the best part of the cover and it perfectly reflects the story for those who have read it. Some readers think the girl in the water is the main character Sarah, some think it's Annie, the school bully, some think it's Sarah's mother. I'll leave it up to my dear readers to determine who it is.

The only thing I would have changed was the whales. I would have liked to see a mother and calf only, and perhaps less photographic and more artistic in design. But that's it.

~Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
author of the bestselling novel Whale Song
(a bestseller in Canada and the US)

Let us know which cover you like better.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Red Stone by Craig Smith

Did you design the cover? No.

Did you get to give any input about the cover design? No not really but I'm really happy with the result. I don't think it would have been as good if my input was involved!

Is there an interesting story behind the cover design? If so, please share the details. Yes. I was very lucky to get my cover. I used to frequent the Forums over at Asimov's. And I was shopping around for a cover at the time and I noticed of the guys there did cover art so I checked out his site. So that he did some good work and sent him an email to find out if he was interested and to my great surprise he said yes and had me a really great cover in a few days.

Who is the cover artist? A.R. Yngve an artist and published author from Sweden. Here's his website if you want to check it out.

Are you happy with the cover? To be honest at first I thought maybe this is a bit too much red but than I thought you don't get much more eye-catching than red! I'm very pleased with it. And really like the design

Tell us what you think is the best part of the cover. The words Red Stone. I really like the font that was used.

Please provide your website link:

What is the link to buy your book?

Burritos and Gasoline by Jamie Beckett

Being a writer, not a graphic artist, there was no doubt that I was the wrong person to design the cover art for my debut novel, "Burritos and Gasoline." Fortunately, I’ve maintained a relationship with a very talented, award winning graphic designer I was lucky enough to work with years ago at an aviation magazine. Mark Potter is more than just a remarkable artist. He’s a good friend as well. So the process of creating a book cover with him was far simpler and significantly more enjoyable than I suspect most authors experience early in their careers.

My input toward the finished cover consisted primarily of relating the story of "Burritos and Gasoline" to Mark, who took the images I described and incorporated them into a spectacular visual representation of the story.

Mark’s use of Spanish moss hanging from an oak tree hints at the southern location where much of the story takes place. He used the image of a gas pump to imply the road trip that brings our protagonist to his final destination. Piano keys and a music staff are also featured on the cover, both hinting at the importance of music to the storyline. The piano itself actually appears in the story at a pivotal point in the plot.

I couldn’t be happier with the finished product. Which may well mean that Mark Potter will be getting a call when it’s time to create a cover for my next book.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Blog Tours - What Would You Like to Know

I'm doing a tele-seminar next week about blog tours and I would love input from you all.

There are many things to discuss about blog tours and I worked out some initial questions to get people thinking - they are:

Discover Ways to Promote Your Book on a Virtual Blog Tour to Gain Greater Visibility and Sales

  • What are the benefits of doing a blog tour?
  • Should you promote your book in a blog tour?
  • Should fiction and non fiction books be promoted differently in a blog tour?
  • Should you organize your own blog tour?
  • Why hire a publicist to organize your tour?
  • If you hire a publicist, will you still need to work on the tour?
  • Can you use a blog tour to promote anything besides books?
  • Is there a new option in book blog tours?

But, now I need to create a couple of handouts and I'd love your input. Is there any specific info about blog tours that any of you think would be most helpful? Some folks here have done tours, some have hosted touring authors and I bet some of you have thought about doing a tour. So, since many of the people here are authors, I figured it would be a great place to pose the question. What information would you suggest I offer in handouts? Thank you all for your thoughts. There will be plenty of blog tour info coming very soon .

Nikki Leigh

PS - The answer to the last question is - most definitely. Stay tuned for much more information about that option - SOON. Or, contact me to be added to the mailing list - with Mailing List in the subject line.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Finding Funboy by Matt Golec

Matt Golec -- “Finding Funboy”

Did you design the cover?
No, I’m not much of an artist. I have been known to
draw a mean stick figure, however.

Did your publisher design the cover?
Yes, thank goodness.

Did you get to give any input about the cover

Rob Preece at was great about asking
my opinion throughout the process.

Is there an interesting story behind the cover
design? If so, please share the details.

The cover is a collage of some of the novel’s landmarks, so the story behind the cover is the story
of “Finding Funboy” itself: a young journalist who starts out looking for an old friend finds more
trouble than he bargained for, as well as learning some uncomfortable truths about himself.

Who is the cover artist?
The talented Karen Leabo.

Are you happy with the cover?
I think it’s terrific. Great colors, intriguing images and everything just a bit askew to suggest turmoil.

If not, what would you change and why?
An earlier draft used a different font that didn’t seem to fit with the other elements. I suggested a
typewriter-style font, as the lead character is a journalist, and that seemed to work better.

Tell us what you think is the best part of the cover.

I was very impressed that the artist took the time to create a mock-up of the fictitious newspaper that my
main character writes for in the book.

Is there anything else about your cover that we need to know? Feel free to share.
To be honest, I never thought much about a cover when I was writing “Finding Funboy,” so I was very pleased
when I first saw the cover. I liked it from the earliest draft, and am glad there are talented people
out there who can translate words into images.

Please provide your website link.

What is the link to buy your book?


The Inferno Collection

The Inferno Collection, is a romantic suspense mystery novel published by Five Star/Gale in hardcover June 20, 2007.

I originally got the idea for the novel when I was working on my Masters Degree in Library Science. A Princeton librarian spoke to us about unique inferno collections. His lecture was so fascinating and vivid that I was inspired to do further research. I became convinced the concept of inferno collections would be an excellent frame for a mystery novel. Libraries such as Boston Public at one time found it necessary to maintain separate inferno collections of banned books considered inappropriate for general public display and reading. Often these were books deemed salacious such as James Joyce’s Ulysses.

When the artist for the cover art e-mailed me, she wasn't certain what to do. So we worked together. I suggested something sinister and gothic, appropriate for a murder mystery. She came up with the cover art you see. Since the novel is set at a university library with an academic librarian acting as amateur sleuth, I thought the image appropriate.