Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tears and Tales

1. Did you design the cover?
A. Yes and No. I had the raw idea of what I wanted. The cover on Tears and Tales depicts a man kneeling by a grave marker. And implies he is mourning his deceased dog. He has a playful pup by his side. But the cover designer Myla Ryk took the idea and transformed it into a painting like cover.

2. Did your publisher design the cover?
A. Hard to answer that one. Krazy Duck is a small self-publishing press. So in a way the publisher concocted the idea of the cover but the graphic artist did the rest.

3. Did you get to give any input about the cover design?
A. I think that’s answered by questions 2 & 3.

4. Is there an interesting story behind the cover design? If so, please share the details.
I wanted the cover to depict a lonely man mourning his lost dog, his horse in the background, and the new life of an energetic puppy beside the man to show that life goes on. New pets help that process. The scene apparently represents something from Washington state as many people seem to recognize it, but it’s not our farm, which lies in Casey County , Kentucky .

5. Who is the cover artist?
Her name is Myla Ryk. We connected with her through the publisher of our first edition of Tears and Tales. Myla was just wonderful to work with. Her cover should have won an award as did the book itself.

6. Are you happy with the cover?

7. If not, what would you change and why?
I might change something in the title, but not the cover itself.

8. Tell us what you think is the best part of the cover.
It resembles a painting and many people ask us that. People noticing your book result in sales. If you can cause a person to stop and look, you’ve got a good chance of talking up your book and finding a sale. People ask all kinds of questions about the cover of Tears and Tales. Was it a painting? Is that your farm? Is that Mount Washington ? Mount Rainer? Did the artist live near the mountain? Is that your dog? Is that you on the cover? The fact that it resembles a painting has resulted in so many sales I am embarrassed to say we used another designer on our other books

9. Is there anything else about your cover that we need to know? Feel free to share.
We moved from a highly metropolitan area in New Jersey where Virginia and I had lived for most of our years. When we met and married it was with the dream that we would both get out of New Jersey . Internally and emotionally, we were farm people, country people. We wanted a quieter way of life. I could write another book on the trials and tribulations of moving from metropolitan New Jersey to a rural area where our nearest neighbor is a half mile away. I had three accidents in the first two years, one of which darn near killed me.
I think it was a combination of the land and the people. When I got hurt, neighbors who hardly knew us brought food or asked what Russ was going to do with that field he plowed. Then, they came and did the work. No pay, just being neighbors. I wanted a cover that depicted my farm as a place where I could be with my animal friends and enjoy the peace and quiet of the country.
Does it exact a price? Sure. Allergies and my asthma have gotten a little worse and I’m always getting an injury of one kind of another, like the time I slipped and fell on my chain saw. The blade just nicked my leg and cut through the pants, but my Guardian Angel yanked it away before it gave me anything more than a superficial slash.

10. Please provide your web site link.

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