What is it that draws our eyes to a book cover? The beautiful people being depicted? The title? The author? Perhaps a combination of all that? Is it no wonder, then, that the cover of a book must be absolutely perfect to set apart from the competition and draw the buyer’s eye?
I will admit I have bought a book solely on the cover. A cover artist is tasked with the job of interpreting the story through art, incorporating all aspects of what the bosses want verses what the author wants while producing something that will draw the reader/buyer in. It’s not an easy job.
Now-a-days, with the cost of books (even ebooks), a story has to take full advantage of every strategy to grab the readers’ attention. The cover has to incorporate a lot detail, so it’s very important that the cover artist bears in mind not only the story, but what brings the story alive. Most publishers won’t consider that far, only content with producing a sexy look to market the book. But writers put their souls into each story, and have the passion and romance pour from the covers is very important.
I had a book published years ago titled In A Chord where I absolutely hated the cover. It was a ménage, and the two men depicted were not sexy or even cute. The girl was half naked and stuck between them without even blending them all together. I really resented the publisher for giving me this cover and I told them I’d like to change it. They denied my request. (It happened one other time and I ended up leaving the publisher because of this).
This drove me to think about taking back the rights, but it wasn’t the sole reason. As a writer, my craft had changed over the years, and I wanted to perfect this story with the flaws it had. Luckily, after reworking it and adding about 3000 words, Evernight said yes to publishing.
Keaton Gates and Ashland Lance are lovers and musicians in a band called Endymion. Keaton believes there is something missing, not only from the sound of their music, but also in their lives. When he hears Momo Willows singing Endymion’s signature song, he knows she’s the muse he’s been waiting for.
At first, Ash Lance is jealous of the new girl in Keaton’s life until he meets her. Momo is unlike anyone he’s ever met and they soon discover that they connect on many levels. But he’s reluctant to take her away from Keaton just as Momo refuses to come between them.
Keaton is quick to assure them he wants all three of them to learn to be in a ménage relationship, but as they learn how to live and love together, another threat is moving between them, threatening to take Momo away….forever.
“Keaton, Momo and I…we, um, kissed.”
He saw Keaton shoot a look at Momo, then down at her hand on his knee, then back to Ash. “What?”
“Keaton,” Momo murmured, shame shining on her face. “It just happened and I’m so sorry. There’s something tangible between he and I, just like I felt toward you, and that’s why I don’t think I can be with you—”
“She knows about us,” Ash interrupted her, picking up her hand. He saw Keaton’s gaze follow the gesture. “She doesn’t want to get between us.”
“What?” Keaton said again, his tone going a bit deeper.
“She figured it out but it felt right to tell her.” He ran an agitated hand through his hair. Momo took her hand back and placed it in her lap. “Keaton, man, I don’t know what to say.”
He sat silent for a moment, obviously thinking things over. “Is that why you tried to bail earlier?”
“Is that all you did? Just kiss?”
“Yeah. That’s it, I swear. I mean, I wanted to do more, but I know she’s your girl—”
“Ash, it’s okay.”
Ash waited because he knew something more had to be coming. If Keaton were to tell him to stand and take a punch, he would be jumping up and bracing himself.
“No, Ash, it’s really okay,” Keaton assured him.
Ash saw the surprise he felt mirrored on Momo’s face. Keaton just smiled at them.
“For a while I knew that something was missing in our lives,” Keaton continued. “Not between you and me because I love you, you know, but I knew there was something out of place. I just didn’t know what, and then, when I heard Momo sing, when I talked to her and heard her passion for our music, it all kind of clicked.”
“That missing element in our music, in our lives, was her.”
I like writing about the very ordinary girl thrust into extraordinary circumstances, so my heroines will probably never be lawyers, doctors or corporate high-rollers. I try to write characters who aren't cookie cutters and push myself to write complicated situations that I have no idea how to resolve, forcing me to think outside the box. I love writing characters who are real, complex and full of flaws, heroes and heroines who find redemption through love.
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