I'm working on my third book in the Alabama series for the Tule Publishing Group. Tule took a big chance on me by publishing my debut novel, and I'm forever grateful! I have to say that of all the things there are to obsess about when releasing one's first novel, one of my most anxiety-producing moments was laying eyes on the mock-ups of my very first cover. I was so worried I would hate every single one. I'd been sent a cover art fact sheet by the publisher to fill out, of course. There were questions about the hero and heroins' hair color, eye color, skin tone, and body type, etc. Also, they asked for specifics about the setting and tone of the story.
But I had ideas for my cover. Lots of fantastic ideas that would convey my story perfectly in a snapshot. It was my first book, and the beginning of my brand. A brand that would define me in a very specific way to readers. Was I a commercial romance author? Was I Southern lit? Was I women's fiction? Well, I was all three. I hoped and prayed my covers would set that tone. It was a tall order, I assure you. And I wanted to be welcomed in all the circles. To literary festivals in my area, to romance panels at conferences, and taken seriously as I move at times toward women's fiction issues. Book covers define your work to everyone.
I love and own all my genres, even though they are inside one book. I know we can't be all things to all people, and I was asking a lot of a cover designer: No faces, no embracing couples, nothing too contemporary, nothing too country. But Tule listened to me, and they had a secret weapon. They had Lee Hyatt.
She pulled it off, not once, but twice!! And let me tell you--it was perfection. I've had readers and other authors go on and on about how they love my covers. Have a look!