Originally, I had two meetings planned with writer friends, but both had to reschedule, due to domestic tornadoes, which means I have the morning, unimpeded, for writing. There is snow outside, and Tudor Rose Hart-Bowling (aka Liar McLyingplant) is showing off his jazz buds, as the first roses of not-quite-spring tease with a flash of red petals, still tightly furled. My nails are in need of a fresh coat of polish, and currently bear a fresh coat of acrylic paint, as I finally took the plunge and spread some paint in one of the art journals I was saving for…I’m not sure exactly what, but the way I learn best is to take a running leap of the metaphorical dock, shout “Ronkonkoma” (yes, I know it’s a real place, no, I have never been there, and it’s a family version of shouting “Geronimo.”) cannonball into the metaphorical water, and then splash about until I end up swimming.
Once I get to that point, I go straight into meticulous planning mode. Took a while to get to this point, but it seems to be working, so I plan on sticking to it for the foreseeable future. That future is taking more of a shape as things writing-related coalesce into shape. Last night, Melva and I worked through the cover art form for Chasing Prince Charming, our upcoming release from The Wild Rose Press. My first four books, all historical romance, from Awe-Struck E-books, and Uncial Press, had different processes for developing cover art. For my books with Awe-Struck, I was able to work with artists I personally selected, and have strong input on every element of the design. With Uncial, the publisher knew exactly what to do, and even hand-wrote a line from Never Too Late, to shoot a perfect image.
The process for creating Chasing Prince Charming’s cover is yet another new adventure. Melva and I may or may not have had a few deer in the headlights moments when we went over the requested information. Which of The Wild Rose Press cover artists would we like to use? What is the general feel of this cover? Can we find an existing cover that has a similar look to the cover that we envision. Wait a minute. What are we envisioning for this cover? That…there…should…be…one?
Umm, yes, there should be, but there are a few other things involved. One of the best things about being half of a writing partnership is the ability to pass the metaphorical ball back and forth (aka “shove it at your partner, and run away, whimpering.”} In this case, since Melva has been an utter rock star, handling editorial communications, the task of perusing the wide world of cover art fell to me. This is not a wholly unpleasant task, as I have long been enamored of the wide world of romance cover art. Historical romance cover art, to be specific, so peeping around at the contemporary version has been an eye opening experience. There are a lot of tattooed and shirtless contemporary romance heroes out there. Dominic from Chasing Prince Charming does not have any tattoos, and he will be keeping his shirt on for this cover, as Melva and I have requested that he be depicted in a suit. We presume that he and Meg will both have heads, as there were spaces to indicate hair and eye colors, and having at least one particular shoe, somewhere on the cover, would be super great, but, really, we’re going to be excited for whatever the art people come up with for this one. Expect me to flash that puppy around like baby pictures.
Having cover art makes Meg and Dominic’s story feel very much more in Real Book territory, though, of course, it always was that, right from the start. If at least one of us is already saving pictures and keywords for the day we get to this stage with Drama King, well, that’s not entirely unexpected. Her Last First Kiss will be at this stage one day, as well, and that one, I’ve been able to see quite clearly in my head, for a while now. Now all I have to do is get the book to the end of a second draft and start sending it places. Mere trifles, am I right?
What’s your idea of a great romance novel cover? Drop links in the comments, and I’ll weigh in on each.