Evolution of a cover, part 3

Originally published at Publishing Renaissance on February 12, 2009.


Thank you for your continuing indulgence on the travails of designing a cover if you’re not a designer of covers. As I said last week, it took me almost a year and hundreds of hours of Photoshopping to come to the cover I did, which I affectionately call The Bewbies™. Originally, The Proviso was one book and it was enormous. I originally titled it Barefoot Through Fire. Then I figured I’d probably do better to split it out into 3 parts, 1 part per romance. This is the story of book 3.
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Whether you wanted to know or not

I’m a visual person, so when I write, I have to have some fairly specific object or person in mind in order to describe it. I write because I can’t paint, so if I have never seen what I see in my head, I’ll try to find something relatively close and make sure I can look at it often.

A lot of authors use real people as the basis of the looks of their characters. Some authors even reference those people in the text (I did it with Giselle and Bryce). Some readers like it, some don’t. Some readers like faces on their covers, some don’t. Some readers (*ahem* Th. *ahem*) don’t like any description at all. It gets to be a balancing act for an author not to intrude on a reader who likes to imagine the character, yet provide enough for the reader who wants to know which famous person the character most looks like.

Anyway, I’ve been debating writing this post for about a year now, but I’m going to go ahead and bite the bullet. Wanna know who I had in mind while writing The Proviso and Stay and Magdalene (albeit Magdalene‘s only about half written)? Here you go, in order of actual appearance across the books:

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My editor likes me!

He really likes me!

Scroll down to #64.

064) Stay by Moriah Jovan (MS POLICY), finished July 15.

My faith that I put in Moriah after reading The Proviso was justified. This book is good. Parts of it are excellent. And it’s still only a draft. It still has explicit sex (though not as much) but you should have no other qualms about checking this one out when it’s released in a few months.

Congratulations, Moriah, on a great book. Keep ’em coming.


I am positively giddy.

Also, independent publishers Zoe Murdock and Riley Noehren and I had a roundtable chat about independent publishing. What we have in common: We’re female, LDS, and publishing ourselves. That transcript (and awesome discussion) are up at A Motley Vision.

Monkey see, monkey do

Theric put up his summer to-do list. I thought that was cool. I’ll put mine up, too. Except, well, I don’t have an entry to have a baby. We are SOOOOO done with that Tax Deduction thing.


Torn by God by Zoe Murdock

The Seabird of Sanematsu by Kei Swanson

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

The Ugly Princess by Elizabeth K. Burton (OOP & no linky)


Work out my sticking points on Magdalene. Thing is, I know what it is; I just can’t visualize how it all goes down.

Edits on Stay when I get it back from above-mentioned editor.


Create a couple of new products for My Other Business That Is Not Publishing.

There are other things I need to get done, but that’s all pretty boring stuff like, “put up a shelf” sort of stuff.

Sneak peek at STAY

June 21, 2009

I’m doing this without my editor’s approval, but hey! I’m feeling rebellious this evening.

Stay is the second book in the Dunham series. It is not entirely necessary for you to read The Proviso before you read Stay, but I do recommend it. Now, neither main character is an actual Dunham by blood or marriage, nor are they Mormons (shocker, I know, but there’s still plenty religion, money, politics, and sex), but there is a method to my madness in the series order. If you have read The Proviso, you might have (or not) picked up on a hint or two that these (very) minor characters might have rather . . . interesting . . . histories that were not explained.

Here’s the official back-of-book blurb:

At 12, Vanessa defied her family to save 17-year-old bad boy Eric from wrongful imprisonment and, possibly, death. She’d hoped for a “thank you” from him, a kiss on the cheek, but before she could grow up and grow curves, he left town.

Fourteen years later, Vanessa is a celebrity chef at the five-star Ozarks resort she built. Eric is the new Chouteau County prosecutor on his way to the White House.

Four hours apart and each tied to their own careers, their worlds have no reason to intersect until a funeral brings Vanessa back to Chouteau County, back to face the man for whom she’d risked so much, the only man she ever wanted—

—the only man she can’t have.

* * * * *

DECEMBER 14, 1994

“People versus Eric Niccolò Cipriani. Charges of statutory rape, sexual assault in the first degree, and forcible rape in the first degree.”

“Ms. Leventen, how does the defendant plead?”

“Not guilty.”


“Remand, your honor. The victim is thirteen.”

“So ordered.”

* * * * *

Tentative release date: November 26, 2009.