Posts Tagged ‘Damnation Books’


Dear Readers,

Hello, and welcome to Friday. It’s been a busy week and I have been slacking on my blog updates. Right now, it’s nine in the morning and the thunder is so loud that poor Gypsy, my female poodle, is a trembling mass of nerves. She hates the thunder. Sven, the boy, doesn’t seem to mind. I don’t mind it either. It’s what got me out of bed this morning as far as I’m concerned, thunderstorms are a great way to start any day. I do like my weather to be wicked…

Anyway, a few updates. I am this week’s guest on author Joseph Spencer’s blog. He asked me some great questions about Beautiful Monster and writing in general. It’s interesting how we often don’t even know why we write what we do until someone asks us about it. If you want to check it out, the interview went live earlier this week: http://www.josephbspencer.com/uncategorized/meet-market-jared-anderson-beautiful-monster

Also, this week, I did a little Beautiful Monster promo for Lee Brazil called, Crawling Into Bed with Sterling Bronson. This was a fun and unique experience that was great to be a part of:  http://leebrazilauthor.blogspot.com/2012/10/crawling-into-bed-with-sterling-bronson.html

Also, Tamara Thorne, my friend, fellow horror writer, and one of my longtime heroes had written a blurb for Beautiful Monster. It got left out on some of the earlier print runs of the Beautiful Monster paper back copies, but this morning, I noticed on Amazon that the publisher has now gotten it on there. I am very pleased by this! I was so excited I took a picture of it!

The picture I took is a little crooked and a bit blurred, but you get the idea. “Finally, a serial killer women can sink their teeth into.” That’s what Tamara Thorne had to say about Sterling Bronson, our serial killer in Beautiful Monster. I can’t even describe how cool it is to have someone whose work I’ve loved since the ’90s write a blurb for this book, and tell me she loved it and couldn’t put it down. I am flattered beyond words.

Also, this week, I’ve been concocting questions for the “Name That Serial Killer” contest that Mimi and I are doing for Halloween. The winner will receive a signed copy of Beautiful Monster, and, (per Mimi’s insistence!) a saran-wrapped “plastic doll” of their very own. (If you’ve read the book then I’m sure you get it.) Planning this contest has actually been a lot of fun, plus it gives me a great place to put all of the serial killer knowledge I acquired when doing research for Monster. To test your own knowledge of all things serial killer, join the contest by liking us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/beautifuldamnation?ref=hl where we will be posting information for the contest. We plan to hold the contest as close to Halloween as possible.

If you’re in the Salt Lake City area, Mimi will be doing a book signing for Beautiful Monster at The King’s English on October 23rd. I won’t be attending as I am several states away, but I will be there in spirit…and Mimi has tons of book plates that I’ve signed. So, if you’re close, be sure to stop by and get a signed copy of Beautiful Monster and meet Mimi A. Williams, who authored Brenna Carlson, the only chick who gave Sterling Bronson a run for his money. This is what The King’s English had to say about the book: “Beautiful Monster, by Mimi A. Williams, and Jared S. Anderson, is an insightful look into human dynamics with two damaged characters: one who needs love for self-value and one who can’t feel love at all.” Well said!

I managed to finish chapter seven of Cadence (formerly known as The White Room) yesterday. You’d think that fine-tuning a book you’ve already written would be an easy task. It isn’t. The main character was one of the biggest problems, so as you can imagine, the whole book basically needs to be rewritten. The voice is entirely different now, so even the scenes I am able to copy and paste need to undergo serious reworking. It’s tedious, and to be honest, unpleasant, but I’m still hopeful I can have it completed between December of 2012 and January, 2013. When it’s finished, I will submit it to my publisher and hope they like it enough to publish it. If not, I will just keep plugging along. On top of Cadence, I am also working on a sequel for Beautiful Monster with Mimi, and am about seven chapters into another solo project…PLUS, I have this killer new idea for a great book germinating in the back of my mind.

There are a lot of things to be written yet… I just wish there were more time in the day.

Finally, on a sadder note, Tom Piccirilli was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has undergone surgery to have it removed. Author Brian Keene has put up a page on his website for readers, friends, fans and peers who would like to help out Tom Piccirilli and his family: http://www.briankeene.com/?p=12584

In closing, Beautiful Monster is getting spectacular reviews, and I’m grateful to everyone who has read and loved this book. Thank you, thank you, thank you! For now, I need to get back to my writing!

All best.

Advertisements

Hello, friends!

Now that Beautiful Monster is available in both eBook and paperback editions, I’ve gathered up all the links you can visit it at. I’d like to give special thanks to everyone at Damnation Books. I couldn’t be happier with the work they’ve done, and I count myself as being very lucky to have a great publishing company that works hard for their authors and makes sure to do everything they can to ensure their success. It’s a truly crazy and unpredictable time in the publishing industry these days, and to get noticed at all is a nearly impossible feat. So thank you, Damnation Books…for not only giving us a shot, but for your support, marketing, and high-quality standards. You’re a tireless team!

* * * *

To purchase Beautiful Monster on Kindle, visit Damnation Books at:  http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727742

or, Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monster-ebook/dp/B00948Q0DK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1347132178&sr=8-2&keywords=Beautiful+Monster+Jared

* * * *

For a real-life paperback book, go to Damnation Books at: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727742,

Amazon at:  http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monster-Mimi-A-Williams/dp/1615727752/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347132178&sr=8-1&keywords=Beautiful+Monster+Jared,

or Barnes & Noble at:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/beautiful-monster-mimi-a-williams/1112783047?ean=9781615727759

* * * *

To watch the book trailer on YouTube, made by my co-author, Mimi A. Williams (who did a great job!) go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNt8ZQFUC2o

* * * *

To visit us on Goodreads.com, go to: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15996952-beautiful-monster

Or at Library Thing: http://www.librarything.com/work/12998464

* * * *

Also, we have a Facebook Fanpage for Beautiful Monster. To follow us, give us a “like” at: http://www.facebook.com/beautifuldamnation?ref=hl

* * * *

We will also be on Shelfari at: http://www.shelfari.com/books/31463312/Beautiful-Monster

* * * *

I think that’s it for now. Thanks to all of you who have supported this book. For those of you who have followed my merry journey toward publication, you know this has a been a long and arduous path…but it’s been worth every second I put into it. I wish all of you the best on your own journeys, and may some of your own dreams come true along the way.


In honor of the release of Beautiful Monster, the twisted, kinky, thriller/horror novel by me and Mimi A. Williams, we are posting this blog, which began as a conversation between the two of us, and turned into a kind of interview we did on each other. We’ve been amazed by the interest people have taken in this project, so what we wanted to do was give a kind of inside look at the making of this book, and show people where we were coming from with this. I hope you enjoy it.

Beautiful Monster is available in eBook format right now at: http://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Monster-ebook/dp/B00948Q0DK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346515405&sr=8-1&keywords=beautiful+monster+jared

And at: http://damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781615727742

The paperback version will also be available in just a few more weeks.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this, and for all the folks who have supported us and this book.

MIMI: It’s HERE!!! Can you believe it? How long have we talked about this book becoming a reality? I’m so excited that I’ve been doing the happy dance for weeks!

JARED: Me too. And it happened a lot faster than I thought it would.

MIMI: One of the most amazing parts of this book – to me, anyway – is that we finished it at all. There was so much personal chaos for both of us at that time that I seriously doubted we would get it done. I remember sitting in your office, writing that last chapter, while you were packing boxes around me and taking things out to the moving truck. It was kind of surreal.

JARED: It definitely wasn’t easy, but you have to admit, we did pretty good. We didn’t get into any serious fights.

MIMI: I think I only threatened to strangle you once. Okay, maybe twice.

JARED: Ha ha. But you never did.

So for those who don’t know, Beautiful Monster is the book we’re talking about. It was accepted for publication by Damnation Books a few months ago, and today it is officially released. Mimi and I started talking about writing this book almost two years ago, when she was mentoring me on my first novel, The White Room. We found that we had an almost magical synergy when it came to writing, and when she suggested we collaborate on a novel, I was all for it.

MIMI: Ha ha! I thought you suggested it! Oh well – not that it matters now!

JARED: Beautiful Monster is a story about a serial killer and his victim. We wanted to capture both sides of the predator/prey scenario, so we wrote it in alternating chapters, Mimi writing from the victim’s point-of-view, and I took the serial killer’s side of the story. It was a lot of fun and we’re pretty proud of it.

MIMI: Initially, I wanted to write a story about a kidnapper and a victim who develops something like Stockholm syndrome -but she actually falls in love with her captor. Jared talked me out of that when he suggested we make it about a serial killer instead. My character pretends to be in love with her captor as a way of staying alive. But Jared’s character is bonkers – that’s a technical psychological term I think.

JARED: He is bonkers, and I am nothing like him, by the way! Sterling, my character, becomes more interested in Brenna, Mimi’s character, as the story deepens, when he learns that she possesses a virtue he’s never been able to take from anyone else before: virginity.

MIMI: Brenna is kind of naive. I was really naive at her age, too. But she has a good heart. She is a genuinely kind person who wants to do the right thing. One of the most fun – and most frustrating things – about writing this book, was knowing all the rotten things Jared had planned for his character to put my character through. It was a challenge because I couldn’t allow the character to know, and I really did want to warn her and keep her safe!

JARED: Planning out all the horrible evil things to do to Brenna was a little unnerving at times for me, too. I really like Brenna, so some of the stuff Sterling does to her was pretty horrible for me to write about. Mimi, what would you say is your favorite scene in this book?

MIMI: For as terrible as this will sound, one of my favorite scenes is when Brenna confesses to Sterling that she is a virgin. She is so vulnerable and so strong at the same time. The reader knows this guy is scum, but her heart is golden in that moment and she is willing to risk his ridicule to be true to herself.  What I want to know, given all the horrible stuff Sterling does, is what was the hardest (or one of the hardest) scenes for you to write?

JARED: I would have to say the hardest part to write for me was when he took his first victim to up to “the gallery.” I had no idea how corpses “behave,” and that’s where our friend, the mortician, really helped me out. I had a hard time learning all the facts about death, because, I think, it’s human nature to not want to look at death that closely.

I was disturbed by a lot of the things I learned from the mortician. So, the hardest part for me was becoming intimate with death and the process of dying, and then turning around and trying to put it on the page in a believable way. I think that the knowledge I gained from that experience also has a silver lining, though. I was relieved to learn that the actual act of dying (excepting violent circumstances) is not necessarily an unpleasant thing.

What about you? What would you say is one of the most significant things you’ve taken away with you as a result of writing this book?

MIMI: One of the most significant things about writing this book for me was that, through the entire process, I was able to do something that I normally do by myself, share the process with someone else, and come out of it in the end not only remaining friends, but actually with a better friendship than when we started. There were some scenes in this book which, if I’d had to write them alone, might have been enough for me to just stop writing. The support of my writing partner and friend – you – made getting through some of those more difficult scenes bearable.  At times when I wanted to hold back and not remain true to the emotional elements of the story and the character, you wouldn’t let me slack. There were moments that were downright brutal, but I think this book is better because you pushed me, and I think I’m a better writer as a result of that.  So tell me what you will remember most about writing this book.

JARED:  I’ll remember the way the story developed. It’s interesting to think back to the beginning ideas for this book and realize how far it’s come since then. I’ll remember those times the character just kind of sprouted wings and started telling the story themselves. I’ll remember how interesting it is that, even when you have an outline, the story kind of takes off on its own and develops itself. That’s almost a kind of magic to me. It’s fascinating. What about you? What do you think is the most fascinating aspect of this story? Was there anything about it that was somewhat magical for you?

MIMI: A lot of it was magical! I can remember thinking about a scene, wanting to include something, and you would call me up and say, “Hey, what if we did this?” and we would have exactly the same idea! That was weird, but fun! It was interesting, too, the way the characters would cross from one writer to another – I would write a scene with Sterling and you would tell me that it was exactly how you would have written it, or you would write a scene with Brenna and the dialog would be spot-on!  So what did it feel like to you when we read those last pages that I wrote at the last minute right before the big move? As we sat out on the patio at your new place and finished the read-through – how did you feel?

JARED: There was a lot going on at that time and I think I overlooked a lot of obvious flaws with the story because of that. As far as how I felt about reading the final product, there’s always something really intense about that. On one hand, you’re ecstatic because it’s finally finished. On the other hand, you’re sad because you know it’s over.

To be honest, it took me a long time to fall in love with this story. For one thing, I didn’t think it was marketable, so I never let myself get too attached. I thought it was too violent and too borderline-pornographic to ever get picked up. Also, I hated Sterling. It wasn’t until the Fiend showed up several chapters into the story that I began to understand him and was able to sympathize with him, but the whole time I was writing the book, I worried that I may never love this story.

The day we read it beginning to end was the day I learned my fears were empty. I realized I did love the story that day, and that I actually had loved it for a long time. As we finished the book, I also remember thinking, this is one of those memories in motion, and I knew I would never forget it.

What part of this story, or the process of writing it, did you like the least?

MIMI: I hated writing the rape scenes. They were brutal on me emotionally, and the first couple of attempts were weak and ineffective because I was so afraid to go into the scenes with real, genuine emotion. I hated, too, that you would call me out on those scenes and make me face them as a writer. Those chapters were tough, but I think ultimately, they are real. Readers might be offended – and I hope they are. It’s an offensive subject, but it’s very real for many women, and I was just as honest as I could be about that most horrible experience. I hope it rattles the cages of some readers and helps them to build a little empathy for anyone – male or female – who has been sexually assaulted.

So what are you most looking forward to now that this book is a reality?

JARED: The thing I am most looking forward to, now that the book is out, is to, in a sense, move on to other things. I love this book, don’t get me wrong. But I’m excited about some other projects I’m working on, and I am looking very forward to being able to put my focus on them. I have many more stories to tell, and they need to get told now. Beautiful Monster has been the point of focus in my life for almost two years now, and I’m eager to let it go into the world and do its own thing now. That last round of revisions was a far sweeter thing than it was bitter. There was a sadness that we were finished, yes, but I was ready to be done and that eclipsed the sense of finality for me.

That being said, I still feel a strong sense of this story not being entirely finished. This book is finished, but the story as a whole seems unfinished. You and I have talked about writing a sequel, and possibly, a third installment. Now that we’ve seen Beautiful Monster to this point, how do you feel about a sequel (or a trilogy) now?

MIMI: Honestly, I agree. I don’t think this story is over, and we did leave the ending just vague enough to invite that opportunity. I didn’t think I’d ever want to go back to these characters, but now that I haven’t lived with them 24/7 for a while, I think I’m ready to look at a second, and even a third book.

So, my friend, any last thoughts as we launch this baby out into the world?

JARED: All I have to say is that it’s been a pleasure. This has been a dream come true for me, despite a few small nightmares along the way. Overall, it’s been an incredible experience, and I’m excited about the future. I’m grateful that someone believed in us enough to give us a chance. We worked very hard for this.

MIMI: We did work hard, and I am also very thankful that Damnation Books was willing to take a chance on us. For as surreal as some parts of this journey have been, I think it has all been worthwhile – so much so that I think we should do it again! Are you ready?

JARED: I am ready!


After spending a year writing a book, another six months revising it, and having somewhere between seven and ten people re-read it, you’d think all the typos, redundant words, and other various errors would pretty much be nonexistent. I’ve learned that this is not at all the case.

After Beautiful Monster was accepted for publication, it underwent a three-round series of editorial revisions… on top of the four, maybe five rounds Mimi and I did ourselves before submitting it. Last night, we finished the final revisions, and the feeling that followed was bittersweet. On one hand, I was relieved. For over a year and a half, my whole life has been this book. Needless to say, I am very tired of reading it, looking at it, and thinking about it. On the other hand, however, there’s a certain sadness. The book is done. Final. There is nothing more to be said on the matter, and whatever becomes of the book from here on out is pretty much out of my hands. That is a surprisingly sad realization.

It’s been a hell of a ride. I’m not sure I’ve ever learned as much about writing, the publishing industry, and  myself, as I have these past several months. In one way, it feels like it took forever to get to this point. In another way, it feels like it has all happened so fast. In just over two weeks, the book will be available in e-book format and in paperback. This feels unreal to me.

Last night, when Mimi and I realized we had completed the final round of revisions, we both just kind of stared at each other for a minute… and then we got giddy. The sadness of it didn’t really hit me for a few hours afterwards, when I realized that this was the end of the line for this book. But there’s still a lot to look forward to.

We’ve already begun the sequel for Beautiful Monster, and we both have several solo projects going on, too. We still have some marketing things to do for this book as well, but still, the story is complete.

So while my life in writing isn’t over, this book has reached its final conclusion. It’s too late to change anything now even if we wanted to, and that’s okay. I think we wrote a good, strong story, and I think lovers of horror, suspense, kinky sex, and various kinds of creepiness will like this book. The only thing left to do now is to decide how I am going to celebrate! I am open to suggestions…

Check out Beautiful Monster on the upcoming releases page at Damnation Books at: http://www.damnationbooks.com/searches.php?category=upcoming


The book trailer for Beautiful Monster is finished! Check it out at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNt8ZQFUC2o and give it a “like!”


As well as being a multi-published author, Dawne Dominique is also a cover art designer. In fact, Dawne is responsible for the cover art for Beautiful Monster (scheduled for release September 1st, 2012 by Damnation Books LLC) written by myself and Mimi A. Williams~ and neither of us could be happier with the work Dawne did for us!

As I’ve been getting to know her, I’ve been struck by Dawne’s kindness, her passion for her work, her flexibility with the authors she works with, and of course, her talent. When Mimi and I saw the draft of the cover art design for Beautiful Monster we were absolutely thrilled. So thrilled in fact, that we overlooked Sterling’s eye color in the picture. When I realized we’d made a rather big deal of Sterling’s piercing blue eyes throughout the novel, I thought I’d probably better see if it wasn’t too late to ask Dawne if we could make the alteration. I was a bit nervous about doing this because first of all, I was worried it was going to be too late, and second, I didn’t want to seem persnickety about the very good work Dawne had done for us. I realized I’d be happy with the cover either way, but finally decided it was worth asking about on the off-chance it wasn’t to late to make changes.

As it turned out, it wasn’t too late. Within a few hours of talking to Dawne about the cover, I received an updated draft of the cover on which Sterling looked back at me with a pair of the brightest, bluest eyes I’d ever seen. I still can’t stop staring at it!

Dawne Dominque will always be a very special person to me. I liken her to a kind of magician. She made my fictional character real. She gave corporeal life to the man I plucked from somewhere in my own twisted mind. If that isn’t magic, I don’t know what else is.

Interviewing Dawne was a ton of fun and I look forward to working with her more in the future. For more about her, her novels, and her cover art, visit her at: http://www.dawnedominique.com/

Thank you so much for having me here today, Jared.

Q: Why did you decide to get into cover art design?

A: It was quite by accident. I was designing signs and banners for authors in my writing forum. When I was approached by a publisher to submit a novella for an erotic cowboy anthology, she suggested I do the covers for each eBook submission, and then the print format. It was the first time I became a published author and a cover artist.

Q: Over the course of your career, about how many novels have you done the cover art for?

A: *chuckles* You know, I was just thinking about that the other day. I’d guesstimate well over a 1,000 covers, with the majority of them eBooks. I began as an artist at the start of the eBook emergence. Let’s see:  I do about 30 covers minimum a month (sometimes more), as I work for several publishers: two of them release quarterly, and the majority release monthly. So, let’s multiple that by seven years. I wasn’t doing as many in the earlier days, but now it’s crazy nuts…and I love it.

Q: Are there any covers that you are especially proud of? Why?

A: Geeze!  There’s too many to count. The first one that made me realize I actually had some talent was a book cover called Hard Winter. Each cover is a personal experience for me. I know that sounds bizarre, but I try walking in an author’s shoes, getting inside their heads, so to speak. One of my recent favorites  is a Steampunk cover I did for an Indie author called The Hands of Tarot. Some of my horror favorites (and I’m not saying this because it’s you) is Beautiful Monster and Grim. I like some more than others. It’s way too difficult to pinpoint only one.

Q: What is the best part of being a cover art designer?

A: Hands down…an author’s reaction.

Q: What are the most significant ways technology has changed your career?

A: Well, to be honest, I self-taught myself everything I know. I prefer certain programs for certain formats. I began with a free drawing program called Serif. Then I upgraded to Photoshop. Every couple of years, I purchase an upgrade, which can do more magic. The old days of hand-drawn artwork is gone, and I’m thankful for it, as changes/revisions can be easily done with photo-manipulation.

Q: Along with the artwork, you are also the author of several novels. Which do you prefer: designing, or writing, and why?

A: That’s a tough question. Both are an integral part of me. I’ve always been a writer and artist ever since I could hold a crayon.

Q: What do you think is the most important quality a good writer must possess?

A: Their imagination.

Q: Which of your own novels are you most proud of, and why?

 A: My vampire series called The First. I began writing it well before the Twilights and True Bloods of the world. Hell, I’m still writing it. Unfortunately, the first novel was picked up and released by another publisher, who held it hostage for three years. An absolute horrid experience, which made me shelve the entire project, which was heartbreaking as I’d already had three novels written for it. Although it was a bad experience, it was one I learned a lot from, so in the end, it wasn’t so bad after all. It’s the reason why I work with the authors as I do—getting input with respect to their cover art.

Q: Are you writing anything now, and what can you tell us about it?

A: I’m editing Crimson Cries, which is about a chapter short of being finished. It’s the fourth novel to The First series. Then, there’s Surrender: Sins of the Father, the final novel. These aren’t your usual romance/paranormal novels. They call them “erotica” because there’s sex in them, but it’s not your fluffy, romancing stuff that dreams are made of. I’m a “say like it is” gal, and my writing is an extension of myself. No purple prose for me, thank you very much. With this series, I’ve blended biblical and mythology facts into fiction. The gist is why, where, and how the first vampires came to be. There’s several significant characters and a few “aha” moments.  It may surprise people to learn who was actually nailed to the cross that faithful day.  *grins*

I’ve also started another novel called Hellhound Bound. It’s only in its infancy stages, at about 13k being written, but it’s about a paralegal who gets caught up in a murder trial she’s working on. Of course, it’s speculative fiction, so there’s magic and paranormal aspects involved.

Then there’s several novels I  must get back to. I began as a classic fantasy writer, like Lord of the  Rings, but with kick-ass women heroines. I have an almost 200k fantasy novel that needs major edits. Finding the time is the main obstacle. Once The First series is completed, I plan to do some serious editing on them. My publisher has been itching to release them, but in my eyes, they’re not ready to venture into the world yet.

Q: What is the hardest part of being a writer for you?

A: Right now…finding the time to set my muse in motion. I work three days a week as a contracted paralegal (Thursdays being a ten-hour day). Every night I come home and do cover art. I try my best to use the late night to write. That’s my time. It’s not uncommon for me to look at the clock and realize it’s four in the morning.

Q: Who is the most difficult character you have written? Why was he or she so difficult, and how did you make it work?

A: Sam Ethbert. He’s an inmate on death row who dies by lethal injection and wakes to find himself being interviewed by two very strange men. Sadly, while he’s in prison, he’s convicted of anther crime he didn’t do—murder of another inmate.  It was the first story I posted in my writing forum in order to receive critiques. First, I had to think like man, and not just any man, but a career criminal. A few people who reviewed it were surprised to learn I was a woman.  *snickers* The story is written in first person, and for me, that’s always a challenge to write.

Q: Do you do the cover art for your own books?

A: Remember the horrid publisher experience I suffered? It all began with the cover they designed for me…with my name spelled incorrectly on front. Yes, I design every cover for myself…and man, oh, man, am I anal! I’m never satisfied.  hahahaha

Q: You did the cover art for Beautiful Monster, the novel written my me and Mimi A. Williams. What was your favorite part about doing that cover?

A: The finished product. When I’m nearing the end of the creative process, I always ask myself one question:  Would I be proud to have this as my own cover?

Q: In your e-mail you said that after reading our Author Information Forms you wanted to do the cover art for Beautiful Monster yourself. What made you interested in doing the artwork on this book?

A: It was the complexity of Sterling Bronson’s character that tugged at me, I wanted to show the two dimensions of him at first glance. Taking descriptions and creating the artwork is a challenge I strive on. And yours was certainly a challenge I wanted to delve into. ☺

Q: What was the most difficult part about Beautiful Monster’s cover art?

A: When I finally managed to get both features to blend realistically. *whew*

Q: Have I told you how much I LOVE the cover?!?

A: *blushes*  Yes. And because you love it, I keep smiling. My job is done.

Q: When you aren’t writing or designing, what do you like to do?

A: That’s not too often, let me tell you. I enjoy having a few beers on the deck. I’m a simple Canadian girl. Our winters are long—and damn cold. When summer arrives, that’s where you’ll usually find me…if I’m not chained to my computer in the dungeon.  If a good Blues band comes to the city, you’ll find me there dancing and partying. I really don’t go out much.

Q: Have you ever been stumped and not had any idea what kind of cover you were going to give a book? If so, how did you overcome it?

A: No, I’ve never been stumped, but I will confess that I’ve scratched my head at some ideas authors have given me. I always try to work with it as opposed to against it. If I know it won’t sell, then I design something of my own, trying my best to incorporate a few of those details. 99% of time, authors are stunned at what I’ve come up with. More times than not, we usually never have any changes. When an author tells me to “run with it”, those are best!  I allow my imagination to go wild. It’s why I adore doing horror cover art. I find little restrictions in that genre.

Q: What is the most challenging thing about being a cover art designer?

A: I’m a stickler for details, so I like to get it right the first time, with minor tweaks. More importantly, the artwork has to look realistic. There’s some covers out there that I’ve done that I don’t like, but the authors were adamant about certain aspects they wanted. It’s their cover, right? If they’re happy, so be it. But if it’s right off the wall, I’ll refuse, especially if I know it’s not going to sell. I’ve been in this business a long time, so I’ve learned a few things. Authors trust me, and that is by far the greatest compliment I could ever receive.

Q: What is the most rewarding?

A: As I mentioned earlier, it’s an author’s reaction. Knowing they’re proud to display their covers and boast about it, then I’ve done my job, and I’ve done it well.

Q: Do you find most authors to be easy to work with when it comes to their book covers?

A: In all the years that I’ve been designing cover art, only two have driven me almost over the edge. Needless to say, I survived, but barely. I’m adamant about allowing an author three drafts only. If we can’t get right in three, there’s something radically wrong. I’ve done up to 18 drafts before I pulled the plug. There was just no pleasing this author. There are times when they have this conception in their head about how their covers should look like, and nothing will deter them. No matter how close I came, it wasn’t good enough. Unfortunately, I refuse to work with that author again.

I’ve been absolutely blessed with the authors I’ve worked for and continue to work with. True, some are more pickier than others, but I’m an author, too. I understand where they’re coming from, and that gives me a distinctive edge. They keep coming back, so I must be doing something right.

Q: Were you an author or a cover artist first?

A: An author first and foremost. Without words, a cover can never be accomplished.

Q: What is the one question you wish people would ask you more often, and how would you answer it?

A: Well, you have me stumped there. I’m rather shy and modest, and would prefer talking about anything other than myself.


I think we have the best cover artist in the world. When I found out Dawne Dominique was going to do the artwork for me and Mimi’s novel, Beautiful Monster, I was thrilled. After all, you don’t always get much say in the matter. You are the author, not the cover art designer, and therefore, you have to trust the people who do artwork as their profession to do a good job with your book. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.

I am happy to say that when I first saw the artwork for Beautiful Monster, I was totally stoked. If I drank at all, I would have gone out and bought the biggest bottle of champagne (or vodka, or whiskey, or gin) that I could have gotten my hands on. Mimi was as pleased with it as I was. There he was… my character, staring me in the face. It was a bigger rush for me, oddly, than being accepted for publication. I suppose because seeing the cover art for the first time made the whole thing seem real.

There was one thing wrong, though. In all our excitement, we overlooked the fact that Sterling (my character) has striking blue eyes. It probably would not have been a huge deal, except that we made several references to the fact in the novel.

At first, I thought it best to just let it be. I worried that it might be too late to fix anyway. You get to see a few drafts of the artwork before signing off on the official completed draft, and after that, it’s out of your hands… and we already gave the okay for the cover art to go out the way it was. I couldn’t quit wishing we could change Sterling’s eyes though, and after giving it more thought, I decided to e-mail Dawne and ask her if it was too late for any alterations.

Dawne got back to me within twenty minutes (cuz she’s cool as hell like that) and said that had I waited another few days, it would have been too late, but that as it was, she could make the change. She sent me copy of the new cover, complete with Sterling’s new eyes, and I couldn’t be happier with it. So without further ado, here he is… new and improved:

P.S. ~ Beautiful Monster will be available by Damnation Books, LLC on September 1, 2012. Also, come back to read the upcoming interview with our cover artist, Dawne Dominique!