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Tattoos, bare midriffs, and leather AKA Fantasy Cover Art

Not only am I writer, but I’m a reader and I, too, have a tendancy to cyber stalk a few of my favorite authors.  Okay, maybe stalk is a little creepy, but I’ll check out blogs, tweets and Facebook posts.  It’s a great way to discover new voices and interesting opinions.  So one day I was out on one of my newest stalkee’s sites and he had a link to Jim C. Hines’s blog on cover art for Urban Fantasy.  Of course, I had to check it out and now I have to share it with you: Striking a Pose (Woman and Fantasy Covers).

 I LOVED IT!  So much so, now I’m a regular visitor to Mr. Hines’s blog.  I have great respect for Mr. Hines and his posts.  Besides the bravery factor in that post alone, he deserves a medal.  Seriously, I don’t even think with years of yoga I could pull off some of those poses!  He’s shared information you generally have to shed blood for, like how much can a writer realistically expect to make doing what they love, and how Amazon’s pricing impacts the self pubbed writer. 

Since I’m currently considering the art for my second urban fantasy, Shadow’s Soul, Mr. Hines’s observations mirror a lot of mine.  Take the cover for Shadow’s Edge. I submitted it a cover art review blog where peeps are welcome to leave their honest feedback. At the time of this post, I’ve only gotten three comments (so feel free to add your own).  As a writer, I did this not so I could hear the gushiness of “I just love it”  but because I knew I could trust this site to give me serious reactions on the cover.  Now the comments on color for typefacing, I can understand and I’m changing for Shadow’s Soul.  I’m thinking along the lines of reds, oranges and blues as a starting point this time around.  Maybe lighten the overall image.  The third comment discussed Raine’s clothing or lack thereof, and really, I get it.  I’m not so sure I’d want to fight someone with that much bare skin, but like many writers, I’m learning as I go. 

Then there’s the issue of cover models.  For Shadow’s Soul, I’m really hoping to do a male and a female on the cover. Here’s the challenge I’m running into with that concept.  I need a man with a shirt.  I have nothing against six or eight packs, I have a pulse and can appreciate some seriously drool worthy examples of testosterone.  However, since I do have male readers, I’m trying to keep in mind that when they’re out reading in public they may not want to flash all that male flesh.  Granted, if it was female they might be okay, but still…

It’s hard to find that thin line between urban fantasy and romance, especially when your story has romantic elements.  I’m lucky enough to work with a great cover artist, so here’s hoping we can figure out a really, wickedly cool solution!



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