Guest Post: Vicki Leigh, author of CATCH ME WHEN I FALL / by Ryan Hill


Behind the cover of CATCH ME WHEN I FALL

If someone ever tells you they don’t judge a book by its cover, they’re lying.

There’s statistical evidence that books with eye-catching covers sell better than those that don’t. Just think about it: When you’re browsing shelves in a book store, how do you choose which ones to read the blurbs? Odds are, you’re not picking up every single book and reading the back cover. No, I’m guessing you scan the shelves for books that look interesting, then you read the blurb and decide whether it’s something you want to buy.

It goes without saying, then, that creating a clever or beautiful cover is essential to the success of a book.

For those who don’t know, Curiosity Quills Press is a small publishing house, which means they run very differently from the large houses, or even the medium-sized ones. Because CQ is a small press, their authors have more input on things like book covers. So, when it came time for my cover artist to begin working, they reached out to me and asked what I envisioned my cover to look like.

Now, some truth here: I am not a very visual person. I could never, ever be a graphic artist. My creativity is limited to words and music, not art and crafts. (Have you seen my stick figures? Even they look terrible.) But luckily, I had an artist who knew what he was doing, because I sent him this:

I really like the idea of something like ELEMENTAL, with maybe Daniel and Kayla standing in the middle of a bedroom in an asylum while Nightmares crawl through the walls—their foreheads pressed together or in each others’ arms. But I also like the idea of something like A GATHERING OF STORMS, where instead of vines around the edges, we have Nightmares reaching in. Again, Daniel and Kayla in each others’ arms, foreheads pressed together in the center of the cover. Maybe a reddish hue to the background instead of purple, though.

Or, I also like the idea of something like UNTETHERED, where we have Kayla falling backward, maybe into a dark abyss, and Daniel holding her, keeping her from falling. Again, the background would be mental-hospital-esque and maybe Nightmares crawling through the walls, though I Vicki Leigh/CMWIF Blog Tour/Guest Post 9/html wouldn't want to take the focus off Daniel and Kayla, so no Nightmares would be fine, too.

If we want to go more minimal/high-concept, something like FORECAST would be good, with just Daniel. I could see him standing straight on, chin tipped down a bit while he glared at the camera/reader as if they're a Nightmare. Arms out to his sides, like he has blades in his hand and is ready to fight.

Yeah, you get the point. Poor Dean. I had no idea what I was doing, and I can imagine, if I were in his shoes, I’d just stare at my computer screen, open-mouthed, thinking, “What the hell have I gotten myself into?”

Then, I was asked what emotions or sensations I’d want my cover to reveal, and I replied with this:

Romantic, but with a dark edge. Daniel's desire to do absolutely anything to protect the girl he loves, including dying for her, and Kayla's love for him and firm belief that he'll always save her. Exciting, fast-paced, heart-pounding. As if it's going to be a love story that leaves you breathless.

Somehow, Dean took that statement—what emotions/sensations I wanted to reveal through my cover—and created something beautiful, something similar to ELEMENTAL meets A GATHERING OF STORMS yet unique to my book. As an artistically- challenged person, I was blown away—and still am, every time I catch a glance at my cover.

So, what do you think? Does this cover scream “romantic yet dark, as if it’s going to be an exciting, fast-paced, heart-pounding love story that leaves you breathless?”