The Woman Behind the Cover: Speak of the Devil Cover Reveal

Today I get to reveal the cover for my upcoming novel Speak of the Devil which comes out March 15! And while I’m at it, I thought I’d share an interview I did on Facebook chat with my cover artist, Taria Reed. Excuse the chat lingo, puctuation and spelling. πŸ˜‰ I also spoke with one of my publishers, Marlene Castricato, about a few of the rules CMP has that Taria brings up.

But first, here it is! What do you think?

SpeakOfTheDevil

And now my chat with Taria!

Shawna Romkey
Ha ok… thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. As soon as I saw the cover, all of these questions ran through my mind
so i thought when it’s ready for the reveal this would be a fun interview to post with it
this is my first book, so i’m new to all of the things that go into publishing

Taria A. Reed
well then we are learning together…lol. there’s still so much I don’t know about publishing

Shawna Romkey
oh good… i have seen several of the other covers you’ve done for Crescent Moon Press and was hoping you’d get the assignment for Speak of the Devil!
I’m going to just start asking you some general questions about the process, but then get specific on what you went through in coming up with my cover.

Taria A. Reed
ok
it’s always extremely humbling when someone tells me they really wanted me to do their cover
**blush**

Shawna Romkey
Heehe, well, it’s true. When I did the cover art sheet for my book, I went through CMP’s release page and noted which covers I liked and why I liked them. I found out that most of those were yours!

Taria A. Reed
i’m like six shades of red right now…lol

Shawna Romkey
And since then I believe you did Moon Dust and January Black and they were absolutely cool and beautiful!

LgMoonDustJanuaryBlackCover
Taria A. Reed
yup those are mine
funny story
i actually did a cover for Joe Christiano for another publisher
when he found out I also designed for CMP he went NUTS begging them to let me do the cover for Moon Dust
When he came down to Jersey for a day he asked if I minded meeting up
since he was only about 30 mins away I spent a few hours with him
he told me about his book and planted an idea so I went home that day and designed the cover

Shawna Romkey
oh wow!

Taria A. Reed
then I showed Steph at CMP and she LOVED it

Shawna Romkey
that’s great!

Taria A. Reed
so I actually hijacked Moon Dust
lol

Shawna Romkey
LOL! awesome! Good to know we can request cover artists. I sort of hinted that I wanted you in listing the covers that I liked, but wasn’t really sure of how that process worked.
So how do you go about creating these great covers? Describe the process of designing a book cover from start to finish.

Taria A. Reed

The process varies from cover to cover. I usually rely on the author to give me some inspiration. Your pinterest board was a DREAM COME TRUE. I want authors to love my work so I take their desires into serious consideration. sometimes I can use their ideas and make them better, other times I can only take one or two elements from their idea and incorporate them into my design.
When an author is vague or not specific on her CAIS it’s sometimes hard for me to get a good handle on the story and a scene doesn’t pop into my head

Shawna Romkey
how long does it generally take for you to create a cover?

Taria A. Reed
again that varies. Honestly for CMP covers I can knock out a cover within 24-48hrs. You guys are super awesome for my design muse

Shawna Romkey
haha, is that because of the art sheets or are you a fan of sci fi, fantasy, paranormal?

Taria A. Reed
I LOVE LOVE LOVE paranormal. I can take sci-fi and fantasy depending on the story.

Shawna Romkey
Oh good. I write paranormal.
You talked about meeting with Joe Christiano. Who else is involved in the process? Do the authors or publishers usually get involved very much?

Taria A. Reed
CMP is very good about letting me bang out my own ideas and then they or the authors ask for tweaks if necessary. There isn’t a big list of demands for the most part. One demand that CMP enforces is the no casting, so you won’t ever see a full face in any of my designs for them.

Shawna Romkey
No casting meaning… no recognizable people?

Taria A. Reed
yup

Shawna Romkey
So when you saw my pinterest board and see that I had cast chord overstreet from Glee as my main guy, you couldn’t call him up and do a shoot if he was up for it?
i guess i’ll stop bothering him then. πŸ˜‰

Taria A. Reed
as much as I would love to get Chord in front of my camera I’m pretty sure he’d ignore the hell outta my request….lol.

Shawna Romkey
haha!
it depends on if he’s working or not
How often do you use models vs. stock photos? Why do you make that decision? Do you have a preference?

Taria A. Reed
I’ve just started shooting my own models for covers this fall. Most of my covers are stock models, but I rather photograph my own. It’s just easier to come up with a design concept that way. With stock models I’m at the mercy of what’s available. Nothing is worse than finding the right face, right pose, right lighting, and then having that person half naked

Shawna Romkey
LOL!
come to think of it, not a lot of half naked people on CMP’s covers

Taria A. Reed
When I shoot my own models I already have a concept in mind and a base design done, that way I can show the model what i’ve done and explain to them how I want them to pose so it looks best on the cover
nope, another rule is NO BARE CHESTS
well of course i got one sorta bare chest through for Kinley Baker’s book…shhhhh
Denied Cover Reveal Version
Shawna Romkey
really? good to know… i was wondering if Luc should be shirtless or not… then couldn’t remember him being shirtless in the book so figured i was just being weird
LOL oh yes, I’ve seen that one

Taria A. Reed
most paranormal covers have bare chests so some people just expect it

Shawna Romkey
yeah when I think of some of the popular angel books out there now, angels are generally shirtless… i wonder why that is
maybe for wing logistics?

Taria A. Reed
I still can’t wrap my head around that. Angels are suppose to be hot and half nekkid….DUH
lol

Shawna Romkey
i think that’s why i was thinking of it, but for my cover you did sort of an illusion of wings, which is perfect as only my main character Lily can see the wings and only at dusk and dawn

Taria A. Reed
really i didn’t know that….lol.

Shawna Romkey
well i wondered, because you can’t read all of the books
and i don’t think i mentioned it on the cover art sheet

Taria A. Reed
i did the translucent wings because i thought that these angels were masquerading as human teens so they were hiding their angelic identity…lol.

Shawna Romkey
true

Taria A. Reed
as much as i would LOVe to read most of the books I design for I just don’t have the time.
I have two small very active boys, a thriving photography business, and a growing design business, audiobooks are my BEST FRIEND

Shawna Romkey
haha, i know how you feel. i try to read and review books for my friends to help with sales and have a huge to be read stack. too many books, too little time
For my cover, was it a model or stock photo? Is that man somewhere out there for me to stalk if I should so choose? How do the models feel about being on someone’s book cover as a character?

Taria A. Reed

i just don’t have the time to sit still and read. even as we chat now i”m going through emails, and sketching out a base design for a cover. Multitask is my middle name…lol

Shawna Romkey

haha!

Taria A. Reed
for your book it was a stock model. The model I usually use for my male teen stuff is on a cruise to jamaica and I didn’t want to wait until he got back or go through the headache of finding another model with the right look.
he’s out there somewhere but i’m not even sure where you should start the stalking quest

Shawna Romkey
that’s probably safer for him then that i don’t have access to his contact info

Taria A. Reed
most models LOVE the fact that they are on a book cover. Ebooks are cool, but when they are on a print cover it’s almost like being in a magazine…lol
lol oh i wish i did too, he’d be awesome to photograph

Shawna Romkey
well it’s like it’s forever
i was thinking wow, this guy is on my first book cover, forever… that’s a big deal for me

Taria A. Reed
yes, it’s their mark on the world

Shawna Romkey
and for you
i would think

Taria A. Reed
i never thought about it that way but yeah it is
I’m just waiting for the day i walk into a store and see one of my covers
there will be no peace for the scream i’ll let loose…lol

Shawna Romkey
LOL, same here
last question… so anything specific or different that you went through in designing the cover for speak of the devil?

Taria A. Reed
the only thing different is you had a very clear view of your characters that you could show me. the picture of the angel in the field really spoke to me so I knew I had to do something with that. your CAIS kept talking about the theater but I didn’t get inspiration from that, that field spoke to me

Shawna Romkey
yeah, that field pic really got me too
and the one you use also seems to me to fit the Missouri setting
and the tone you use really captures the drama
It’s a wicked cover. I can’t wait to reveal it. Thanks so much for giving me that gift and thanks for taking the time to chat with me today!

Taria A. Reed
my goal with each cover is to convince the author that I read their book and I hope I did that
I’m thrilled you love it, thanks for being interested in my process…lol. Often times I’m like the Wizard of Oz.

Shawna Romkey

you totally did with the wings, field, sword… amazing
hah

Taria A. Reed
“Don’t pay any mind to the woman behind the cover”….lol

Shawna Romkey
LOL! Awesome! Stealing that as my article title “the woman behind the cover’

Thanks for taking the time to chat with me Taria!

I did a little follow up with Crescent Moon Press to find out about a few of the rules that Taria mentioned, and here’s what Marlene Castricato, my publisher added:

We prefer not to use full faces, but we have. We prefer not to use bare chested images, but we have. Essentially we are looking for covers that are specific to the stories. Generic, half naked images tell us nothing of the story. A young girl in a taffeta dress with her back to a tombstone is stunning. Speak of the Devil features a tormented young man with carefully placed symbols. January Black with the old gate to the garden, aged with all its character is rich in detail and very specific to the story. Our stories are genre busting and our covers need to represent that. Our cover artists work hard to develop a key component and build on it visually. We love Taria’s work. She knows that the cover-art form is a suggestion and a spring board for her own creativity and interpretation.

I think the whole process is really interesting and am super happy with my cover! You can check out Taria’s website, and feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the cover!

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7 Responses to The Woman Behind the Cover: Speak of the Devil Cover Reveal

  1. LOL at the upcoming bookstore scream at the sight of your cover, Taria! Really enjoyed the interview, Shawna – enjoy your Cover Reveal Day!

  2. Awesome interview ladies!

  3. Joseph J Christiano says:

    Taria did kinda hijack the Moon Dust assignment. Kept it locked in her basement and forced it to listen to a lot of 90s alternative music. By the time it was set free the dreaded Stockholm Syndrome had taken effect. By that point all involved thought it best to just let her do the cover. That she knocked it out of the park was just iceing on the cake.

  4. Shawna says:

    Haha, Joe! Poor Moon Dust!

  5. Loni Lynne says:

    Oh my gosh! Love the cover! And neat to have some Q&A feedback on the cover art process. I’m excited because mine is still in the works. All the covers are so fabulous–I can’t go wrong!

    Hugs!

  6. Fantastic interview, and that’s one delicious cover! πŸ™‚

  7. Shawna says:

    Thanks Loni & Lindsey! I’m really happy with the cover. πŸ™‚ It is pretty delish.

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