Congrats to Teresa D! She won an e-book copy of Heartwood!
Check it out! My friend Catherine Lane stopped by to tell us about her newest release from Ylva Publishing, Heartwood. Woo!
She’s also giving away a free e-book copy. Drop a comment into the space below to enter the drawing!
Do You Judge Lesbian Fiction by Its Cover
by Catherine Lane
So everyone’s heard that you can’t judge a book by its cover, and before I started publishing, I believed that too. Or at least you certainly shouldn’t. But now that I’m three covers into my writing career, I can tell you it’s not true at all.
A good cover can change the story or at least the way readers see the story before they begin to read it—and I need to think about it more, but I am pretty much convinced that’s the same thing. Ylva Publishing is great for so many reasons. One of them is how they encourage author input for the covers. And because of that, there were a bunch of covers and different reader experiences for my latest lesbian romance, Heartwood.
The first draft cover was terrible. I’m so glad that only my editor and I saw it. In theory I had a great idea. A pivotal scene from the book where two lovers, Beth and Dawn, find themselves on the bank of the Tall Tree River just moments away from the kind of kiss that changes lives. In reality this cover, when it was done, looked hokey and almost comical. And so, thankfully, Ylva let us start again.
Here’s what we eventually came up with.
Pretty good, huh?
Okay, full disclosure. This was draft four or five. Before there was a clunky table right in the foreground that weighed everything down. There was grass growing high under the bench. Probably much more realistic, but for some reason, it bothered me horribly. The woman on the right was in a yellow sweater, and both the women faded into the background. Then Sandra Gerth, my amazing editor, suggested red for the sweater and the title, and we were there!
I know I’m biased, but I love this cover. I love the way that the doors open up and invite the reader into the relationship. The way the curtains blow in the wind suggesting that the moment is real and alive. I love the sunshine beaming through the trees hinting at the HEA (happily ever after). And for me, at least, this cover evokes the feelings I had when I was writing Heartwood.
All I can say now is that I hope you can judge a book by its cover!