Still so thrilled with the recent House of Jewels series launch among so many of my VIPs, I’m delighted to share the love by making the first e-book in the series, House of Diamonds, available to your friends and family at no cost.
Please invite them to click this link or forward this blog to them so I can email them their own free copy.
Come and meet me!
A reminder I’d love to see you and your friends at the inaugural Book Fair Australia on 26 and 27 November 2022 at Sydney Showground. Come and celebrate the joy of books and reading at this new literary festival, with stalls, discussion panels, workshops and more.
It’s just two weeks away! The first five visitors each day will receive a gift.
Meet the Bridgerton author in Melbourne!
Did you know that the legendary US historical romance writer Julia Quinn, author of popular Netflix Bridgerton series, will be in Melbourne in February?
Julia will be at the Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) Romantic Rendezvous at the glorious Collins Coffee House for a Melbourne Fashion Week High Tea.
With her will be the super prolific and popular US contemporary romance author Audrey Carlan. Oh. And Amber Jakeman. (I’ll be there with other Australian romance authors ahead of our ARRA books signing event at the Novotel on Collins next day. See details below.)
As I receive so many compliments on the covers of my books, please enjoy this Q and A with my cover designer, Kylie Sek.
How did you become a book cover designer, Kylie?
I fell into designing book covers by accident, really. Before I was a cover designer, I wrote young adult books for Penguin Random House. After some time, I had the rights reverted to me for one of my books and decided to self-publish it. As part of that process I needed a new cover and decided to sign up for a trial of Adobe Stock and Photoshop to see if designing a cover was something I could “do myself”.
I quickly realised that it was not something I could just “do myself”, however I forgot to cancel the free trials and ended up with yearly subscriptions to both Adobe Stock and Photoshop.
I decided that I may as well use the subscriptions and threw myself into learning design and Photoshop over the next few years. Accident or fate?
What do you love most about your work?
I love the challenge of designing or illustrating a cover that fits perfectly alongside other covers in its genre (marketability is a must) but is unique and special in its own way. I also love working with authors. They are the best type of people!
What is special about designing book covers?
I love books and storytelling so I feel very privileged to be handed someone’s story and get to make a cover that will help readers connect with it.
Have you always been a “visual” person?
I never really thought of myself that way, to be honest. Because I was focused on becoming an author after school I thought of myself as a “language” person.
But when I look back now I realise that a lot of what I did through my younger years actually pointed to me being a visual person. I just didn’t take notice of the signs. Like in primary school, I obsessively borrowed books on lettering and calligraphy. I do also believe that you learn to see things a certain way when you start actively looking.
Now I can’t go anywhere without looking at the kerning between letters on signs or how the light falls on a person’s face or even how far apart their eyes are!
Did you do well at art at school?
Yes, I think so! I made a very impressive paper mache dragon in year 7.
What genre(s) do you prefer?
I love designing for so many genres but my favourites would be women’s fiction, romance, rom-com, historical, young adult, contemporary fiction, mysteries and thrillers. The covers are just so fun or beautiful so they lift me up.
How do you balance your work and family life?
I’m not sure I’ve worked out the balance exactly, like many working mums. But I do my best and I have a lot of support from my mum and my husband. Generally, I work when my youngest is at preschool and at night once the kids are asleep. Luckily, I love my work so much that working at night isn’t a problem for me.
Do you ever get “stuck” on a concept? If so, how do you move forwards?
I definitely get stuck on a concept sometimes. Usually that’s an indication that the concept isn’t right and more often than not it works out better to ditch that concept and try a different direction. As part of my process, I design a number of concept covers for each cover. This works really well because it pushes me to go deeper into the story and also try ideas I hadn’t first thought of which often leads to the winning concept.
Where do your ideas come from?
Funnily, I often start with words. After I receive an author’s story form, I write down key words to try to hone in on what the cover needs to say. Sometimes I’ll have a clear picture of the cover in my head from the start and then need to go and find the images (or create a sketch) to make that idea happen.
If I don’t have a clear idea in my head, I’ll go to stock sites and plug in some keywords. I also have many folders on each stock site with images saved that I like or that would work for a specific genre.
But I usually find that ideas come to me pretty easily and just pop into my head. I suppose that just comes from taking in everything around me and knowing cover trends and cover conventions for each genre.
Are you a reader? If so, what kinds of books do you read?
Absolutely! Reading is a huge part of my life. It always has been. I read very widely. One month I’ll be reading high fantasy and the next month women’s fiction or historical romance. At the moment, I’m reading the young adult novel, You Should See Me in a Crown.
Can you judge a book by its cover?
I’m not sure an incredible cover means the book will be incredible or vice versa. But in terms of selling a book, a great cover will always help a book sell. Readers make very quick judgments about whether to pick up a book or click on the book, so a great cover will give that all-important first impression.
More reading offers
With Christmas just around the corner, you might like to browse these sweet romance selections.
All five of my paperbacks are available in this Stuff those Stockings with PRINT Books promotion.
The e-version of my Full House appears in this large Second Chance Romance promotion, along with a few man chest options!
This Thankful for Sweet ROMCOMS promotion includes my House of Diamonds and House of Clubs e-books.
Full House features in this Sweet Romance for the Holidays mix.
You can also spot a few of my House of Jewels series titles among this Give Thanks for Christian/Sweet/Clean Romances selection.
A Romantic Rendezvous or two!
I also look forward to meeting fellow authors and readers and signing my paperbacks at the Australian Romance Readers Association Romantic Rendezvous in Sydney on Sunday 12 February 2023 from 10am to 4pm at Sydney Boulevard, 90 William Street, and in Melbourne on Saturday 18 February 2023 from 10am to 4pm, at the Novotel on Collins, 270 Collins Street. View details and book tickets.
Warmest thanks to ARRA for featuring me in this recent author spotlight.
Road tours may also be on the cards. Please email me if you or your local bookshop would be interested in hosting an author Q & A and signing session with me.
I’m always grateful to readers who enjoy my work and are able to post a review of my books here or there or to recommend my work. It’s a great encouragement, and really helps other readers to find my books.