Leanna Renee Hieber has some amazing titles, like her latest: The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart, and the covers have to match those intriguing introductions to her stories. Here’s Leanna to talk about her most recent cover concept:
“I didn’t have a cover in mind, because the cover for the first book, Darker Still [read that Cover Story], went through SO many changes that I just figured I’d sit back and see what the marketing team came up with. In my heart I wanted something Gothic and something that portrayed a historical novel, whatever that might be.
“When I saw the cover, I loved it from the first. It’s beautiful, classy and Gothic. It’s my favourite cover I’ve ever had. I suggested the hair be toned down a bit as Natalie is auburn, not red, but I think the red ended up staying as it matched the red in the other parts of the cover.
“There was just a font change, and I couldn’t have known about the beautiful sheen on the cover, or the beautiful wallpaper interior. Those are wonderful touches.
“I really adore this cover. The subtle wall-papering across the whole book is so lovely. Even the spine is gorgeous, all the details on the inside and outside make it really special and I think it truly stands out. It really fits my Gothic voice as an author. (And as someone who owns 10 black corsets. I’m not kidding). Lots of folks have asked if it was me posing on the cover, which made me laugh. While I do have several corsets just like that, it’s not me. :)”
Thanks, Leanna! I love the wallpapering and the title treatment on this one the most. They feel like very thoughtful parts of the package.
What do you guys think?
“It’s uncanny how much of what I envisioned translated onto this cover.
“Since I’ve been very active in the marketing process, I was asked early on what I was hoping for / interested in and had an in-person conversation with the art director (whom I love) and was delighted that we were all on the same page, my editor included. Once the ‘look’ of the series was already established with book one, and it worked really well for the series, I knew the parameters and style we were working with, so it was honestly just a matter of deciding background image and colours. My publisher has done a great job of creating a distinct STRANGELY BEAUTIFUL series look, my three covers are gorgeous all together (see below). What I love about my books is that the covers are unlike anything else out there today, which is quite a feat.
“When I first saw the cover, I thought that it was pretty much spot-on perfect! I made cooing noises. The only tiny thing I may have tweaked was giving the goddess more luminous, shimmering looking hair, something truly other-worldly.
“I didn’t share the tidbit about the hair because in this business you pick your battles and that was such a tiny thing not worth battling over (I save up concerns for bigger picture issues), plus the colours often print differently than they register on screen. I’ve been so impressed with how utterly unique my covers are, and how spot-on to the feel of my books they are, there’s really nothing to complain about. I feel very lucky! [See the full jacket below.]
“I believe the cover shows a mixture of stock and altering images, and including that iconic script font that I love so much. (It dominates the covers and is an integral part of the branding of the look of the books).
“The more I see it the more I love it, which is such a gift in this industry!”
Thanks, Leanna! I think all of these covers seem like they have a veil of mist or smoke over them, a bleary-eyed feeling, and that certainly sets an emotional tone before readers look at page one.
What do you guys think?