Monday, December 09, 2013

Lynn Viehl Talks Covers and Comes Bearing Gifts



UPDATE Our randomly selected winner is BUNNY Bunny, please contact me at: AnnaCBowling@gmail.com with "Lynn Viehl Winner" in the subject line and we'll get your prize right out to you.

Hail and well met, dear readers. Typing With Wet Nails is delighted to welcome the versatile Lynn Viehl back for a visit, and she comes bearing gifts. Click the thumbnail to embiggen and stay tuned to learn how you can have a shot at winning these for your very own.

December 9th Giveaway photo December9giveaway_zpsf30f5c30.jpg

Since discovering Lynn through the world of art and then her imaginative Stardoc series, I'd always wondered if someday there might be a historical somewhere in her bag of tricks, and it looks like someday is here, with the Disenchanted and Company series. How can I resist a steampunk universe where the American Revolution turned out very, very differently, resulting in Victorian-era Americans still being very, very British? About as easily as I can resist a gorgeously wrapped package, especially if that gorgeous wrapping is some stunning cover art, which is not at all.

What, then, is an author to do when she gets not one but two beautiful covers, and can't show them to anybody? Pull up a chair, grab a beverage of choice and let Lynn spin the tale of how she faced this challenging dilemma.

Cover Me

Lynn Viehl

The day I sold my NaNoWriMo novel to Pocket Star I started thinking about the cover art. My protagonist, a Victorian-era lady private detective who solves crimes of magic, is rather unique. So is her steampunk urban fantasy universe, in which America didn't win the War Independence, so everyone is still British. This would also be a big landmark novel for me -- my 50th book in print.

As a traditionally-published author I depend on my publishers for cover art. In the past I've had some covers that were not exactly what I had in mind, either . . . okay, after seeing one in particular I admit, I went into therapy for a while. This time my book would first be published in two-part e-books, which meant not one but two covers. I began sending suggestions to my editor, Adam Wilson, right away. Actually I think I might have started e-mailing him before the ink on the new contract dried.

Art takes time, and Adam proved very understanding. Meanwhile I tried to put my faith in the universe. Getting unfortunate cover art is like being struck by lightning; I'd already been nailed with a book that on a clear day can still be spotted from the International Space Station. It probably wouldn't happen again.

Finally Adam sent the new covers to me, and I peeked at the images through my fingers. Nothing blew out my retinas, but as I slowly lowered my hands I saw not one but two amazing covers. The universe had actually come through; I wouldn't need more therapy. Even better, astronauts would be completely unable to use my covers to triangulate reentry trajectories.

I called everyone to tell them the happy news. I couldn't wait to show off my new covers, either, as I told my editor in my thank-you e-mail.

"We're planning a big online reveal," Adam wrote back, "so don't share them with anyone."

All I could do was stare at the phone and think, Uh-oh.

My best friend arrived five seconds later. "Let me see these gorgeous covers."

"I accidentally deleted the files," I lied. "My editor has to resend them, and he's super busy."

"So show me the print copies," She headed toward my office. "You said on the phone you were printing out a million, right?"

"I meant to, but the printer broke down." I darted in from of her to shut the office door. "And the dog just threw up all over the rug in there. Tell you what, I'll bring them the next time we have lunch." I walked her to the door. "In July."

"I got your voice mail, Mom," my daughter said, rushing in. "Congratulations -- can I put the new covers on Facebook?"

"No," I told her. "The dog threw up on them."

"I thought the dog threw up on the rug," my best friend said.

This was getting complicated. "They were sitting on the rug, in pieces, after the printer mangled them." I turned to my daughter. "You're not allowed to go on Facebook anymore."

"Uh, Mom, I'm an adult now," she reminded me.

"Pretend to be a minor for your mother, will you?" I snapped.

My guy came in and smiled at me. "I hear we've got gorgeous covers in the house."

"I deleted -- and then the printer -- and the dog --" I stopped and threw up my hands. "Look, I can't show you the covers, okay? I promised my editor I wouldn't."

My guy frowned. "Why not?"

"I know why. They're both Day-Glo pink, aren't they? And it's finally pushed you over the edge." My best friend took out her cell phone. "I'm calling your shrink."

This all happened last spring, and since then both e-books have been released so everyone knows what my covers look like. I'm sure you'll agree that they couldn't be more attractive, and personally? I couldn't be happier. So will someone please call my therapist and tell him that, so I can cancel my next appointment?

~*~

The giveaway will contain the following:

A hand quilted and beaded Winterberry tote
Signed copies of the print ARCs of Disenchanted & Co. and The Clockwork Wolf
An unsigned copy of The Writer's Lab by Sexton Burke
A London-themed hardcover blank journal


Want a chance at this stunning prize package landing on your doorstep? You know you do, so here's your shot. Leave a message in the comments and the winner will be randomly selected at the end of the day. Lynn will be popping in throughout the day to socialize and take questions, and, like Santa Claus, she'll deliver the gifts to the lucky winner anywhere in the world. You heard me right, this giveaway is international, so let the posting begin.

40 comments:

mk said...

Woo hoo- I would love to get these books! And you are so crafty, Lynn! I don't do crafts- it would take time away from my limited reading time :-)

KatieB said...

Great post. I came here from the Paperback Writer blog.

Anne V. said...

Ahhh. The Day-Glo cover fiasco! I've loved *most* of your covers and these were no exception. I'm sure your other readers were also relieved to see them-that pink thing was embarrassing to read in public!

Lynn Viehl said...

Thanks, mk -- I find sewing, beading and quilting very soothing, so crafting is really my own form of self-therapy. Plus I usually have a book in a stand nearby so I can read while I stitch. :)

Lynn Viehl said...

Thanks for stopping by, Katie

Lynn Viehl said...

I have *mostly* gotten over the Day-Glo pink novel cover art, Anne, although my right eye still twitches a bit whenever I see a bottle of Pepto Bismol, lol.

Bonnie said...

Cannot wait to read Lynn's latest series.

Bonnie said...

Cannot wait to read Lynn's newest series!

petite said...

Wonderful post which gives me insight into the author and her great creativity.

maries said...

Can't wait for the new book. Love everything you've written.

Rowan said...

I remember the day-glo cover. I also love the Disenchanted covers. They speak directly to the expectation for the books.

Lynn Viehl said...

Thanks, Bonnie -- hope you enjoy. :)

Lynn Viehl said...

I appreciate the kind words, petite.

Lynn Viehl said...

You're very generous, maries, thank you.

Lynn Viehl said...

I wasn't exaggerating my delight in the post, Rowan -- these covers are two of the best I've had in years. Now hopefully I won't jinx my next cover by saying that!

Joanne Lalli said...

Fabulous covers for the whole series. I just started on Her Ladyship's Curse - really enjoying the voice and spirit of the main character - and am glad to see the most recent books in the series are due out soon!

traveler said...

Multi-talented is such a special ability. Reading your books gives me pleasure and is a lasting enjoyment.

Janell said...

Love your books and quilting. Thanks for being willing to share both talents.

Lanette said...

I think all of your covers are beautiful, and that is what attracted me to your books. They say a lot in the small space that they represent.

Cordie Kelley said...

I love your books and have been enjoying the Toriana crafts. I have been forcing myself to finish the projects on hand, first. I still have Christmas knitting and crocheting to do.

Margaret said...

I remember that day-glo pink cover... the more recent ones are a vast, great improvement. :)

Lynn Viehl said...

I appreciate you investing in Her Ladyship, Joanne, and I hope Kit & her crew don't disappoint.

Lynn Viehl said...

Nice to see you here, traveler, and thanks for the kind words.

Lynn Viehl said...

I'm just grateful to be able to share my quilting as well as my writing with readers, Janell -- and it helps keep my fabric stash under control, too. :)

Lynn Viehl said...

Pocket Star has really worked hard to capture my vision of the series, Lanette -- I'm very lucky to be working with such talented folks.

Lynn Viehl said...

I know what you mean, Cordie -- I would have a hundred quilting projects going at the same time if I gave into all the neat ideas that pop into my head. The only way to resist them is to make finishing my current project a must before I start anything new -- and most days I stick to that rule. Unless I find some fabulous fabric at the sewing shop. Or beads on sale. Or . . . maybe what I really need to do is quit shopping!

Lynn Viehl said...

Margaret, I don't think anyone will *ever* forget that Day-Glo pink cover. But on the bright side, I can say that I did have one completely unforgettable book get published during my career! Ha.

Vorpaks said...

I remember the pink... foil wasn't it? I actually went to the bookstore just so I could see what the paperback version looked like. :D

Although poor Robin did not look good in pink, Kit's Clockwork Wolf title certainly does. I love the covers -- and the tote!

bn100 said...

Interesting info about covers

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Robin Bayne said...

Also love the Disenchanted covers. There's nothing worse than a bad cover.

Robin Connelly said...

I'd call your therapist for you Lynn. But I'd be afraid I'd have to go to therapy with you afterwards.

Lynn Viehl said...

I still get sympathy e-mail about that particular cover, Vorpaks -- especially since one of the romance mags cited it as one of the two worst covers of all time (but Suze Brockman has the other one so I'm in good company.)

A color is just a color, however, and when you see how tasteful and attractive the cover is for The Clockwork Wolf you can't help but like the pink. Or, as Pantone has called it for 2014, radiant orchid! Ha.

Lynn Viehl said...

Thanks, bn -- it was a fun post to write, too.

Lynn Viehl said...

I always thought the same, Robin, until I read a book in which they misspelled the author's name on every other page. Now that I think would make me really go crazy. :)

Lynn Viehl said...

All writers may be a little crazy, Robin, but that's what makes us so much fun at parties. :)

Lynn Viehl said...

It's time for me to unplug and turn in for the night, but before I go I'd like to thank Anna for having me as a guest here today, and all of you for stopping in to chat with me. Good luck with the giveaway, and happy holidays to everyone!

Rachel Green said...

Good to know you're not always happy with the covers. I hated one but let it stand and it only sold about ten copies!

CrystalGB said...

Hi Lynn. Great interview. I am a huge fan of your books. Your new series sounds awesome.

Erin Z. said...

Awesome story about your covers!

digillette said...

This was too funny! I would have done the same thing, I'm sure. :)

BTW, today is my birthday so winning some awesome free books and stuff would make my birthday awesome. Just sayin'. :)