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.
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.
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.