While Fiona Jayde’s romantic thriller novels such as “Night Haven” and “Pas de Deux” may, unexplainably, not have found their way to your library yet, it is likely you possess a sample of her artistry. For Fiona’s artwork has graced the cover of numerous novels, and the popularity of her work, and the demand for it, only seems to be increasing.

While Fiona Jayde’s romantic thriller novels such as “Night Haven” and “Pas de Deux” may, unexplainably, not have found their way to your library yet, it is likely you possess a sample of her artistry. For Fiona’s artwork has graced the cover of numerous novels, and the popularity of her work, and the demand for it, only seems to be increasing.

Covers command our attention, encourage and seduce us to place the book in our hands and read the tagline, then, hopefully, the blurb, and ultimately the first few paragraphs, maybe the full first chapter.

The cover whispers, “Read this book … buy this book.”

If the artwork is cheap or tacky in appearance, many pass by the book, assuming the story will reflect the same lack of professionalism. We subconsciously conclude that if the cover doesn’t draw our interest, how could the story?

And therein lies Fiona Jayde’s popularity. Her artwork stops our eyes and hypnotically commands us to pick up the book.

Q. You are an outstanding writer, yet, had a desire to let your artistry flow to design. How did you convince that first publisher to give you the freedom to design a cover?

A. Thank you! I’m fairly “scattered” in my personal hobbies and interests – in addition to writing and designing, I also play a bit of piano, take martial arts classes, and do some web developing on the side. Its all “artistic” in its own way, even the coding.

As far as convincing that first publisher to let me design a cover ... well, honestly? A hint of blackmail. I had a series my publisher wanted to condense into a collection and re-release as a bundle. I agreed, with the caveat the publisher would consider my own design for the cover. Luckily for me, they liked it enough to publish the collection with that cover. This particular book is no longer in print, but it gave me the start of my “official” cover art career.

Q. What does the process entail for creating a cover? How are you inspired, and just how much do you actually work one-on-one with an author?

A. I usually base covers on what the author envisions – and really, what the author wants to “feel” about the book. I’m known to sometimes ignore an aspect or two in favor of the cover “feeling” right. As such, the most important thing for the author to do is give me examples of what the book visually feels like – dark and moody, magic, a fun romantic comedy, etc.

I’m more of a designer than actual artist – I have knack of fitting things together into one cohesive image. Usually I’ll troll through various image sites and get ideas from other people’s art (as well as author provided samples) for inspiration. Much like writing, sometimes the design takes over half way into the process – and that’s the most fun (and the most frustration).

I can’t say I work one on one with the authors too much, although there have been occasions. My job is not to represent characters or settings exactly how they are in the book – my job is to make the cover as intriguing and attention getting as possible.

Q. I have to ask this. Has there been a time where the publisher rejected your artwork for one of your own books?

A. Oh yes, absolutely. It was one of the first cover mockups I’ve made and I was convinced it was the best thing since sliced bread. The art director of the publishing house I was with didn’t quite agree with me, and for the life of me I couldn’t understand why he didn’t see things my way.
These days I don’t usually do my own cover art, because I’m my own worst client. It takes me days and weeks to agonize over a design. As such, both covers for “Pas De Deux” and “Night Haven” were done by very talented cover artists at Samhain Publishing.

Q. Do you ever use live models for your designs?

A. I’m involved in a mystery book series where the covers will be based on actual live photo shoot. I’m really looking forward to it!

Q. Normally in the final question I ask the author to offer some advice to prospective writers, and feel free to do so. But I’d really like to hear any advice or encouragement you can provide to young artists interested in designing covers for novels.

A. I think the advice would be the same for both – writing and cover art design – keep practicing your craft. The best way to break into the cover art business is to have a cover art portfolio readily available so perspective clients can see your work very easily. (It can be for fake books if you have nothing else – which is how I got started!) Then simply talk to people, offer to do mockups, and always look for things that inspire you.

DA’s romantic suspense novel “Sunday Awakening” by KevaD is available at nobleromance.com and amazon.com. DA can be reached at dakentner@gosgi.com.

www.fionajayde.com

The Journal-Standard