Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about ideas and creativity. Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome as it turns an article into a discussion. They must, however, be in English to avoid spam getting in here.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

covers and titles

With my work in progress having taken a hit due to outside forces (let me count the upsets we've faced as citizens of our country and of the earth), I've been writing but doing more with re-creating book covers. Writing a first rough draft requires control over a period of days (for me), and this summer has had limited time for that. Stuff happens, and that is a fact of life.

Having control over the covers is one of the pluses I receive for being an indie writer. I can do them myself, buy them already made, or hire someone to make them. Amazon offers a create your cover app that lets you use their tools to create one. For some writers, the choice is impacted by finances; but in my case, I like doing covers and have done them from the start using my photos, digital techniques, and purchased, royalty free images. I've had successes and failures-- and likely that will continue to be true.

Currently, after redoing the cover for Arizona Sunset, first in the Arizona historicals, I became interested in doing them for my novellas. I had the fourth in that Arizona historical series that had a banner in the middle. That is what I wanted as a way to set the novellas apart from the full length novels.

As part of the process, Sonoran Christmas, also got a new title-- Frederica's Heart. It's eighth in the Arizona historical romances. Sometimes, when a book is written, I am caught up in writing it and miss the deeper message. That was the case with that novella. It was set during the Christmas season, but it wasn't really about that as much as two people who had given up on finding true love and then... well, that's why people read the book.

The cover started out to be simple with a landscape. Next, I tried the couple, but nothing quite worked until I decided to go with the energy-- her fine culture and his gun. This was also their conflict, of course. Neither was quite who the other thought-- that's pretty typical of any intimate relationships in my experience.

In creating a title or cover, the problem is always how to get across what the book is about. In the next one, the novella follows a longer book, From Here to There. The couple's marriage started off a little badly-- with the bride asking for an annulment before the reception. The book moves from Boston to Montana and ranch living is at its heart along with the romance. 

A Montana Christmas continues the story of that family and takes that couple into what is effectively a long epilogue (novella at 27,000 words) about family and can it be healed when things have gone so wrong? Christmas was the right season, and I know a thing or two about ranch living, having lived on a small one for nearly 40 years. If you are interested in family dynamics and what ranch life is really like, you might enjoy this book. It isn't a new romance, although a new one is possible from some of its characters in the future.

The cover I had for A Montana Christmas was okay, but I like better this one that mixes the hope she feels with the work that never ends on a ranch. I used a purchased image for her, with photos I'd taken to create a painterly app for Montana ranch life.


Brig said...

I've loved all of this series that I've read to date. Now that I'm out of The book club I will read the rest of them.

Rain Trueax said...

Thank you, Brig. Hearing that from you means a lot :)