Thursday, May 26, 2011

Thursday Think Tank: Why Lex Valentine is Amazing

Today I want you to think about using resources wisely. I'm a writer. I know from creative doodling. The rest can be learned, or delegated to subject matter experts. What I know about the publishing process, however, might fill a thimble. 

If it happened to be a very small thimble. 

So, my first attempt at writing a cover art request was a flop. Don't bust out the hankies for a sob fest yet though. This is the part where --*thank you mum for teaching me it's okay to be wrong or ignorant as long as I'm working to change that*-- I get to show my intelligence by admitting I was out there flapping in the wind...

The very talented Lex Valentine of Winterheart Design tried to follow my very exacting *read as ridiculous* cover art request, and the result was hideous.

But glory and hallelujah, I'm not too proud to say I've mucked things up, and Lex is...well, amazing at what she does. I shot off a bunch of  rapid *read as half crocked* ideas about how to fix it at her in a flurry of emails. 

Lex outlasted my bit of panic. She didn't get petulant when I told her I didn't like the cover, opting instead for the wholly professional route of explaining some of the perimeters of the medium she works with so I could have a better grasp of what was possible. Then she gave me some suggestions. 

I listened, cause Lex knows way more than I do about cover art, and how to put it together. Then she selected about a hundred photos for me to look at as possibilities. Let me tell you, it was a blast to be able to tell a friend who called last night that I was working when I was cruising through pics of yummy pretties.

Looking at pictures of beautiful boys as part of my job is so not a hardship, lol. Just nice work if you can get it.

I picked one of the ones she'd given me to chose from as my favorite, and told her I loved it. In fact, I think I told her I thought it was smoking hot, and reminiscent of Christie & Robert's "Sex at Symphony" scene. She agreed it was hot, and then within a matter of hours had cooked up the beauty of a cover now on display. 

Lex is truly a joy to work with, patient and accommodating without being afraid to tell an author what she really thinks. She was the one who told me what I was originally asking for was just too busy visually to be hot. Smart, smart lady.

Not unlike my story editor, another resource I am learning to use wisely. But that's a different story. Today is dedicated to the wonder of my lovely cover, and the brilliance of Lex Valentine the cover artist who created it. 

And a little bit about how she gracefully taught me something new about publishing.

Thanks Lex. You really do rock.


  1. I'll never forget that Lex did a mock cover for me, for a story I was writing, to encourage and inspire me. For no reason, just to encourage me to write.
    It has been such a precious thing to me.
    Yeah, she rocks.

  2. I was so touched by her taking the time to teach me something I can use to make a more reasonable cover art request for my next book. I'm definitely a fan.


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