Last time Guest Blogger author of The Six Train to Wisconsin Kourtney Heintz graced EllaDee with a guest appearance, it was about Believing… in what you do, and putting in the work.
As K.C. Tansley, Kourtney writes “YA contemporary fantasy. None of the quests and knights sort of stuff. More like one foot in this world and one foot in the magical realm”.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
EKR’s words epitomise Kourtney, who as ever shares generously her process and here speaks to how beautiful book covers also do not just happen.
Click here for a Rafflecopter giveaway for The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts and here https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24991337-the-girl-who-ignored-ghosts to add it to your Goodreads To-Read list.
The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts will be available for Pre-Order May 2nd on Amazon.
Guest Blog: The Evolution of Cover Art
K.C. Tansley, author The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts
Every author worries about her cover art. Since the cover designer has only read the back cover summary, how can she/he possibly create a cover that conveys the tone, theme, and feel of the entire book? What if my cover is wrong for my story? What if my publisher doesn’t let me have any input? These are the fears that can eat away at an author.
Luckily, I got to work with an amazing team. The cover designer had a great eye for YA and paranormal/gothic covers. My editor loved the story and had a vision for the cover. My publisher had the final say over the design, but being a small press, my opinion mattered to them.
The design process started with a series of questions about the book, including a list of items that must be included in the cover. My publisher and editor both felt that the castle and the main character had to be featured because they wanted to play up the gothic elements of the story.
The cover designer read the back cover summary and our responses to her questions, and then came up with three concepts. Each featured a castle and girl but with very different tones and colors and images and fonts—three potential directions that we could take the cover in. Luckily, there was a clear winner and we easily agreed on the initial concept. Once we settled on that, the cover went through several iterations to get it to where it is now.
In an early version, there were snow-capped mountains in the backdrop, which worked for the tone of the book, but didn’t make sense because the story was set in the summer near the Connecticut shore. My editor and I explained why they had to be removed and they were.
Once we nailed down the background, we focused on the girl. The original girl on the cover had dark brown hair. Everyone agreed the pose was perfect but the hair was all wrong for Kat, our blonde protagonist.
Throughout the process, I learned that the cover is supposed to be a pastiche, a heightened version of the key elements of the book. At the same time, it cannot violate the story world.
So how do I feel about this cover? Absolute adoration! The designer captured the heart of the book. That girl embodies Kat. The eerie moonlight and the shadows surrounding the castle convey the tone. Even the fonts hint at the present day but with a touch of the past in the curly Ghosts font. The design encompass the time travel and mystery aspects of the story perfectly. I wouldn’t change a single thing about this cover!
Back Cover Summary
She tried to ignore them. But some things won’t be ignored.
Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut.
The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.
But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.
K.C Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, and three quirky golden retrievers on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables—spells, ghosts, time travel—and writes about them.
Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days. The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is her debut YA time-travel murder mystery novel.
As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.
You can find out more about her at: http://kctansley.com
“Happy” is my favourite word. “Believe” comes next. In Kourtney’s own words this is how it happens when you believe in what you do, and put in the work to give it legs.
I ran into Kourtney via her blog Kourtney Heintz’s Journal early in my foray into blogging, almost a year ago. From memory Wine Tasting in Connecticut? was where we really got acquainted, and we’ve been exchanging comments ever since. Kourtney’s Grandma H Moments posts are gold but it’s her Believing In The Unbelievables: My Life As An Aspiring Author journey that has engaged and inspired me. Kourtney took her professional business sense & skills, resourcefulness & dedication, and applied them to the process of Indie publishing her novel
The Six Train to Wisconsin. I’m so pleased to have been along for this ride. ♥EllaDee
100 thank yous to the lovely EllaDee for letting me take over her blog for the day! I’m an avid follower of her blog so it’s an honor to be here.
It’s funny how much my previous career in auditing trained me for this new one as an author. In auditing, you are always the most hated person in any room. Getting people to talk to you and answer your questions is a constant game of rejection. I learned to take “No” as an opening bid in an auction for information.
As a writer, when several agents rejected my query with a form letter, it hurt. I doubted myself. I questioned why I was doing this. Eventually, I accepted it as an indicator that the query needed work. When agents requested a partial and rejected it, I cried. Yes, cried. Rejection of something you put your heart and soul into hurts. It is a book to them; it’s so much more to the creator. But my logical side reared her head and said there were issues in the beginning.
When I got rejections on the full with personalized comments, it was bittersweet. I’d advanced another level, but I wasn’t there yet. It took me weeks to accept that this was a “No for now” and use their feedback to revise. By the time I was done, I’d rekindled the excitement. This new version would get a yes. It had to. I thought that every time I started submitting. Read the rest of this entry »