I’m fascinated by the process of creating covers! I’m especially fascinated when the cover in question happens to be one of my covers. Last time I blogged, I introduced you to Stephanie and Leigh, Meant to Be Mine’s cover models. Today, I’m excited to share behind-the-scenes photos taken the day of the cover shoot.
Last September, when I learned that Meant to Be Mine’s shoot was approaching, I contacted cover designer, Jennifer Parker. I asked her if she’d be willing to snap some candids for me of the models and crew and she graciously agreed. Jennifer has designed all three of my covers so far, and to say that I’m grateful to her for her excellent work is a huge understatement.
For the shoot, the crew gathered at a farm near Minneapolis, Minnesota (where Bethany House is headquartered). In the below picture, Jennifer is standing alongside Paul Higdon, the Creative Director at Bethany House. The sheets of paper they’re holding were prepared by Jennifer, and they include information about the book’s plot, directions for the shoot, reference photos, sketches, ideas about lighting and mood.
Below is the rest of the crew. The woman in the black pants is the photographer’s assistant, the woman in white is the hair and make-up artist. The man you can hardly see (in the gray shirt) is photographer Mike Habermann.
About a year before a book’s release, Bethany House asks me for my cover ideas. For Meant to Be Mine, I submitted a picture of actress Ashley Greene as my heroine inspiration. Stephanie looks so much like that picture and exactly like the heroine of my imagination! In my cover idea notes, I also mentioned that my hero dresses in t-shirts and that it might be cute to put my heroine in a pair of cowgirl boots that feature in the story. As you can tell — he’s in a t-shirt and she has on cowgirl boots.
The below pose ended up on the spine of the book. You’ll notice that in real life Stephanie’s hair is dark brown. Jennifer lightened it for the cover shots and also changed Stephanie’s eyes from brown to green to make her look more like the character of Celia Park.
Look who was present at the shoot! My editor, Sarah Long.
Since the moment Sarah received the manuscript version of My Stubborn Heart from my agent, she has been a great supporter of my work. She’s kind, smart, genuine, encouraging. In a word: awesome. Last fall, she left publishing to take a full time position at her church. Pass the kleenex!
For more gushing about Sarah, see Meant to Be Mine’s dedication.
I love this shot, because it shows you how they set up the photograph that would eventually land on the book’s cover. As you can see, the photographer used a ladder to prop up special lighting and shoot downward on the couple.
Once Jennifer received the images from the shoot, she prepared several cover ‘mock-ups’ using different photos. Then the designers met with the editors involved in the project and together they decided which one they liked best. Here are a few of the mock-ups for Meant to Be Mine that didn’t quite make the grade….
This Friday, I’m signing off with a video! Melissa Tagg, Victoria Bylin, and I noticed that many readers of Christian Fiction are historical romance fans (aren’t we all?) who rarely dip their toes into the contemporary romance pool. So we put together a short and humorous ‘video tutorial’ about modern-day love stories.
I’m currently running a giveaway via my facebook page centered around this video, so I invite you to swing by my page. One lucky winner will receive three new books!
Have a great weekend! -Becky