Saturday, May 18, 2013

Welcome Chris T. Kat and a giveaway!


Hey guys! Come on in and join us. :) Looks like summer is here in the South, lol. Today I have my good friend Chris T. Kat here on the blog! She's talking about the importance of book covers, and she's doing a giveaway of her latest release from Dreamspinner called The Caveman and the Devil.


To enter the giveaway: Leave a comment saying which you prefer: Drawn covers or photo stock covers. Make sure to leave me an email address too! The giveaway will end May 20th, and I'll announce the winner here, on FB, and Twitter.

 
 
Why are book covers so important? 

Michelle, thank you very much for having me on your blog! I'm excited to share my new release The Caveman and the Devil, with you and your readers. Dreamspinner Press published it on May 1st. 

Hello, my name is Chris T. Kat, and I'm addicted to fantastic book covers. We all have a preference for certain book covers and drawn covers hook me most easily. I can't explain why; maybe because I loved reading mangas and enjoyed their style, maybe it's because these covers are always unique, or maybe it's because drawn covers can illustrate whatever scene I have in mind.

Of course I've bought books with photo covers but what really catches my eyes are the drawn ones. I'm lucky enough to be published with Dreamspinner Press, who have some amazing cover artists. Paul Richmond created the cover for The Caveman and the Devil.

The book cover is the first thing a potential reader will see and since there are so many books published every day it's hard to get noticed. A lot of books in our genre (m/m) display naked torsos and maybe have some kind of background. This can be very appealing but these covers don't do a thing for me. Like I said above, it's all about preferences.

So, what do I want the cover to show? So far most of my book covers have shown the two main characters and maybe an important secondary character or an animal that plays an important role in this particular story. I'm not a fan of overly dark colors, which is why I don't want much black on them. Again—this is just my preference.

The cover artists I've worked with so far (Anne Cain, Shobana Appavu, Paul Richmond) have always conveyed the atmosphere of the stories. The covers for Seizing It and the sequel Too Good to be True? show very romantic scenes. The cover for A Purrfect Match shows the main characters Jim and Andrew together with Andrew's son Tony and conveys a very tender, loving scene.

I could go on and on but I'll concentrate on The Caveman and the Devil's cover. I wanted a rather domestic scene for this book but I also wanted it to convey how at ease Paul and Noah with each other. The lion cubs are the dot on the i and lend the scene a touch of tenderness and cuteness. But judge for yourself:


This is a continuation of Paul and Noah's story “Cuddling Up”, which is included in Dreamspinner's Animal Magnetism Anthology.

 

Blurb:
The animals at the Philadelphia Zoo brought zookeepers Paul and Noah together, but now they might tear them apart. When a bloodthirsty lioness stalks her cubs, Noah charges into her enclosure without regard for his own safety. Luckily, a coworker catches his mistake and saves the day. It’s not the first time Noah’s rushed in on impulse, and he still carries scars from the last time.

Paul can’t pretend nothing happened. Frustrated, he tries to comfort Noah, but he can’t get past his anger. As head keeper of the big cats, Paul must report the incident and figure out how to keep his reckless lover safe. Somehow he has to make Noah see that his carelessness could cost him his job or his life—and maybe Paul too. 
 

Excerpt from Chapter Three:
Once inside the bathroom I inspected my reflection in the mirror. I looked exhausted but also ready to pop a vessel. Since the sight wasn't all that inviting, I turned away. I hadn’t even opened the first button of my shirt when the bathroom door opened. It was all I could do not to snap at Noah. Was it too much asked to have some alone time so I could calm down? I hoped he'd get the hint if I didn’t stop with my task at hand.

Noah, being Noah, either didn't understand the silent treatment or ignored it. If I would bet I'd put my money on the second option. He walked around me until he stood in front of me and since I didn't trust my voice, I chose to glower at him.

“Hey, Caveman, are you mad at me?”

“Me?” I asked, feigning surprise. “Whatever gave you that impression?”

“You are mad.” He wrinkled his nose as his searching gaze flitted over my face. He was clearly puzzled by my behavior. “Why?”

“Why? Why? Seriously? You’re seriously asking why I’m mad at you?”

“Yes, dear almighty Caveman, I’m seriously asking why you’re mad at me! I didn’t do anything wrong!”

Utterly baffled, I forgot all about what I was doing or what I had intended to do. I stared down at Noah, my lover, the man I’ve loved for almost a year now. Incredulous, I croaked, “You didn’t do anything wrong today? Is that right?”

The light bulb slowly went on for Noah. Of course, he immediately lunged into defense mode. “I just wanted to get the cubs out of there!”

“You went into Kiara’s compartment without waiting for the inner door to be locked! She had just killed two of her cubs and was in the process of killing the other two!”

“She had walked into the other compartment!” Noah protested.

“But the separating door wasn’t closed yet!” I shouted, eventually losing the fight with my emotions.

“He locked the door right after I was inside.”

“Yes, and she came back and jumped against it, roaring. What if Trent hadn’t managed to lure her away?”

“But he did. Don’t be such a nitpicker all the time.”

I could hardly breathe. The memory of Noah crouching in Kiara’s compartment, cooing at the two surviving cubs in the middle of a bloodbath, raised the hairs on my arms again. Nausea rolled through me, sweeping me up. It could have been over today.
 

Chris T. Kat
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there's any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.
 

Links:



 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ChrisTKat

41 comments:

  1. Generally I prefer drawn covers, but stock covers can be excellent too, if they're well done.
    The bad stock covers - lurid fonts and the almost-compulsory 'floating' torsos - really bug me.
    An example of a recent good stock cover is 'Pup' by SJD Peterson. Yum!
    Drawn covers can bomb, but are less likely to as they are usually produced to the author's descriptions of the characters.
    I have some favourite artists, especially Anne Cain & P.L. Nunn.
    Please count me in the draw :)

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    1. I love Anne Cain's work too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I absolutely prefer drawn covers. I hate when the book mentions the MC's blue eyes and the cover photo clearly has brown eyes. And drawn covers that include animals are the best! I've bought books just for the drawn cover before, esp. P.L.Nunn.

    skadlec1@yahoo.com

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    1. I think we're very much on the same page! :)

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  3. I like both types of covers if true to story.Count me in please.

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  4. Stock photo Covers are more personal and brings the sexiness out more-so than drawn ones. The only drawback I find is when the descriptions of the MC's don't equate that of the cover, it could be quite a disappointment. But what matters most is the story, right? As long as I enjoy the story, nothing else matters as much. There are some fantastic covers out there. The ones that I find mostly distasteful are the ones done on a computer where the faces are totally comical. Not sexy at all!

    Zeoanne
    zeoanne at gmail dot com

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    1. I don't like it either when the cover doesn't match the description of the characters. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. As someone with both a digital imagery and traditional arts background and a budding cover artist, I appreciate a well-designed cover of whatever stripe, though personally I prefer classic, drawn/painted images. "The Caveman and the Devil" straddles both, being a very expert composition with photographic base elements. I like the shading, which gives it almost a retro feel while still absolutely contemporary; a book you want to pick up and touch.

    It all depends on the content; any cover that sensitively and effectively encapsulates why I'd want to read what's inside is a work of art, whether deliriously detailed (think Josh Kirby's illustrations for Terry Pratchett) or just a face (but what a face... Oliver Frey's cover for Roger Kean's 'Felixitations') or even abstract.

    Cheers, Goesta

    goestas@gmail.com

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    1. I'll have to check out the covers you mentioned! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Hopefully this doesn't end up a duplicate post. My first one seems to have disappeared into the ether.

    I like both drawn and stock covers. They both depend on the quality. Drawn covers are great because you can a more accurate picture of what they characters look like if the author works with the artist and if you have a good artist. Stock photos can also big good but I echo what others have said that it sucks if the cover doesn't match the character description in the book.

    Karl
    slats5663(at)shaw(dot)ca

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    1. Karl, thanks a lot for stopping by and weighing in on the topic.

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  7. I like both types of covers. My favorite covers are ones that fit the books they are on. My favorite cover is probably the one for TJ Klunes Into This River I Drown. It was haunting and dreamlike which I thought suited the book perfectly.

    Traci K
    tracikurtz@att.net

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    1. I like the covers that fit the story best too.

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  8. I like both (unless the stock photo is one I've seen EVERYWHERE), although I'm leaning toward drawn. Sam Kadence's EVOLUTION is a pretty one lately!

    vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

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  9. I like them to fit the story.

    gisu29(at)gmail(dot)com

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  10. I like the drawn covers. But, honestly, since I now buy almost all my books digitally the blurb usually draws more attention than the cover...
    Danielle
    dandatins at yahoo dot com

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    1. That's interesting to know, thank you!

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  11. I like both as long as they go with the story. I hate reading a book and it talk about the hero having short black hair and you look at the cover and he's got long blonde hair. I think I like drawn a little bit more though.
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

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    1. Sherry, thanks a lot for stopping by!

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  12. I like both types of covers as long as they fit with the story and look good. I am the type of person who looks at the cover first to decide if I want to buy or read a book, before looking at the blurb. Unattractive covers will put me off every time.

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    1. I haven't bought books with unattractive covers too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. I think it's intertesting to think about how much a cover can affect your choice to click on it on a site to see what it is about. It really makes me understand why the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover' was created. I honestly think that drawn covers are great if done well enough. If I were a writer, I'd be thrilled to have something that is unique to my book on the cover. I think the only pitfall there is that it can look 'cartoon' like if not done well. The pitfall for stock covers is the thought that the same picture of a character could possibly end up on another book.
    The reality is, we're looking for an appealing picture b/c we don't know the story...so either way, it should be a hot look, especially with erotic literature. I always find it to be a treat when I'm done reading and can say 'Wow, that cover captures the picture that the writer's words drew in my mind.' And my mind likes to draw hot characters lol.
    Good Luck Chris! I hope to check out your book!
    Cannd
    cden23@aol.com

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    1. Thanks a lot for stopping by and weighing in on the topic, I appreciate it! :)

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  14. For my own stories, I've stated my preference for photo stock covers... but only if they're going to portray what the story is about. Like so many others, I dislike the stock torso image covers because, really?, all romance books will likely include a naked torso at some point.

    I've been hesitant about the drawn covers—and I was really happy with the photo cover than my book The Flame received—but the more I see some of those great ones the more I'm willing to give them a try. Maybe for my next book.

    Anyway Chris since I read and loved your contribution to Animal Magnetism I'm excited for the chance to read more about those two. Count me into the drawing: jayeskylar@gmail.com. :D

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and weighing in on the topic, Skylar! Good luck!

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  15. I prefer well used stock photos to illustration, but Paul Richmond's work is so distinctive. It is delightfully anachronistic, classic era magazine illustration from the 1940s and 50s. It doesn't actually matter whether covers have illustration are photos--good design and type are more important. I am a cover junky, and I'm happy to see the gradual decline of MM covers with headless waxed torso and hideous typography. It's not the type of image tha tatters, its how the designer uses it, and how it works in the layout. If you can't design, don't do covers. It's not as easy as some people seem to think.
    Urb
    brendurbanist @gmail. com

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    1. Thanks a lot for stopping by and letting us know how you feel about stock cover photos vs drawn cover photos, Brenda!

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  16. I really like drawn covers, because the illustrator can really use his / herimagination and talent and combine it perfectly with the story. I think it makes for a more interesting and intimate book cover!

    carolina.sbento@gmail.com

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    1. I'm very fond of drawn covers too. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. I like both kinds when they are well done and actually seem to sync with the story. I probably am usually more quickly drawn to stock photo covers just for the realism, but I have seem some very sexy devils that were rendered by an artist's hands.

    email: abbylucinda@yahoo.com

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    1. I think most people like both kind of covers as long as they fit the story and are created in a professional manner. Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. I like drawn covers when their cartoonish or animated! :)

    S-l-robinson@hotmail.com

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  20. I like both types really, stocks photos can be quite good cover; although drawn felt more original in a way.

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    1. Thanks a lot for stopping by and weighing in on the topic. Good luck!

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  21. I prefer drawn covers although there are some really wonderful photo covers ones too.

    strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

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  22. I like drawn covers! Sometimes they are not always done well but most times they are amazingly beautiful

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