Hi friends! We’ve got Manda Collins visiting with us today, as you can see! She was supposed to be here last Thursday too, but got a bit overwhelmed with her blog tour(s)? so she decided to condense. Which worked out for us, right? Because Myke Cole was here! We’ve got a totally different perspective about romance from Manda, which is also fun. So without further ado… Manda’s post as an AAD author!
One of the first aphorisms one learns as a child (and I’m not sure why) is that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. And as a grown up romance reader, I long ago realized that sometimes the books with the most deplorable or boring covers are the ones I most enjoy reading. Look at the original Fabio cover of Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm, for instance. There’s no way I could have known from looking at that prime bit of cheese that the tale inside would be one of my all time favorite romances.
When the time came to see my own cover for the first time, I have little shame in admitting that I teared up. In part because of the excitement of seeing my first book brought so starkly to life with real people in the key roles, but also with gratitude that it was so beautiful. And secure in the knowledge that I’d have no qualms about showing it to my romance-skeptic family and friends. What can I say? I blush easily. And I’m darn tired of defending the genre from the Fabio stigma. It’s been twenty years since he was on a cover, people! Move on!
One of the things I adore about my cover is that the hero’s face, Lucas I suppose I should call him, isn’t visible on the cover. I know that some people deplore the headless romance cover, but I have a huge affection for them. Mostly because I prefer not to have my own imagining of the hero and heroine interrupted with the faces of the cover models. And as I get older the cover models seem to get younger and younger.
So, with those thoughts in mind, here are a few of my favorite cover trends of the past few years, in no particular order:
1) Gowns! – Largely due to the advent of digital publishing, which requires there to be texture to set one cover apart from another, it is difficult to browse a row of historical romances without there being at least one cover showing the heroine in a billowing gown. I particularly love the richness of the colors in gown covers. Like this one of Cecilia Grant’s A Lady Awakened. The tone on tone, coupled with the nuances of the velvet gown make this one pop for me. Especially with the contrast of the heroine’s red hair against the backdrop.
2) Breaking the Fourth Wall – This is a term from theatre, that describes what happens when an actor speaks and looks directly at the audience. The first cover I can remember noticing that did this was Julia Quinn’s The Lost Duke of Wyndham which shows the heroine looking out at the reader. And lots of covers since, including my own, have followed the trend.
3) In the Middle of Things – These covers are those, like Eloisa James’ fairy tale novel covers, that seem to capture the heroine in the middle of things. The first fairy tale story, A Kiss at Midnight is an especially good example of this, as it shows the heroine running down the stairs, her glass slipper left behind. Another author whose covers follow this pattern are Kate Noble’s which often show the heroine racing off somewhere.
So, now I’ve told you what some of my favorite cover trends are, tell me some of yours! Do you prefer your hero and heroine with heads or without? Or perhaps you have some ideas about contemporary romance covers! Do tell! Inquiring minds want to know! One commenter will win a copy of How to Dance with a Duke.