My Cover Designs
My cover designs are also available for viewing on deviantART.
Dead In L.A is a paranormal romantic mystery. My goal was to reference the style of classic pulp covers.
The gorgeous photograph of a frost covered glass gave this cover its overall tone. It's winter embodied.
Menage covers have added complications. The protagonist of The Hot Floor is a young glass blower who gets entangled with his next door neighbors.
Instead of trying to force three different photos of three different models into one image, I choose a more straightforward approach.
Samhain Publishing let me use my own cover design for my first novel with them. It made me extremely happy.
The book has a road trip, suspense, romance, and kinky sex. My inspiration for the cover was old movie posters and Saul Bass--mostly his use of geometric shapes and colors.
Finding the models who fit the characters in the story is often the hardest part of cover design. It's about more than just matching body types. Half Moon Chambers features a copule of protagonists with both strength and vulnerability, and my main goal was to get that across.
There is also a strong sensual aspect to the stroy, and I strove to convey it with the use of color and textures.
Overall, I'm very happy with the end result.
Josh Lanyon is busy self-publishing his back catalog, as the rights revert to him one by one. I had the honor and fortune to design covers for a couple of these books.
The Dark Horse is a romantic suspense, with a protagonist who's a young Hollywood actor, and much of the plot plays out in a Malibu beach house. My goal was to convey the mood and essence of the story without getting too pedantic about it.
The White Knight is a sequel to The Dark Night, so it was important that the two covers complement each other. The physical location of this story is a film set in Wales, but much of the plot unfolds in flashbacks. As matter of fact, Los Angeles has stronger presence in the novel. Thus the palm trees.
It was fun to design a new cover for this Josh Lanyon classic. Since Lanyon is such an established name, the cover doesn't have to put a heavy emphasis on the erotic aspect of the story. A Vintage Affair is about vintage wine, murder, and romance. The stained red texture embraces all three.
The danger of going for a very straightforward design is that it looks too easy, like you didn't make an effort. However, what matters is for the cover to serve the story. I believe this design captures the spirit of the novella.
There are also practical considerations. It's great to have a cover that looks gorgeous at 300 dpi, but it also has to be readable. recognizable, and eye-catching at thumbnail size.
Winter Warmers was a holiday anthology the five of us put together. Jo acted as editor and organizer, and I happily volunteered to do the cover.
This design is the result of a number of challenges: budget, the need to make the image pop against the white pages of Amazon, fitting all our names on it. I learned that some stock photo sites are better than others for gay-themed photos, but a picture of two hot guys in an intimate pose is never cheap.
I designed this cover for friend and fellow writer, Jo Myles, for his self-published book. The picture of the boats is one of her own photos.
With this cover I was looking for an alternative for the customary floating-torso covers. To be fair, there's a good reason they exist -- it's pretty hard to cram all that visual and written information into the predetermined space without it looking too crowded. On top of it, the cover has to be readable and recognizable at thumbnail size.
As Jo Myles got the rights back to a couple of shorts of hers, she asked me to make covers for her for self-publishing them. Since the stories feature the same couple, it made sense to have the same design. However, I didn't want them to match exactly.
The first story is about Jez and Steve meeting on the London underground.
The design has overlapping rhythms of color, motion and stillness.
In the second story knitting takes a center stage, which explains the title.
I kept the element of motion and blur, and Big Ben to signify the London location, but mixed them up a little. The same rhytms and colors are still there.
There will be a third cover, for a third story as well. It's been designed but won't final till next fall.
The cover for the third story follows the established pattern, with the element of reflection returning from the first in the series.
JL is a friend, and I was happy to help her out with a design, especially after reading the story. A Calling For Pleasure is a seriously hot and humorous novella featuring a male succubus -- or incubus, depending how you look at it.
JL already had the model picked out, and that made the creative process faster.
This cover is for a fun, Sexy short story by Anne Tenino. She came to me with the concept of a hunky shirtless guy with a tool belt. I took the initiative of "kicking it up a notch" -- as Emeril would say -- with the bright yellow and the contrasting blue. They match the playfulness of Anne's prose.
Kari Gregg's You Melted Me is an erotic romance short set in winter. It's not exactly Christmasy but there is definite holiday feel about it. It needed a crips, clean cover to convey the atmosphere of winter and the sexyness of the narrative.
This is another cover done for Kari Gregg. It's more conventional than some of the other designs, but this format is the most economic for presenting all the information traditionally present on m/m covers: protagonists, setting, and of course title an author. In this case the title being rather long created its own challenge. The application of the lightly decorative bookplate solved it, while giving the cover a faintly old-time feel -- appropriately so, since both the title and content makes references to Oscar Wilde's classic story.
Tomfoolery is a free short I wrote for the one year anniversary of Cup of Porn -- Mary Sexton and Heidi Cullinan's joint blog. The protagonist of the story registers high on the Nerd Meter; he has a fondness for comic books, anime, and owns a large number of limited edition vinyl figures -- toys for the layman. For the cover I decided to evoke the comic book style.
It's not something I'd do for a regular book -- for one thing the halftone pattern gets totally lost in thumbnail size -- but it was a fun thing to do for a freebie.
Clare London's short story is an unusual tale of an angel and a demon meeting in a dark alley on a rainy night. I chose to go an abstract route, and express the power and emotions of the story in the cover.