Introducing…Dreaming of More

If you aren’t already aware, Dreaming of More releases on the 25th. That’s only two days away. Someone suggested that I take these next few days to introduce you to my book and tell you a little of the backstory. So this is me, telling you about the book.

We’ll start with the cover, because that’s the first thing you see when you look at the book, or come to my website.

It all started several months ago. I’d finished writing the book and had begun the self edits. Progress was slow, and while I was wasn’t working on that I had plenty of time to think about other things. Mainly what I wanted on the cover.

I came up with an idea and the artist I had lined up to do the cover art started work. I showed that picture to an author friend and as gently as she could, she told me it wouldn’t work. The picture was all wrong for the genre, and so was the title. So we went back to the drawing board.

We renamed it Dreaming of More. I started searching through piles of photos online, getting an idea of what I did and didn’t want; and looking for a picture that hit all my criteria. I finally found a picture I liked, and showed it to my artist. He agreed to do it, but he needed me to take a photo of what I wanted. He refused to copy a picture someone else had drawn and if I was going to get him to draw this picture, he was starting from scratch so it would be his picture. Copyright protection and all.

So I headed outside to find the closest, cooperative preteen, dressed her up in a nice, soft sweater and fuzzy mittens, gave her a mug to hold, and took some photos. This might not be remarkable in and of itself, but the book is set in winter and we took the photos in summer. Outside. In temperatures that had my poor model roasting within minutes.

Only for us to get the photos to my artist (who also happens to be my hubby, Josh)…and find that the angle was all wrong. I tried again, with a cooperative teen this time, because the person doing the modeling didn’t matter. I just needed a pair of hands in a pair of mittens holding a mug. In summer. Nothing to it, right?

I showed the second set of pictures to hubby. Still wrong. So this time he took matters into his own hands and took his own photos. Just four. Compared to my dozen or so. It really does help when you’re tall enough to get the right angle. He also wanted something other than the super fuzzy mittens, but this was as good as we could do.

Compliant preteen was not impressed, but she bore it well and let me forget about it after a week or two.

I had the original picture I’d found online to compare Josh’s picture to, and I had a good idea of what I wanted. I just couldn’t explain that in artistic terms. So he tried a few things. Like this:

Each time I’d hem and haw and let Josh know how I wanted it changed and then I’d go off and let him get back to work. He tried a few different things, looked for mittens online to use as a pattern guide, and finally designed his own. He also changed the style of the mittens a few times to see what combination worked the best.

At each step, I’d peek at what he was doing and I’m not proud of it, but I did have moments where I doubted that it would turn out the way I wanted it to. Because up to this point, none of the versions hit me with any hint of “this is it!”

But I waited and let Josh work. He scrapped the project three times and started over every time, each time ending with something that was a lot closer to the picture I had in my mind.

Now, if you know me at all, you’ll know I’m not an early riser. I can stay up all night, but no matter how much sleep I get, I can barely drag myself out of bed in the morning.

So, knowing that about me, it was no surprise hubby had been up for several hours before me one weekend. When I finally dragged myself out of bed, I found this waiting for me.

Not too shabby, is it? I love it! I love it far more than the original. You know, the picture I didn’t think he could compete with. Yes, I apologized for my lack of faith in his abilities!

A few weeks passed. Everyone I showed the cover picture to loved it, so that part was taken care of. Next up, we needed to design the cover. I thought we’d have to hire someone to do it, or trade work for work, but life happened, everyone was super busy, and that didn’t pan out. So, knowing I needed a cover and knowing this might be his last opportunity to devote an entire weekend to the project because work was going to be super busy for a while, Josh sat down and designed the cover. A friend had given me an idea of how it should be laid out, but the rest was up to him.

So we spent every spare moment reading what was and what wasn’t good for a romance novel cover (my contribution was sharing what I thought was right and I kind of think he might have ignored me, at least part of the time). Josh watched videos and gave himself a crash course in cover design, and he came up with something that I loved. I thought.

We went off to roast coffee and while we were working on that, I admitted that I preferred the first font we’d used, the one we’d changed because of the same issue he’d had to correct in the second font. I wasn’t too sure about admitting I wanted him to change it again, but he assured me it wasn’t too hard to change and if I wasn’t happy with it, he’d keep working on it until it was exactly how I wanted. (Yes, he’s a keeper for sure!)

We finished roasting coffee and after I shook the chaff out of my hair we headed back inside to “fix” the cover.

(Did you know you’ll smell like coffee for hours after you roast it—even if you don’t roll in the beans or anything? Hands, clothing…it permeates everything. It’s probably a good thing I like the smell!)

And that was when this was born:

I love it!