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Jeaniene Frost

Fix it! (How to turn CoverFail into Cover Win)

Fix it! (How to turn CoverFail into Cover Win)

Covers fascinate me and a lot of blogs do the cover thing like the classic and can’t be duplicated cover snark by the Smart Bitches and so I’ve never posted about bad covers here at Dear Author. Nor about good covers. But I love to talk about them so I thought I’d institute a new feature for Thursdays called Fix It in which we take on bad covers and talk about what could fix them (and what is wrong with them in the first place). I’m not very good at snarking so I’ll just tell you straight off what didn’t work for me. First, covers are just as important on the internet as they are in person. Second, covers move me to buy and can deter me from buying. They are that important.

First up is Jeaniene Frost’s cover, Eternal Kiss of Darkness. Ironically, the internet image of this book cover actually looks good. It’s when you see the cover in person that the shocking badness of the cover jumps out and shoots you in the eye.


(click for a better image of the paper cover).

The second cover is Lisa Ruff’s book Man of the Year. Jayne has consistently given Ruff’s books good reviews. Ruff’s latest publication, Baby Bombshell, was an August recommended reads. Yet, Man of the Year has to fall under #coverfail because of the so many things. The smirk is one. The apparent youth of the cover model (he looks like he is playing in the College World Series, at best). The hat that appears to have never been worn before (is this his first time at the rodeo?).   His awkward stance (the mound must be really uneven).   This book would have been a pass for me.

Thoughts about these covers? For me, to improve the Eternal Kiss of Darkness cover, you would just need to remove the fake pink blood that was slapped on the top.   For the second book, I think you need a new cover model. Or at the very least, a better hat.

My First Sale by Jeaniene Frost

My First Sale by Jeaniene Frost

j2Welcome to the My First Sale series. Each Friday, Dear Author posts the first sale letter of bestselling authors, debut authors, and authors in between. Jeaniene Frost burst onto the paranormal scene just three books ago with her Night Huntress series. The third and newest entry into the Bones / Cat saga, At Grave’s End, is available in stores starting December 30, 2009.

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Like most authors, I started out as a reader, but it wasn’t until I found my mother’s copy of Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small that I became an  avid  reader. From that book on, I started reading every romance I came across. I even measured my allowance in terms of how many books it could buy.  

My other love from an early age was horror movies. Vampires quickly became my favorite creature, to the point that I always rooted for Dracula to win over Van Helsing. My love of the paranormal was a bit of an oddity in my family. When we came home from school, my sisters would watch soap operas, but I’d watch  Tales From the Crypt  and then read one of my romance novels. *grin* My books probably make a lot more sense now to those who’ve read them.  

006158307301lzzzzzzzI always knew I wanted to write my own novel, but I’m a classic procrastinator. I started working full-time right after high school and got married at nineteen. My writing dream was put on hold while I juggled bills, work, the challenges of being married young, and saving for a home. A few months before I turned thirty, however, I realized just how long I’d let my dream languish. Around the same time, the idea for a novel based on my favorite creature came to me, but with a small twist; my heroine was half-human, half-vampire. I kept turning that idea around in my head, expanding on it, and at last did the thing that had eluded me for over a decade – sat down and began to write.

Typing "the end" on that first book personified a dream realized. In fact, once I’d quit talking about writing and started  doing  it, I realized I loved writing just as much as reading. I loved it so much that I immediately wrote the second book in the series. Then the third. Then started the fourth-at which time my husband said, "Honey, shouldn’t you see if your first book will sell, instead of just writing more in the same series?" Good point. After a lot of research and nervousness, I started querying agents.  

What I soon learned once I began querying was that typing "the end" on a first draft was wishful thinking. The more rejection letters I got, the more I revised my first novel. Each revision was a priceless learning experience, though, and I loved how my story became stronger and my character’s voices clearer. It took several revisions after that initial draft until an agent signed me, but at last, my book was being submitted to editors.    

Three months after my novel went out on submission, I was at work when my agent emailed to say that Harper Collins had offered me a two-book deal. My boss came running at my scream, no doubt expecting a calamity of some sort, only to have me point at my email and say, "Read that out loud so I know I’m not imaging it." It was more than a dream come true for the girl who’d grown up loving romance novels, vampires, and horror movies.  

My first novel, Halfway to the Grave, hit the shelves on October 30th, 2007. It also hit the New York Times (extended) and the USA Today bestseller lists. I’ve sold several books since then and today I am a full-time writer, gleefully immersing myself in stories of vampires, romance, action, and danger. Turns out, my "oddities" as a teen were just research for my future job.