Hi, Lisa, Happy Halloween! Thank you for hosting my exclusive “Trick or Treat” cover reveal on TNA, I am so very happy to be here! I hope your readers will find nothing but treats here with the reveal of my shiny new cover, an interview with the very talented cover artist, Natasha Snow, and a giveaway for a FREE ARC e-copy of WET, HOT, AUSTRALIAN CHRISTMAS!
Title: Wet, Hot, Australian Christmas
Author: A.V. Sanders
Page/Word Count: 11,000 words
Release Date: December 16, 2015
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Genre: Contemporary Gay M/M Romance
Blurb: Reid, an American shark research scientist, is in Perth, Australia working to develop a mobile app that may revolutionize shark safety practices. But even the company of his boyfriend, Graham, isn’t enough to stave off homesickness as Christmas approaches, and a missing shark and Graham’s struggling business seem set to ruin the holiday for good.
PREORDER Buy Link and Goodreads Add Link:
Judging Books by Their Covers… an interview with Natasha Snow, by A.V. Sanders
AV: Sitting down with Ms. Snow just a few days before Halloween is definitely a ‘TREAT’! Thank you so much for joining me on The Novel Approach. So, speaking about your beautiful covers, how did you first come to start working with Less Than Three Press (LT3)?
NS: Well, it’s been over a year now since I’ve been with LT3 Press, and honestly, I’ve loved every second. I couldn’t ask for a better publisher to work with. They are professional, but personable, and I hope I get to work with them for years and years. :)
So, awhile back I was looking to work with a publisher, and I really liked LT3 covers. I decided to email Megan Derr [LT3 CEO] and asked her to look at my portfolio. It’s been all up hill since!
AV: Some of the aspects of your covers I love most is the way you use depth, color, and light. Can you tell me a little bit about your process when using these design elements in your work?
NS: Oh, boy. I could nerd out on focal points and composition and all that other crap I learned in school, but I’ll basically say, most of what I’ve learned about what looks good comes from practice. A lot. When I first began designing covers, I didn’t know nearly as much as I know today. It took a lot of playing around with elements, shapes, colors, lighting, and depth to really figure out what looked good to me.
My best advice for anyone looking for a cover design or designing their own cover, is to pick one focal point. A scream is most startling when it’s heard in silence, not when there’s a room of people shouting at the top of their lungs. Viewers are smart. Readers are smart. They’ll appreciate “afterthought” elements on the cover.
AV: I’ve always admired how LT3 covers tend to be more representational of the love stories inside them, not follow a typical “romance book cover” formula. How do you go about selecting the ideas and images that are going to be representing these stories?
NS: Yes! I agree! When I initially approached LT3 about working with them, one thing I admired most was how they usually don’t use models on their covers.
When I receive a cover request from Meg, she gives me the blurb, what the author asked for (if anything) and then she’s very helpful about giving me her input on what she thinks might look good on the cover. I tend to follow that direction. I find this process works really well for me, because the author and editor will know the story better than me.
But to answer your question a bit more! I like the idea of taking elements from the story, not just characters. Nine times out of ten, if the reader knows the author is writing an M/M romance, they’ll know two guys are involved. I don’t feel like the cover always needs to represent that.
AV: I know that you’re a fan and supporter of the LGBTQ literary community, even a dedicated book reviewer! What are some of the things you particularly like about reading and working with queer lit?
NS: Ah, you must’ve seen my Goodreads profile! :) I’m not sure my fellow unicorns would label me ‘dedicated’ as a reviewer though. Lol. :) I’m really terrible and have almost no time to read and review anymore. :(
One thing I love about working on queer book covers is that I get to work with some authors I’m a huge fan of, or others I haven’t heard of until I design their cover, read their blurb, and realize I’d love to read their story!
I also think it helps to be passionate about what you’re designing. I’ve designed book covers in almost every genre and honestly, I love the variety. But my bread and butter is queer romance. It’s a comfortable place for me because I know the genre from the opposite end of the scale. I want the cover I design not only to reflect the story, but to sell books. On the other side, because I’m also a consumer, I know what I look for when purchasing books. I find it helps!
AV: You have a wonderful talent and eye for digital design. What are some of your favorite places or things to look at and appreciate in the real world?
NS: Thank you! :)
I’m not a nature buff, and honestly, I don’t even like being outside. I live in Canada. It’s cold all of the time, and usually, spring is just watching dead things look slightly less dead.
I find inspiration in books, usually. Or music. I like looking online at other book covers and wondering how I could do something like what that designer has done. I also play a lot of video games, so that probably helps the creative juices flow.
AV: You have a day-job as a graphic designer—would you like to be a full-time cover designer in the future, or does it stay fun as work on the side?
NS: I do! And I would! It’s my dream to one day be a full-time book cover designer. I think I’m on my way. It’s odd to think that it was a little under a year and a half ago I designed my first book cover. I’m so happy and thankful to have found my niche!
I currently work with a few publishers, and couldn’t be happier with the direction I’m moving. Working with wonderful publishers and with all the amazing self-published authors is like a dream come true.
AV: What a great interview! Thanks again, Natasha. I hope we get to see more and more of your work in our literary community. <3
Now, while I haven’t met a Natasha Snow cover I haven’t liked, here are some of my favorites she’s designed for Less Than Three Press. Give them a click to read the full blurbs—these books represent talented LGBTQ authors in a variety of exciting genres!
“LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP” edited by Michael Jay Anthology of wolves, fairies, ghosts, monsters, lost campers, witches… Fiction is rife with tales of what happens to travelers who ignore warnings and venture deep into dark and mysterious woods… and occasionally about what comes out of them. Identity: Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans
Buy the Book HERE
“A WINTER IN ROME” by Francis Gideon Craig never feels like he’s as successful and settled as those around him—especially his lovers, Alan, an art professor he met while in college, and Sybil, who tutored him throughout his Italian class. When Alan goes to Rome the only grounding point becomes the corkboard of memories Craig creates for the three of them. By the time Alan returns, and has started to fall for Sybil, Craig is worried that there may be no place left for him. Identity: Poly, Bi, Gay, Genderqueer
Buy the Book HERE
“THE EMPTY ROOFTOP” by Lily MacPherson Anya Jameson, FBI agent turned consultant, is working a series of brutal murders in Cayce, North Carolina. The only thing linking the victims is that they all came from some of society’s most vulnerable groups of people, and all were in search of new beginnings. On a crowded New York street Anya stumbles into up and coming race car driver, Tommi, who unexpectedly coaxes Anya out of years of solitude. But love and murder are not a good combination, and the investigation—or the killer—may tear the new lovers apart. Identity: Lesbian, Bi
Buy the Book HERE
“NOTCH IN YOUR BELT” by Kayla Bain-Vrba Wyatt’s first album launched him into country music stardom, but now he has to record his second album, and all efforts are coming up blank. His manager sends him inspiration: Bryce, who played keys on Wyatt’s tour, and is the man Wyatt’s secretly in love with. Bryce has been in love with Wyatt too, but everyone knows he’s a notorious player. Then Wyatt unexpectedly admits his feelings, and Bryce thinks maybe he’s been wrong this whole time. But when he wakes up the next morning, Wyatt is gone… Identity: Gay
Buy the Book HERE
“THE FORBIDDEN ZONE” by Victoria Zagar When Julian accepts an invitation to study the dying planet of Valeria, all he sees is another assignment. Valeria’s ban on romantic and sexual unions seemed trivial, even the supervision by the Sisters, an advanced A.I., was a negligible point. When the situation proves to be more difficult than anticipated, Julian finds a lifeline in Saidan, a warm, emotional individual in a world of passive expression and uniformity. Working together, they discover the Sisters had a much more sinister reason for inviting Julian there… Identity: Gay
Buy the Book HERE
“THE PEACH AND THE POPPY” by Caesar J.M. Kauftheil After a breakup Poppy goes on a trip to Paris. She encounters a beautiful stranger, but it proves to be the only good part of her day. She tries to appreciate Paris, but Poppy can’t help but feel something is lacking. When her best friend suggests she needs a fling to clear away her ex for good, Poppy approaches the beautiful stranger to be her tour guide. The trip draws to an end, and Poppy realizes that in seeking a cure for heartache, she may have just made the problem worse… Identity: Lesbian
Buy the Book HERE
“WITCHES AND WOLVES” by Kelly D. Smith A quiet life in the woods suits Tory. She can focus on her witchcraft without the noise of the city, and her only visitor is her ex-boyfriend. One night, Tory opens the door to a wolf who curls up into her bed. Tory lets the wolf sleep, and has no complaints when the morning reveals her to be a beautiful woman. New to being a wolf, and still learning control, Gee eagerly accepts when Tory offers to help. But not everyone approves of werewolves, and Gee isn’t the only new visitor to the woods… Identity: Lesbian, Bi
Buy the Book HERE
You can connect with Natasha Snow around the web and on her website at natashasnow.com
About the Author: A.V. Sanders loves and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She shares her home with her husband, two cats, and tropical aquarium fish. She is an avid hoarder of Halloween decorations and inconsequential information. When writing science fiction, mystery, and horror with LGBTQ main characters, she can be found staying up all hours of the night listening to endless sets of EDM music. She is an advocate of love, art, animals and frivolous acts of beauty. She also has a growing suspicion that not causing harm to one another is what matters in the end.
Connect with A.V. Sanders:
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