The Novel Approach is please to welcome Lillian Francis on the Theory Unproven blog tour. Enjoy Lillian’s guest post and excerpt from the book, then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win a $15 Gift Card at Amazon or ARe, and two free e-books.
Wishes do come true Or How I got to work with Meredith Russell
I first met Meredith on the same day I finally met RJ in person. They were manning the desk at the UK Meet in Bristol and, having arrived alone, they took pity on me and let me tag along at coffee breaks and lunchtime.
When book signing time came around, with no paper books to offer to the masses, Meredith and I left RJ to her hordes of adoring fans and went off for a wander around the conference room.
As we passed various tables strewn with row upon row of shiny, unblemished books Meredith started pointing out covers that she had designed and put together. I was more than a little awestruck, and impressed enough to demand why she hadn’t set up a stall with samples of her work.
On returning home one of the first things I did was to check out Meredith’s portfolio. I vowed that should I ever self-publish any of my work, she would be my artist of choice. We emailed on another matter and I mentioned how I could see her style working perfectly for the cover of Theory Unproven.
You can imagine my delight when I signed the contract with Love Lane Books and found that Meredith would be my cover artist. We both already had an inkling of what I wanted and her first draft apparently grabbed the ideas out of my head and put them on a book cover in front of me. The only things that needed tweaking were the models we planned to use for Tyaan and Eric.
One weekend, a flurry of emails, and itchy eyes from looking at far too many muscly, unshaven blonds and cheeky dark-haired guys and we’d pinned down the two models (not literally, although I wouldn’t complain).
Two days later and the final version appeared in my emails almost exactly as I had envisioned it in my head while writing the book.
For readers, while they can remember authors they enjoyed, can the same be said for cover artists?
Do you really notice the names of hard working individuals who have to put up with picky authors being precious about their characters’ appearance? (Picky? Me? Yeah, I actually dropped this gem on Meredith: ‘Long haired blond guy is one of those models that freaks me out. He’s got this strange stare thing going on.’)
Or do you have a favourite cover artist?
Blurb: Working with elephants in their natural habitat has always been Eric Phillips dream. Getting what he’s always desired introduces him to Tyaan Bouwer, the bush pilot that flies in his supplies, and Eric discovers the allure of South Africa goes beyond the wildlife and the scenery.
But in an area where bushveld prejudices and hatred bleed across the borders, realising their love will be a hard fought battle. Keeping hold of it might just kill them.
Buy links will appear at Love Lane Books
Excerpt: Eric took the opportunity to study the flesh exposed to him, smoother and a shade lighter than the hairy tanned skin on the top of Tyaan’s forearms, with a dark blue vein that stood out at the wrist. Muscle and tendons shifted beneath the skin and then, just as he was considering leaning forward to place his lips on Tyaan’s pulse point, the vision disappeared. Tyaan took a step away, his eyes wide, and for a moment Eric thought he glimpsed trepidation in their amber depths, but he didn’t have the time to process what he’d seen.
“The sun’s a killer in these parts,” Tyaan said, as if the last few sexual-tension-filled minutes had never happened. “Always wear your hat.”
Unsure of how to respond, Eric nodded mutely.
“A drop means that I land the plane.” Tyaan flicked his thumb over his shoulder in a completely unnecessary gesture, which Eric would have called him on but for the impression that Tyaan was attempting to cover his awkwardness. It didn’t help that Tyaan appeared to be addressing his comments to a point just over Eric’s left shoulder. “You’ll need to be here to meet me to load your vehicle and sign the docket.”
Yeah, the delivery. Eric had completely forgotten about that. On the crates and boxes to his right, Eric noticed a clipboard and pen. Moving over to the pile of supplies, Eric checked that the number of crates on the delivery note matched the ones piled in front of him and signed his name with a flourish.
“All done.” In an attempt to get back that unexpected intimacy, Eric glanced back over his shoulder. Tyaan’s gaze seemed to skitter away from Eric’s general direction. He turned to face Tyaan again, then handed him the clipboard. “Sorry. For being late. Not knowing procedure.”
The pilot’s eyes searched him out again, maybe drawn by the sincerity of his words—he truly was sorry—and Eric held the gaze for as long as Tyaan would allow.
About the Author: An avid reader, Lillian Francis was always determined she wanted to write, but a ‘proper’ job and raising a family distracted her for over a decade. Over the years and thanks to the charms of the Internet, Lillian realized she’d been writing at least one of her characters in the wrong gender. Ever since, she’s been happily letting her ‘boys’ run her writing life.
Lillian now divides her time between family, a job and the numerous men in her head all clamouring for ‘their’ story to be told.
Lillian lives in an imposing castle on a wind-swept desolate moor or in an elaborate ‘shack’ on the edge of a beach somewhere depending on her mood, with the heroes of her stories either chained up in the dungeon or wandering the shack serving drinks in nothing but skimpy barista aprons.
In reality, she would love to own a camper van and to live by the sea.