Have you met Dean Newman from Liquid Reality Studios? I don’t know how to explain Dean. He’s an incredibly talented graphic designer and technological wizard, and he’s also a guy that gets me – don’t hold that against him! He’s one of those rare people who understands what I’m talking about, even when I don’t. Which according to Dean is most of the time. Dean generally just lets me babble away over coffee, and then he does whatever he wants anyway. Maybe it’s the caffeine, but I’m always happy with what he creates. He’s been listening to me spout off about Protecting Parker for awhile now. I made him re-read the emails from the executive editor to see if I’d misread anything – and for once, I hadn’t. At some point it became obvious to both of us that he was going to be my publisher. I quit playing around, begged Marcia to be my editor, and got serious about finishing the book.
When we were in final edits it was time to talk about the cover. Dean and I have talked about book covers for years. We read a lot of the same things and both of us complain bitterly about the stock characters and poor design that we’ve seen. We were standing in Barnes and Noble one night laughing about two different authors one shelf away from each other having the same stock character cover. Only the hair and dress color were different. One morning Dean asked me what I had in mind for Parker, and I gave him the big duffus look that he’s come to expect from me before my second cup of coffee. Okay, he pretty much expects that look all the time, but he’s gotten really good at not showing it. Anyway, what I was able to tell him was that I wanted a desert motif, but no people. Simple, simple, simple. About an hour later he sent me the first draft of this cover. My total input was asking him to rotate the dog tags. The cover was done. Yes, Dean – I know you had to do a bunch of other stuff for it to meet your standards, but from the minute I saw that cover – I was in love with it. It was perfect!
Now, I would like to tell you that I had a clear vision of what I wanted, but it’s simply not true. I rarely know what I want unless it has to do with dessert. But Dean always seems to know what I want and produce it. Yes, he’s that good.
Bounce over to his site at www.liquidrealitystudios.com and have a look. Hit the about page and you’ll see all the stuff Liquid Reality Studios can do. Oh, and while you’re at it, check out his blog and read his take on eBooks and ePublishing.