Cover Photo Shoot

This December, between parents visiting from the States, boat tours in Stockholm and northern lights in Kiruna, we did the photo shoot for the cover of Book Three in the Crowns & Ash Series!

I use the word “we” loosely here because I mostly control the Spotify playlist and help Phong with hair and makeup–which he is capable of doing on his own. He is a man of many talents.

Linn Arvidsson has done the last two covers for the series and set up the shoot. We hauled bags of props, clothes, makeup, flowers, and cake into the studio and followed her directions. One of the flashes was acting up, seeming only to work when any one of us stared directly at it. She took dozens of pictures while we tried different poses and outfits and the results were AMAZING! Unfortunately, I can’t share those. So, you’ll have to settle for my pictures taken on the sidelines.

Getting this kind of involvement with the cover process, and seeing Linn and Phong work, has been a delight–one I understand to be pretty rare for authors.

I am trying to nail Linn down for an interview as a cover artist/photographer. Hopefully that will be gracing the blog this year!

 

Quotes from the shoot.

Cheryl: What’s your best side?

Phong: Right.

Two hours and tons of photos later. Looking through the pictures that ended up being mostly of his left side.

Phong: Huh. Guess they’re both good. *smug grin*

 

Special thanks to got2b glued hairspray. Seriously, Phong uses it exclusively and I’ve even known him to order it online and send to friends we’re going to visit so it’ll be there when he arrives. Pretty much everyone that loves us has a bottle of got2b waiting for him. And for good reason! It works.

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My first book published was not the first written.

Vanity in Dust was my first published novel BUT it was the fifth book I wrote.

There’s this idea about writers churning out a perfect novel and that being the end of it. And for someone, somewhere, I’m sure that’s true. But for most of us, we have more stories to write than we’ll ever have time to put into words and writing, like any other art, is something that gets better with practice. I learn new things with every book. The first few mostly taught me how to go about writing and finishing a story.

Originally I was writing high fantasy–the kind with sword clanking, thrones at war, and lots of betrayal. I read a lot of fantasy as a kid so it was naturally where I went with my own writing. Fantasy has always been my go-to genre. When I walk into a library or a bookstore, I go straight for Fantasy. It’s my anchor, and my comfort zone. I didn’t even try anything else until I joined a writing site when I was seventeen and started branching out. After that, I tried writing urban fantasy. And then, after FOUR BOOKS, I wrote Vanity in Dust, which is somewhere between high fantasy and urban fantasy. It’s a purely fantasy world, but far from medieval inspired, with modern themes and technology all powered by magic.

Even Infernal, the island horror I have coming out soon, isn’t the first horror novel I wrote. My first tries were just that–a try. Not a failure, because it moved me closer to getting it right, but not a win either.

This isn’t to say that the books I wrote before the ones published have been tossed aside (though a couple definitely have been). Some just haven’t found their place yet or need more work. Because getting a book published is work. There are great steps between creating an idea, turning it into a manuscript, and getting it publisher-ready. Fortunately, I love all the steps–I just wish I had more time.

I haven’t written a perfect book yet. If I do, it might not be until I’m seventy, hopefully with dozens of books under my belt. And, I admit, I kind of like that idea.

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One week until Detox in Letters!

 

Detox in Letters, the second book of the Crowns & Ash series, comes out in ONE WEEK!

I didn’t expect to be as excited, if not more excited, about the second book as I was about Vanity in Dust. I thought the newness, the sense of finally reaching that dream of publishing, had made the experience of my first book particularly sweet. Turns out, it might be the same for every book!

Where Vanity in Dust introduced this indulgent, magical world and all the characters–Detox in Letters really gave me the room to explore. I try to write what I want read and hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Detox in Letters was incredibly fun to write and I am so happy to share it.

Comes out September 18th!

Please take a second to add it to your Goodreads.

Available for pre-order on Amazon and World Weaver Press!

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Detox in Letters Cover Reveal

It might not be the 27th everywhere but it’s definitely the 27th here in Sweden and that means it’s cover reveal day for Detox in Letters and I can’t wait a minute longer!

Detox in Letters, Crowns & Ash book 2, comes out September 18th and I’m so excited to finally get to share the cover!

I feel like I’ve been sitting on this forever and it’s been nearly impossibly not to take pictures of it since the ARC arrived in my mail.

Like the first cover, this beauty was made by Linn Arvidsson. You can find her at her webpage or check her out on Instagram and Twitter. Links are below the book description for preorders and Goodreads. Amazon preorders are ebook only for the moment but the paperback preorder will be available soon. A big thank you to everyone that read the first book, Vanity in Dust, and I hope you’ll read Detox in Letters too!

Detox in Letters

Welcome to the Realm, where magic is your drug, your poison, and your only hope.
 
An illness is spreading through the city, marking the sick in mysterious letters scrawled across their skin. What is first thought to be madness reveals itself to be an awakening as residents rediscover themselves, their pasts, and their long-forgotten magic… things the Queen wants to remain buried. Things she will sacrifice her own children to suppress.
 
Mercy has never been a staple of the Realm. Treachery, blood, and magic steeps the city as the rebel leader, Red, seeks to topple the Tower, Princess Fay eyes her mother’s throne, and Prince Vaun must decide whether to submit to his mother’s terrible demand.

Goodreads

World Weaver Press

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iBooks

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