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Monday, August 9, 2010

Let's Talk With Gemini Judson, Return Engagement's Cover Artist

An author waits with great anticipation for the cover of his or her new book to arrive. When it does, you either run around making everybody look at it and admire it, or you cringe and wonder how you'll tell the cover artist that it wasn't what you had in mind. My very first cover had too much skin on it which gave a false impression of the book. My publisher understood my complaint and graciously fixed it.

I didn't have any problems with the cover for Return Engagement. The moment I opened the email to look at it I was blissfully happy. I didn't want a single thing changed. Gemini Judson who did the cover perfectly captured what I wanted to convey. I asked Gemini if she'd talk to us about her work today. So, here she is. Gemini, thanks for coming today.

1.Can you tell us a little bit about you?

I’m a mom with a soon to be teenage daughter. I have a fulltime job as a lab supervisor. When the house gets quiet in the evenings, I get out my laptop and dig into creative projects. I’ve always been artistic and painted portraits for a while. A few years a go I put down the brushes and picked up a digital drawing tablet. I love it.

2.What qualifications do you have to have to be a cover artist?

Good question…my degree is in biology! After my daughter was born, I adjusted my work responsibilities – less time in the field -- and started making educational exhibits. It was a baptism into Photoshop and I was hooked. I enrolled in a digital art certificate program and have been freelancing ever since. Until I started doing covers at Whiskey Creek Press, most of my projects were exhibits, brochures, and posters. I created a line of greeting cards but just never had the time to devote to marketing. When I became a published author (thank you Loose Id!) I began paying greater attention to covers. What I noticed is there are some true works of art out there on the cover of ebooks, and beyond. There are some duds too. My goal is to make each cover a small, traveling work of art.

3.You certainly achieved that objective with Return Engagement. How did you get started as a cover artist?

When I’m writing, I create covers for my manuscripts. It inspires me. When Whiskey Creek Press offered me a contract for Green Grass, I sent my cover as sort of a long shot. To make a long story short, they liked it and offered me others.

4.I'm not surprised. I've seen your other covers, and they're great too. Readers she sent me some covers to share with you, but yours truly is technologically challenged and couldn't get them to post. Gemini is sharing links with us later. You can use those to see her other work. Gemini, could you describe the process you go through when you create a cover?

The author’s suggestions and ideas are like gold. When I read the blurb and story summary, ideas pop into my head and I get sort of a color vision. For Return Engagement, I saw the colors of the sunset, and you indicated something about a carnival on the beach. The most difficult part is clicking through gigabytes of stock images to find something suitable!

5.You’re an author too. Talk about being versatile! Tell us about your writing.

I don’t know Elaine…would you consider writing a left-brain or right-brain activity? It seems when I am in cover art mode, and have several projects underway, I crave the time to write. Yet when I’ve spent a few days immersed in a manuscript, I need to step back and feed my inner artist. Maybe that sounds dumb. It could simply mean that I have the attention span of a ten-year-old

I have four books currently available in the contemporary sensual/erotic genre. I have a fifth coming out in September from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. The manuscript I am working on presently (when I am not out scooping grain for my inner artist) is a contemporary suspense/romance – much less heat than my others. I’m excited about it, but it is spilling out slowly.

7.Give us your links so we can find you on the web.

Thanks Elaine, for having me! Great questions. Introspection is always good…
Gemini Judson

Don't forget to look at her other covers. They're good too. Return Engagement's cover is entered in a cover contest at I don't know if the August entries are up yet or not, but Gemini and I would appreciate it if you'd vote for Return Engagement.


jrlindermuth said...

Gemini is a talented person. She did the cover for my latest WCP novel, too. I enjoyed reading more about her background and work methods.

Gemini said...

Thanks John and Elaine. I'm as humble as the day is long, so all the kudos makes me squirm! My hope is that the covers capture the the readers for a picosecond -- get them to open the book. It's your stories that will grab them.

Elaine Cantrell said...

You deserve the kudos. Enjoy them.

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