Author Guest Post: Jeffe Kennedy

Posted August 23, 2018 by Jen in Author Guest Post, Cover Love Tags:

From Jeffe Kennedy:

Hi everyone and take a good look at the new cover of SHOOTING STAR!

Jen asked me to talk about why I decided to re-cover this book, which I released in March. It’s kind of an interesting story.

When I decided to put this book out, I contacted the cover designer who did my the covers for my other contemporary romance series, the first three Missed Connections books. I had a very specific idea for the SHOOTING STAR cover, which I rarely do. Usually I leave cover imagining to the pros, because I’m much more of a word person than a visual person. In this case, I KNEW what I wanted: Ava’s face on a Times Square billboard, and Joe beneath, gazing up at her, faithful Arlin by his side. 

I could see it in my head and I thought it would be fabulous.

My cover designer, though, said it couldn’t be done. She had a long explanation for why the perspective wouldn’t work. She also took a super long time to reply to me, so I felt no qualms in going to someone else. I tried Damonza on recommendation from a friend, and wow! Were they fantastic to work with. Responsive, excellent value—and they gave me EXACTLY what I asked for. No quibbling about perspective. In fact, they nailed the look I wanted on the first draft and we only needed to do some tweaking after that. I highly recommend them.

Because it’s not their fault the cover didn’t work. I think it’s a gorgeous cover. So do a lot of people. However, the book hasn’t sold well, and I started to hear that some people think it’s science fiction. Something about the glow from the light above.

Now, covers are a funny thing that way. It’s the initial impression that makes tons of difference in catching a reader’s eye. Despite all logic, it’s less important that the cover exactly portray the story, than it is to communicate genre and type of story to someone encountering it for the first time.

So, all of this had been rumbling in the back of my mind, when I went to give a workshop at the SFF Conference put on by Southwest Writers. And I ran into Fiona Jayde, who was also giving a workshop there—on cover design. Now, Fiona and I go way back. We met at an RT conference in Chicago through a mutual friend, and ended up spending a super fun day together doing the architectural boat tour, among other things. Fiona gave a great workshop on cover design communicating genre and story, showing changes in sales when covers were changed. I showed her my cover for SHOOTING STAR and asked her what genre she thought it communicated—and she thought science fiction.

All my fault, really.

I suggested that maybe she could take a crack at a new cover and she accepted the challenge with enthusiasm. And here it is!

You can see that the “feel” is totally different. And, though I’ll always love that first cover, I think this one will work better to sell the story to new readers. If you read and loved this story, I hope you’ll share this out! I have an affection for Ava and Joe, so I’d love to see them reach more readers. 

About the book:

Not all desires are shiny and sweet—and the dark ones might change you forever… 

It’s not the kind of obsession a tough Army guy can admit to—a jones for Ava, the pretty-princess pop star. Not just her body, the perfect product that sells all those magazines. Her music. 

The critics call her human lip gloss, all style and no substance. To Joe Ivanchan, Ava is the exact blend of reality and fantasy that he can tolerate, the closest he’s willing to get to giving his heart after the injury and breakdown that got him out of the service. 

But Ava is real. She’s a flesh and blood woman with a publicity machine and an album deadline, along with a whole team of handlers paid to shellac a pristine sheen over a damaged, desperate soul. A woman with fears, with secrets, with desires.  

When Joe finds himself in an interview to join her security team as her driver, his instinct is to get away. But the woman behind Ava’s carefully focus-grouped image is even harder to walk away from. The angry needs tormenting her speak to something within Joe. Something empathetic, protective—and primal… 

Besides, even a falling star can light up the darkest night.

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About the Author:  

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include novels, non-fiction, poetry, and short fiction. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award.

Her award-winning fantasy romance trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms hit the shelves starting in May 2014. Book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and was nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose received a Top Pick Gold and was nominated for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2014. The third book, The Talon of the Hawk, won the RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2015. Two more books followed in this world, beginning the spin-off series The Uncharted Realms. Book one in that series, The Pages of the Mind, has also been nominated for the RT Reviewer’s Choice Best Fantasy Romance of 2016 and won RWA’s 2017 RITA® Award. The second book, The Edge of the Blade, released December 27, 2016, and is a PRISM finalist, along with The Pages of the Mind. The next in the series, The Shift of the Tide, will be out in August, 2017. A high fantasy trilogy taking place in The Twelve Kingdoms world is forthcoming from Rebel Base books in 2018.

She also introduced a new fantasy romance series, Sorcerous Moons, which includes Lonen’s War, Oria’s Gambit, The Tides of Bàra, and The Forests of Dru. She’s begun releasing a new contemporary erotic romance series, Missed Connections, which started with Last Dance and continues in With a Prince.

In 2019, St. Martins Press will release the first book, The Orchid Throne, in a new fantasy romance series, The Forgotten Empires.

Her other works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion; an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera; and the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, which includes Going Under, Under His Touch and Under Contract.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.