This week, I released my latest novel as an e-original direct to Kindle and Nook, bypassing the publishers. I still have major respect for publishers and would take a deal from them in a second (sellout? Yep), but I really wanted to get this book out as quickly as possible rather than let it swirl around for another year or so.
So, this cover. Gorgeous, ain’t it? I was lucky to find this amazing photo from model Erin Zerbe that reminded me of old sixties and seventies paperback covers. Very alluring, yet very “mysterious” in a way. I had to have it. And luckily, Erin was more than happy to let me use it. Kudos. I originally wanted to make the whole thing retro – fonts, colors, maybe even a bent corner or coffee ring stain. But in the end, I liked the very stark final cover you see here. It did the best job.
Some people won’t like it. Maybe because she’s half-naked. Maybe because she’s a proud plus-sized model. All I know is that I think it’s beautiful. Let’s get a couple of things straight: 1) I find plus-sized women very attractive, and 2) the novel revolves around the character of Octavia, who weighs about three-forty. She’s outrageous, mean, bitter, and sexually aggressive. And I think she’s an amazing woman.
I didn’t really want the cover to have anything to do with the actual characters and story other than give you a feel for it. I mean, did the hotties on the old Sixties’ covers and Spillane novels actually appear in the book? It’s all about setting the mood. And for a book about a plus-sized woman and a lot of sex happening all around, this cover fit the mood perfectly. I had my cake, ate it too, and then remembered the recipe for later.
If the people demand it (going into Charles Dickens mode here), I plan on writing some other Octavia mysteries, and I’m crossing my fingers that Erin might be available with some more photos. She’s not only a beguiling model, but she’s also working towards her MFA degree – her thesis is a stunning piece of work called “Control.” And maybe forty years from now, people will dig back through the archives online, find these covers, and have their breath taken away for a moment. And I hope they’ll say, “Wow, I wish they still made covers like that.”
And maybe they will again. Crossing my fingers.