Monday, April 25, 2011

Cover Artist Angie Waters: Tips, A pet peeve & a glimpse at how a cover comes together

We're welcoming back cover artist Angie Waters!

You're in for a treat, if, like me, you've always wondered how cover artists make their magic. Angie was kind enough to supply "before" and "after" pics of the images she used to make two covers. I was blown away by the combinations and can't wait to see what all our Killer friends think!

I also asked Angie for a list of tips writers should keep in mind when they're filling out their Cover Art information sheets (and I asked what her pet peeve is!). Check out her answers below!

And of course one I'm particularly fond of:


Some of the things I like to see included:

The genre
The heat level
Character physical descriptions
Mannerisms help too. You don't want a bold brassy heroine on the cover if yours is shy ;)
Key symbols or settings of the book
A short synopsis or blurb (or website where I can find one)


I don't need a complete description of the the size and girth of your hero's package...seriously. I need the color of his hair and eyes, his physical build, is he tall or short, etc. If the only description I get is below the waist you will get a decapitated hero :P

Find out more info about Angie's work at:



I was blown away by the combinations Angie put together. What about you? What unusual combinations have you made in your life/work/world? For example: I have a friend who buys pre-made calendars with pictures of flowers and glues her own photos of butterflies on top of the pics that are already there, making each month have a multi-dimensional pop! Or...I like strange combos of spices with foods: I put nutmeg in my mashed potatoes and chili powder in chocolate cake.


Lindsay N. Currie said...

very cool! I love these behind the scenes looks at the cover art. I haven't a creative bone in my body when it comes to stuff like this so it's fascinating to me:)

Liz Fichera said...

This was a fun interview to read! Very cool to get a behind the scenes glimpse.

Jennifer Colgan said...

Amazing! It's interesting how one detail of one photo can become the focal point of the finished cover.

R.S. Bohn said...

Interesting! And this: "Mannerisms help too." That's something I wouldn't have thought about, but it's so obvious now.

Her pet peeve is hilarious. I'll admit that while I've spent a great deal of time pondering the package of my own characters and the fictional ones belonging to other authors, I don't think it's something I would think necessary for a cover artist to know. But I guess some people do!

Strange (BUT DELICIOUS) combination: cider vinegar on macaroni and cheese.

You cringe now, but I promise that once you've tried it, you will never be able to have plain mac and cheese again. It's a family thing, but no one outside of our family, apparently, has ever heard of it.

LTM said...

wow! Those are GORGEOUS covers! Angie is very talented. Love this post b/c I'm notorious for judging books by their covers... LOL! I'm a sucker for a beautiful book. And I want a beautiful cover so bad~ <3

JB Lynn said...

Lindsay -- I'm not visually creative either and was absolutely fascinated by how these came together.

Liz -- Angie did an amazing job on your cover. Everyone should head over to to check it (and Liz's fun trailer!) out.

JB Lynn said...

Jennifer - I couldn't believe how she incorporated the beach scene. Soooo cool.

R.S. -- I thought the "mannerisms" tip was a great one, since I'd never considered it either. much cider vinegar in the mac and cheese?

LTM -- You should check out her portfolio. So impressive!

Donna Cummings said...

Angela, I went to look at your portfolio and was surprised to see that so many of my fave covers are by you! They're very beautiful and elegant and very evocative. :)

Angela Waters said...

Thanks so much for your wonderful comments *blush* I haven't had a chance to update my portfolio but I have uploaded some of my newer designs on Facebook.

Jennifer Hillier said...

Extremely cool! I have no knack for visual design and am always envious of what visual artists can do. Sounds like such a fun job for those who have the talent!

Thanks for sharing.

Jo Schaffer said...

She's got a good eye. Looks good.

Joann Swanson said...

Thanks for sharing your process. Fascinating!

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