Marketing, My Books, Writing

A new bloom on an old rose

Those of you who read my blog only in a reader or by email, will have to come online to see the preview of my brand new luscious book cover for The Brevity of Roses. In about a week, when I approve the new cover for print and ebook distribution, I’ll change the cover image here and other places online. For now, you can only view it in, and from, this post.

Michelle Davidson Argyle is the designer of my gorgeous new cover. She’s the author of Cinders, Monarch, and True Colors, and has a new novel coming out in May. She’s also a professional photographer. As I said in a previous post, I was already primed when she suggested Brevity would sell better with a new cover, I just hadn’t decided what to do about it. She offered a solution, and I couldn’t be happier I took her up on it.

As we discussed in the comments of my previous post, a book cover is usually the first thing you see, so it has a big job to do. When viewed online, where my book is sold exclusively, the cover needs to not only catch your eye, but tell you the genre and tone. In the span of one glance, it has to shout, “Hey, this is the book you’re looking for. Check it out.”

The word that comes to mind when I see this cover is tender. I love that because Brevity is a tender love story. I have to tell you, I never thought I’d allow pink on the cover, but after trying other font colors, it was clear that pink added the perfect pop. This cover tells me the story inside is everything these new back cover blurbs say it is.

Told in gorgeous, poetic tones, The Brevity of Roses will take you on a journey delving into three unique characters as delicate and beautiful as a rose itself. Lewis’ rich understanding of relationships is phenomenal.”  – Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of Monarch

“Grief, discovery, anguish, pleasure, rejection, acceptance, atonement, forgiveness—the rhythmic odes of marriage, friendship, family. A fine debut novel that reaches deep into a poet’s beating heart, lays it open, vulnerable to the bitter betrayals, and the joyful loyalties, of this thing we call Love.” – Kathryn Magendie, author of “the Graces Sagas,” Sweetie and Petey, publishing editor of Rose & Thorn.

Please do Michelle and I the honor of clicking on these images to see larger versions:

 

 

Author, Book Reviews, Fiction, My Books, Novel, Reader, Writing

Does what you bring to a book matter?

If you give a group of writers a prompt, you might be amazed at the variety of tales that result. The same photo of a rose might inspire one to write about a first love, another to write about his mother’s funeral, and still another to write of a serial killer who leaves one in the hand of each victim. Your life experience influences what you write. In the same way, it influences how you read a book.

My novel The Brevity of Roses has received a number of reviews, mostly at Amazon and Goodreads, and I’ve read them all. I didn’t think I would. I said I wouldn’t. I should have known I’d be too curious not to. I know reviews are meant for other readers, not the author, but the varied responses to the book I wrote interests me.

The latest reviewer wrote:

For the record, I am a 100% male reader. I am not a love story genre fan but I found this love story to be compelling.

The Brevity of Roses is NOT a romance novel. It is a thought provoking story of the love between people of different age groups and social backgrounds.

The writing is very well crafted. The characters are developed carefully and seem to spring to life. I felt like they were staring back at me from the page.

This fine debut novel is a story of complex relationships. The complexity level is dependent on the amount of thought given by the reader.

The emphasis on NOT was his. I assume he was disagreeing with the previous reviewer (on Amazon) who titled his review “A good romance novel”. I didn’t set out to write a romance novel, so I don’t view Brevity as one, but if some readers do, I understand that. And maybe it’s only a contradiction of terms; what one calls a love story, another calls a romance novel.

One thing I love about reading is the individuality of the transaction between the author and myself. I ask for a story, and the author gives me one, but I might not be able to drink every drop of the story the author tells. The author can only fill the glass I bring to it. To some extent, the size and shape of that glass determines the story I imbibe.

As a reader, I suspect that sometimes part of a story ran over the side of my glass and dribbled off my chin. What can I do? I drank what I could. As an author, certainly, I’m thankful for all my readers, dribblers or not, but I admit that the deeper they drink, the more gratifying that is.