Did you know what you wanted the cover to look like when you started the design process?
I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do. I knew that I didn’t want the characters on the cover though. I wanted to leave that to the readers. I always enjoy imaging what the characters look like. I think that when you place a face to it, you kind of lose that connection.
How many revisions did you ask for before you were satisfied with the result?
I really only went through one revision, and that was to change the font. The original TITLE font was the same as my AUTHOR name font and people felt like it was more towards horror than YA. I’ve left the tiny details, like the green wolf eyes and the Emma hidden (it’s her back so it keeps to the no characters).
Were you happy with the artwork that was used to create the final cover?
I totally was. I worked really hard to learn how to do what I finally decided that I wanted. I spent hours trying to make the tiny Emma, which most people don’t even realize is there. I wanted the shadows to be just right.
Would you change anything about your cover if you could?
I sometimes wonder if I put a girl on the cover if it would sell more. But I don’t really want people to buy the story because I slapped a pretty face on it, ya know?
Did you look to see what other authors were doing before you chose your design elements?
I’m sure that in some unconscious sort of way I did, but I didn’t seek out what was being done. I just thought about my story and tried to go from there.
If this book is part of a series, how did you convey that on the cover?
I didn’t. I didn’t know if I would write the other three or let alone the short stories that I’ve tied into it. I made the cover after I had finished the book (something I’ve not done with the rest of the series, I’m working on book 4). But my covers all tie together, the moon is there (although you can’t really tell on the X-mas short), and there’s the font.
What made you decide to (or not to) feature the hero and/or heroine on the cover?
Like I said, I like the fact that the reader can come up with images or even place themselves in the story. I put my character in a cartooned sort of way on the cover of my Paranormal Romance (Dead to Bites), and for my YA Paranormal Dystopia (Network Deserted) I put the characters on the cover. With those choices, the PR one was because I used her badge as part of the design… and the YAPD I needed to convey what the characters looked like after their change- if that even makes sense!
What do you think of the fonts on your cover? How do they add to the overall design?
I discovered that the fonts as just as important as the cover images. It can change the overall feel of the cover. Bella Notte could’ve been taken as a horror book before, but now it has a more romance feel.
Have you ever changed the cover of this book? Of another book? Why did you make the switch? Do you feel it was beneficial?
I switched the cover of the short story that comes between Bella Notte and Bella Vita, A Bella Notte Christmas Story. I changed it from featuring a Christmas tree and that sort of scene to the giant ornament as the central point. I like the second cover way better and I feel like it fits better.
About the Author
Jesse has studied anthropology and used her “education” as an excuse to hang out with vampires- her masters’ thesis was going to be modern vampire culture. They really do exist. Vampires have been her obsession since she was about five years old when she swears she was bitten by one.
She enjoys reading and writing. But most importantly being a crazy mom to her son, new daughter, and ever growing pet family. Singing silly songs at the top of her lungs and embarrassing her son is one of her favorite activities. She considers herself to be an odd duck.
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Check out some starter chapters that she wrote for Chainbook, maybe add a new chapter to one of them.
BELLA NOTTE EXCERPT:
The sky was growing dark crimson over the clearing in the forest behind our house as I drifted across the glen toward the edge of the trees. I walked as if I knew exactly what it was I was looking for, and where I was going to find it as well.
A small crackling noise caused me to stop halfway across the field. I turned to look in the direction the sound came from- that’s when I saw him.
Those dark green eyes and his dark auburn spikes were so familiar after seeing them for the past fourteen years, that it was always a relief to see him.
He walked towards me, and stopped at my side. The dry winter grass beneath our feet was barely audible as we took a step forward, lacing our fingers together
The sky was no longer crimson, but had transformed into a deep indigo and a slight breeze had picked up. The hairs on my arms rose as the chill in the air assaulted my body. I moved closer to him out of instinct. His body temperature seemed to be so much higher than mine that just being near him kept me warm, strangely from the inside out. The moon had risen. The color was a frightening shade of blood red and the wind strewn clouds blew across the face of the cratered orb. He held suddenly, very still, as the breeze brought scents from across the clearing. With his eyes closed, he breathed in deeply. Those dark emeralds popped back into view and carried the fear that the grimace on his face displayed.
That’s when we heard it- the howl. The sound was terrifying, like a large wolf. Somehow, inside, I knew it wasn’t a wolf, at least not in the conventional sense, and that scared me more than anything. My body froze and my mind blanked with fear. I watched his grimace change to a visible snarl and those beautiful green eyes flash a dangerous shade of ruby. The next thing I knew he was pushing me out of the field and into the cover of the trees.
I wanted to plead to him, but no words would form with my dry tongue sticking to every ridge in my mouth.
He grabbed hold of me and whispered “run” very softly into my ear- then he was gone. It took me a minute to get over the shock, but then my feet moved as quickly as possible.
I could not escape the sound of his scream as the forest closed its arms around me.
I knew it was a dream, not any dream but the dream. The dream I’ve had since I was a little girl. Every scene was memorized from beginning to end, and I again knew the sting of the silent tears that cascaded down my hot, flushed cheeks.