Today I have a very special blog for you- an interview with Rachel, the woman behind the stunning cover art work for the erotica publishers, Sweetmeats Press!
Hi Rachel, thanks ever so much for joining me on my web site today. I’ve been fascinated with your work at Sweetmeats Press ever since you produced the totally gorgeous cover for my latest novel, Making Him Wait. Can you give us a rough idea what your job involves?
Firstly, hello and thanks for asking me to talk to you about what I get up to over at Sweetmeats Press.
My job seems to have grown over time to involve many more avenues, which is really exciting and means no two days at the office are the same. But basically I’m in charge of all the art, design and web at Sweetmeats Press. The main areas I tend to concentrate on are book/ebook covers, layout of paperbacks/ebooks and the website. It is really important that we only produce a quality product, and therefore I have to reflect this through all my work. I make sure that from the front and back covers, to the layout of each page everything is done with love and care.
It is also nice that as a company we put getting it right over volume, so I know I always have the time to change and alter what I don’t like. In the long run we believe this ethos will give the product and the brand longevity in a throw away society.
It is a sadly rare phenomenon for a publishing house to actually make sure a book’s cover shot match the story within. The last two novels that have come out of the Sweetmeats stable all feature your work. I thought I might be fun to find out what made you choose the pictures you did for Making Him Wait…
I’ve actually designed all the book covers at Sweetmeats Press, and I have learnt so much along the way and from one book to the next. It was really hard in the beginning for me to find the line between representing the genre and designing something customers were not too embarrassed to take to the counter. With the very first cover I think I was too discreet, but it’s been a learning curve. It is also very different designing the cover of a novel compared to an anthology. With a novel it is a bespoke design for one story, but with an anthology you blend the cover to the theme.
For Making Him Wait as with all covers, I went through a few different designs before I settled on the final version. I always start by reading all or part of the book to get a feel of the style, themes and characters. Then I pick out what I believe sums up the book for potential readers. For MHW it was painting, BDSM and tease. My first attempt was a canvas painting of a naked Sara, the canvas was lent against a wall and spot lit with handcuffs discarded in front of it. I decided it was too busy and although it portrayed the painting and BDSM aspects it didn’t portray tease, a very important theme. So after many variations I came up with the final version, a beautiful tease I think. The book cover has become the canvas and Sara is drawn in charcoal. I feel as observers we are all waiting and watching for her next move. How long will she tease us for? Will she lower the zip just a little more? How long will she make us wait? It’s simple yet effective, which are often the best designs.
And Named and Shamed, by Janine Ashbless?
Janine’s cover was really interesting for me to do, and probably the most difficult. Again I read the book and the overwhelming theme that struck me was an erotic fairytale full of magic and monsters. I also looked at the style and tones of fantasy books and felt the covers worked as a doorway into this underworld of magic and mystery.
It is probably best to explain to you what I see when I look at Janine’s cover. In the background there is a brightly lit city, and that represents safety, that is where she should head for. But Tansy the protagonist is looking away from the city with a mischievous half smile. The cover is all about what Tansy is looking away from the safety of the city at, and what the tentacle is pulling her into. I was really happy with the model I chose for this cover; I think she is a great representation of busty Tansy. I hope this cover portrays a dark and dirty fairytale with hints of what is in store for the reader.
Can you give us a sneaky peep as to what Sweetmeats Press has in store for us next?
The next book on the list is 7 Deadly Sins, and then next year we have 3 books lined up for the start of the year, 1 novel and 2 anthologies. There are more in the pipeline but they still have to be firmed up. So lots more books for me to get my teeth stuck into and lots of website updates to get out. But before all that, and far more importantly, there is mine and my partner’s birthdays as well as Christmas and New Year, so lots of celebrating and deserved relaxing after a very busy year.
Many thanks Rachel! I hope you and your partner have a wonderful birthday, not to mention Christmas and New Year! I’d like to extend a personal thanks to you for taking the time to do this interview for me today, and for creating me such a very beautful cover- I love Making Him Wait very much.
If you’d like to buy Making Him Wait, it is available as both a paperback and an e-book-
Janine Ashbless’s epic Named and Shamed is available at–
Let me leave you with 2 more of Rachel’s covers! Happy reading folks!