Author Julia Crane is stopping by my blog today with a post in three parts:
- a guest post on the importance of covers.
- an interview
- a sneak peek with an excerpt from her novel, Coexist.
Welcome Julia Crane!
The guest post:
Why Book Covers are So Important
We’ve all heard the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is especially true with books. There are so many to choose from that, at times, it can be overwhelming for a reader to pick what to read next.
When I walk through a bookstore, my eyes eagerly roam the shelves, looking for something to jump out at me. I literally get excited when I see a book cover that draws my attention. My next step is to read the blurb—sometimes I’ll purchase if the blurb is gripping and makes me want to read more, but sometimes I’ll decide to just admire the beautiful cover, because the book is not for me.
It’s just not humanly possible to look through thousands of books by content and decide what you want to read. I’m sure I’ve missed out on countless amazing books, simply because the cover did not draw me in.
In today’s digital world, covers are more important than ever. The readers don’t get a chance to hold and flip through the books. Most of the time, it’s just a quick swipe of the screen and on to the next. So, as an author, your cover must stand out.
Individual people are drawn to different things. What one person may see as beauty, another could think is plain or boring. With book covers, you have to try to reach as many people as possible in basically the blink of an eye. Certainly not an easy task for the artists. But, there are cover artists out there with a talent for creating works of art. A perusal of the best selling books on Amazon will show a lack of bad cover art, because people are very aesthetic.
It’s easy enough to remind yourself not to judge a person on sight, or to judge a restaurant the minute you walk in. You’re actually in that moment, and your senses are not overwhelmed by choices. Not so in a digital bookstore, where a bad cover can send your book into obscurity.
Don’t just a book by its cover. It’s great advice for life, but not very realistic. At least, not when it comes to books.
Hi there! Welcome to Rea’s Reading and Reviews. Thank you for taking the time to share some info about you and your book with me and my readers. Tell us a bit about yourself!
Thanks for having me!
1. Describe your book in ten words or fewer.
Coexist: Elfin love, destiny, life & death in modern times.
2. With such a large number of books out there, what do you feel sets your apart from all others?
Honestly, I’m not sure if it is set apart from other novels. There are so many amazing authors out there. I definitely tried to come up with an idea that the market was not saturated with. I do believe covers are extremely important when trying to capture an audience.
3. Tell us a bit about your influences and just how / why these authors and / or their work inspire(s) you.
I don’t think I could pick just one author, or even several that have influenced me. I believe reading in general has been the main factor. I’ve always loved to read since I was very young. I thought it was so exciting to be pulled into the worlds that authors created. It’s nice to find an escape sometimes and to go places you’ve only dreamed of through books.
4. How did the seeds of this story come to you?
Coexist was years in the making inside my mind. I just hadn’t realized it. I know this sounds crazy, and it probably is. Back when I first met my husband he told me that he had a strange dream about elves in a battle. Which was very odd to him because he never recalled his dreams.
Several months later I was at one of my favorite new age stores, and they were giving readings. I learned to read tarot cards at a young age and my mother made astrology charts so this was nothing out of the norm for me. I decided to get a reading done for fun. The woman said something to the effect of I know this sounds insane, but I see a huge battle of elves. Until that time, I had completely forgotten about the dream. I was like huh, that is really strange. But, I took that to mean that maybe I should get a little more serious with that guy, then hey, maybe I should write a book.
Fast forward several years later. I was in the middle of the process of writing Coexist. I was out for my normal walk and suddenly I recalled the dream and the psychic. I thought wow, maybe I really was supposed to write this book all along.
5. Which five books would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
Another hard question. I read fast so they would have to be large books. Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The last two really wouldn’t matter as long as they were fun, easy reads.
6. Who was your first book crush? (Or if you’ve never had a book crush then who is your favourite character to read about?)
Great question. I’ve had so many book crushes over the years that I’m racking my brain to try to think of the first. It was probably Ned from the Nancy Drew series. I tease my husband about my crush on Sam Fisher from the Splinter Cell books. As you can see, my taste in books are all over the place.
7. Let’s imagine that your book’s getting turned into a movie / tv series. Woo! Which actors can you envision playing the lead roles?
I’m going to attach a link to a post I did on Wattpad on my dream cast. Picking a dream cast is a lot of fun.
8. What do you like to do in your free time (when you’re not reading or writing)?
I really enjoy being outside so I take a lot of long walks. As a family we try to travel as often as possible. I’m always searching out places that serve American food, and we also take a lot of long bike rides to explore Dubai. I wish I had something more exciting to say, but I’m really kind of boring.
9. If you could visit your destination of choice, which plane would you be on in the morning?
I would go to Ireland. I’ve been lucky enough to visit many countries, but haven’t made it to Ireland—yet.
10. What’s your least favourite chore to do around the house?
I really don’t like cleaning. I wish I had a cleaning pixie to take care of the chores. But I do have to say when I’m cleaning it’s one of the few times the kids don’t bug me. I get many of my ideas doing chores around the house.
11. Does bacon make everything taste better?
I would have to say YES! I love bacon.
12. Anything else you’d like to share with us all? Extra points if you make us giggle!
Ack! You put me on the spot. I’m trying to think of something interesting that has happened recently. They other day we were walking down the JBR to grab something to eat. Suddenly, I noticed this huge group of men walking all serious and as they got closer they spread out. One of them banged into me and I thought what in the world and looked closer. It was Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa strolling down the side walk with his security. I thought that was pretty cool. How many countries would you see the leader just walking around?
Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. I wish you the best of luck with your future career as a published writer and look forward to seeing the book you churn out next!
Sixteen-year-old Keegan is struggling to keep her huge secret from her friends—she's an elf, descended from a long line of elves that live in secrecy alongside humans.
In elfin society, mates are predetermined but not allowed to meet until they are eighteen. Against tradition, Keegan's brother Thaddeus told her Rourk's name because his visions warned him she'd need Rourk's protection, especially since Keegan will play a key role in the coming war between the dark and light elves.
Rourk finds himself drawn to Keegan's side every time she thinks his name. He wants to talk to her but remains in the shadows, silently guarding her every time she mentally beckons him. A twist of fate thrusts the two of them together when Rourk is forced to step up his protection and make his presence known.
An ancient prophecy deeply entwines Keegan's family and the future of their society. Somehow they must find a way to thwart fate and win the battle...without losing Keegan. With war brewing, and dark forces aligning, will Keegan and Rourk ever have the life together that they both desire?
The sneak peek:
Keegan was terrified.
Her eyes glanced frantically around trying to think a way out of this situation. How could this be happening, even with all my training? She was sure she could not defend herself against four guys. A drop of sweat fell from her face, and her heart was racing.
The biggest one pushed her up against the wall. She could smell the alcohol on his breath.
“Well, aren’t you a fine piece of meat?”
Glaring at him, she said, “Get your hands off me.”
“A feisty one, eh?” he laughed.
Without thinking, she drove her knee into his groin. He groaned and doubled over. The others advanced, and the big one yelled, “She’s mine.”
She felt like she was going to throw up when his hands groped her chest. Please don’t do this, she thought. I belong to Rourk.
When she thought his name, it pierced through Rourk’s heart. Nothing mattered to him except keeping her safe. How dare anyone else lay their hands on her? He would make them pay.
Out of nowhere, Keegan felt her attacker pulled off of her. She looked up just as a flash of light went off, and what she saw made her heart drop; she felt as if she were in a free fall as she stared into the most beautiful face she’d ever seen. His grey eyes met hers and he tipped his head, giving her a slight nod.
Keegan whispered, Rourk? It was only a matter of seconds, but it felt like a lifetime.
He yelled over the crowd, “Go to the exit and text your friends to meet you.” His voice sounded like music to her ears; it was deep, but not too deep, and filled with authority.
As much as she hated to leave, she didn’t dare ignore him. She ran away.
Julia Crane is the author of the young adult paranormal fiction novels: Keegan's Chronicles, Mesmerized and Eternal Youth. Julia was greatly encouraged by her mother to read and use her imagination, and she’s believed in magical creatures since the day her grandmother first told her an Irish tale. Julia has traveled far and wide to all the places her grandmother told her about and more, gaining inspiration from her journeys to places like Nepal, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Italy, France and many more. And who knows? Maybe the magical creatures she writes about are people she met along the way.
Julia Crane has a bachelors degree in criminal justice. Although she's spent most of her life on the US east coast, she currently lives in Dubai with her husband and three children.
A big thanks to Julia Crane and the Reading Addiction tour!