The Ariana finalists came out yesterday and I have two this year. As a winner last year, I wonder if this year will see me repeat. Possibly not. It’s always a stiff competition. There are more than a few talented cover artists out there. I’m not up against Anne Cain who is the best cover artist on the planet in my opinion, but Reese Dante is definitely very, very stiff competition.
Most artists work for one or two houses and some only do freelance stuff, preferring not to be tied to a house. And many of them work for a publisher and do a lot of covers for people who are self-publishing. I’ve a feeling that my cover for Debra Holland’s Sower of Dreams will be a fantasy entry for me in next year’s Ariana awards. It’s a lush cover that took more than half a dozen images to create and it doesn’t have a single person on it!
Aside from doing covers for authors who self-publish, I occasionally do covers for Pink Petal Books, Passion in Print and MLR Press. Last year’s win for me was a Pink Petal Books cover. This year the two finalists for Winterheart Design are Black Heart Down by SJ Frost, an MLR Press cover and Blown Away by DL Jackson, a Passion in Print cover. I love pretty much anything Shannon and Dawn write so I’m doubly pleased to be able to provide both authors with a little cross-promotion.
Now, the question is whether I can repeat and win an Ariana again this year. I have to admit I would be so very stoked to win again. I’m not being hopeful because as I said above, the competition is quite stiff, but I would really like to win a second year in a row. It gives me a little bit of cache to be able to say I have two Arianas. But we’ll see what happens in March. And if I lose, there’s always next year and Sower of Dreams. Besides, I’ve done a lot more covers in other genres this year. I’ve got several historical covers under my belt now and of course Debra’s fantasy trilogy. Having covers in more categories is a good thing.
Now, I need to show you a luscious Marcus for this Monday to be complete. I just cannot face a Monday without him any longer. This is what I get for having posted him for so many years of Mondays. I can’t handle Monday without him.
Working in his underwear. It doesn’t get any better than that for me! Well, unless he was nekkid. LOL
October is just around the corner now and I’ve got an October release the first week of the month and deadlines for two Christmas stories, both gay rom. I’m about 3K words from finishing the first one so I’m thinking I just might be right on time to my editor with it. The second one has hardly any words written but since it’s a short story of 8-10K words I hope to be able to write it fairly quickly. Then it’s back to a novella I’ve had a lot of trouble with. I’m determined to complete it before Christmas though so wish me luck!