So, some exciting things are in the works. SUTPHIN BOULEVARD comes out in 30 days and it’s up for pre-order at Dreamspinner Press, but let’s pause on that for a minute to discuss that cover.
And let’s also give credit where credit is due. It was designed by Natasha Snow, the photography is courtesy of the extremely talented Mel Seser, and the badass (and gorgeous) Juan Forgia is the model. Working with them has been fantastic. I seriously couldn’t have asked for a more talented group of people to set the tone for the Five Boroughs series.
That being said, creating the cover for this book was challenging. I wanted to represent the main character of SUTPHIN BOULEVARD, which meant I needed a Latino model. It didn’t take long to realize stock image websites are not the most diverse places. They have very limited options and none of them worked unless I made multiple concessions regarding the look and mood of the cover.
The only option was to license an image on my own, but finding the right model and photographer wasn’t a walk in the park. To help me with the process, I turned to Lenore DiTrani (close friend and super badass editor) and her business savvy. We combed the internet for potential models, narrowed down the list several times, and I wound up licensing two separate photos from two different photographers, but it took a couple of months.
The first image I licensed was of a NY-based model who does a lot of commercial work, but we continued looking around (because seeking physical representations of my characters is sometimes an obsession of mine) and stumbled upon a photo of Juan Forgia.
Not only was he very close to how I imagine Michael Rodriguez—the MC—but I loved his attitude on social media, and we noticed both he and the photographer are from Argentina—a country that is dear to Lenore’s heart. In the end, I went with them not just because Juan was physically perfect for the character, but communicating with Mel Seser was just incredibly easy and enjoyable. She was helpful, enthusiastic, and ensured Juan was 100% in agreement, which was very important to me.
So, that’s the tale of how my vision for SB’s cover was brought to fruition. I’ll be sharing some info on my experiences with custom photography in a future blog post, so look out for that if you’re curious or want some tips.
Also, don’t forget to join my newsletter if you want to be kept up to date with all SB news! Next week I’ll be announcing a badass giveaway with a pretty cool prize.