Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Operation Build a Man by Brooklyn Ann, author of 'Conjuring Destiny'

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Operation: “Build a Man.”: An adventure in cover design.

Many people don’t know that I do my own covers for my Brides of Prophecy series. There are two reasons why. The first is that I was an artist before I was a writer. I’ve been drawing and painting since I was two. My mom (who was an even better artist) taught me. So when I decided to indie-pub this series, I was excited at the prospect of designing the covers.

The second reason I did my own covers is simply that I could not afford to hire a cover artist. Though there are many affordable pre-made covers out there, I wanted something a little more custom. So I had to do it myself.

Here are the first two:

What was fun about the second one is that my boyfriend took the background photograph of the Coeur d’Alene resort, where the first love scene takes place. :D

Book 3, Conjuring Destiny, is the most complex book I’ve ever written. It was also definitely the most complex cover I’ve done.

It’s definitely more straight fantasy than urban fantasy, and the cover had to reflect that. I had to “build” a world on the cover: two moons, a spooky tower, a garden of black roses, and, of course, a sexy sorcerer.

And that’s where the hard part came. Aside from the fact that stock photos of long-haired men are sadly few and far between, it’s even more impossible to find shots of a hot guy in a hooded cloak. The closest I could find looked more like the grim reaper than a romantic hero. So I had to literally “build” the right man.

I honestly hadn’t intended on sharing this story, but I decided, it’s too crazy not to tell.

With the lack of the right stock photo, I had to think outside of the box. Luckily, I discovered Deviant Art, a site where people share art and photos. I discovered that many people did cosplays of wizards and mages. And, to my delight, I found an awesome one of someone dressed as Raistlin Majere, a character from the Dragonlance series, and one of my first book boyfriends.

Holy wow! That was the exact outfit and pose I’d spent DAYS searching for! I immediately contacted the person and asked to use the photo. She said yes!!! And yes, I said she. Apparently this is a woman, posing as a guy I had the hots for. And this is where the job grew interesting.

I had to make the hands larger, widen the forearms and shoulders, elongate the torso, and narrow the hips. I also had to find a face for the hero.

This was the first model I chose. He looks most how I pictured Zareth, my hero.

However, there were two problems with this one. The first was that even though I tracked down the model’s contact info, he never got back to me for permission. But even if he had, there was another issue. Due to this guy’s fine-boned facial structure and the way his shirt blended with the robes, people were mistaking him for a woman.

So I needed to use someone more masculine. I tried two options:

The abs certainly screamed “man” and a few people voted on him, but I didn’t go with him, partly because the exposed chest was impractical and now he looked like he was wearing either a skirt or harem pants.

So this is the guy I ultimately went with:

The model is Grigoris Drakakis, and he’s super nice AND has his own stock photos for sale. I’m probably going to use him again for Brides of Prophecy Book 4.

So with all that hard work, I was pleased with the final result: 

So, there you have it. That’s how I “built” a man. It was a pain in the ass, and I hope to never do it again.

conjuring destinyFamous rock star, Xochitl Leonine, has dreamt of a world with two moons where a black cloaked man beckons her. One Halloween night, she meets the mysterious stranger of her dreams… literally... and their shared dance becomes a rendezvous in a place of endless night.

Zareth Amotken has no idea how important Xochitl’s heavy metal band is to her. As an immortal sorcerer, he doesn’t care. He has one goal: to find the prophesied savior of his world. Her voice holds the power to bring back his world’s vanished sun.

Xochitl’s compassion urges her to help in any way she can. Yet learning the mysteries of her past causes conflict with her future in music. Her destiny in his world and her obligations to her band pull her in opposite directions. How can she long for one while the other is so dire?

As Zareth introduces her to his people and teaches her to control her powers, she aches for his enchanting kiss. Zareth tries to resist, for their passion will unleash serious consequences, both political and magical.

As the time to fulfill her destiny draws closer, she must choose between her heart, her duty, and her friends. The wrong choice could ruin everything.

But if Zareth’s evil half brother succeeds in taking control of her for his own ends, he will take away her choices… and destroy the world?

Pre-order on Amazon

Meet the author:

SONY DSC Formerly an auto-mechanic, Brooklyn Ann thrives on writing romance featuring unconventional heroines and heroes who adore them. After writing historical paranormal romance in her critically acclaimed "Scandals with Bite" series and urban fantasy in her "Brides of Prophecy" novels, she now explores the chaotic realm of heavy metal music-- a difficult world to find love in.

She lives in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho with her son, her cat, and a 1980 Datsun 210.

She can be found online at as well as on Twitter and Facebook.
You can also find her on Literary Addicts, Goodreads and Google +

Follow The Tour

The author is giving away a $25 Gift Card to the winner's choice of bookstore. the store must be able to provide e-gift cards. 18+ giveaway ends November 9th, 2015 at 11:59 pm
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