Hello and welcome! Today I have the lovely Grace R. Duncan on my page to promote her newest release Three Hearts. She’s going to talk about finding a cover for her book that fit both the story and the genre. Hope you enjoy!
Thanks so much to Tricia for letting me post here today!
When I wrote Three Hearts, I hadn’t given a lot of thought to the challenges publishing it would entail. In fact, I hadn’t given any thought to publishing it originally. I’d never thought I’d even write an mpreg, much less publish one, so when the story came out of me, I wasn’t thinking about the interesting issues that would emerge when faced with publishing it.
One of the biggest issues was the cover. Once I was positive I was self-publishing the story, I wanted to put everything I could into doing a good, professional looking-cover. I have seen too many self-pubbed stories get blasted for unprofessional covers. And while I’ve done my own once or twice, it takes insane amounts of time. On top of that, while I am creative, I am not when it comes to graphics as much as with my words. Luckily, I knew a cover artist and could sit down with her to figure it out.
Okay, then, I had my professional. Now the real challenge came in. How do I make it clear it’s mpreg—or, at least, involves kids in some way—without putting a pregnant dude on the cover? Because even I knew that wasn’t going to fly. That was her first worry too. We wanted to make it obvious they were shifters—that likely meant wolves somewhere—and some indication of baby or pregnancy. It could not include a baby itself. We’ve seen way too many people have fits about putting kids on romance covers, so that was a no-no.
I have always been well aware that one of the most common things on the cover of a gay romance is men. Specifically, headless torsos. I even have one in my backlist. But truth be told, they drive me nuts. Batshit. Insane. I never understood the popularity. What does a headless torso tell me about the book? In Beautiful boy, it worked. But for me, the biggest part of that cover was that it still indicated the BDSM—the crop and collar—and showed as much of the sub (Kyle) as it did the headless torso Dom.
So, I was adamant on the no headless torsos. At this point, I had no idea what else to offer as options. Much to my cover artist’s annoyance, I shrugged helplessly, fluttered my hands a bit uselessly and told her to “be creative.”
“Gee. Thanks. I’ll… see what I can do.”
But off she went and started digging. A few days later, over IM, I get:
Her: Do you have *any* idea how hard it is to show a pregnancy without showing a guy with a pregnant belly?
Have I mentioned my artist is brilliant? Quite. Because another day later, I got a rough, hand-sketched… something, with a rough layout of an idea. I blinked at it, teased her by turning it upside down—that got me an eyeroll—but I could already see where she was going with it. And what she came up with definitely hit the right notes with me. I grinned, nodded a little too vigorously, and off she went.
I couldn’t be happier with what she came up with. What do you think?
Published by Grace R. Duncan
Release date: March 3, 2017
Cover artist: Jess Small
Liam Scott is sick. That’s not supposed to be possible. As a wolf shifter, he’s supposed to be able to heal. The omega gene he was born with means he’s capable of carrying shifter young and Liam is worried that whatever is wrong will mean his one-day hope of having pups will be dashed. But despite the fears keeping him away from the doctor until now, he knows he needs to go.
It turns out the sickness is temporary, but the treatment causes a whole other problem.
Mason’s alpha gene means he’s one of very few wolves who can impregnate an omega male. For two years, he’d been watching Liam, but things kept getting in the way. When Liam shows up in heat, Mason recognizes the opportunity he needs and doesn’t hesitate make to Liam his mate and the father of his pups.
But Liam has old wounds and fears to work through which the pregnancy is only making worse, and Mason isn’t sure how to get past them to show he’s serious about making a life together as loving mates. It’s not until a female wolf decides Mason should be hers that Liam makes his biggest worry known—and Mason can finally put the fears to rest.
Buy Three Hearts at:
I am also celebrating my 4th publishing anniversary with more giveaways and even a full scavenger hunt! See below for more
Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.