Bella Bryce's latest blog posts
The third book in my Waldorf Manor series, ''The Courting'', is due to be released on Valentine's Day. I can't promise that because of course the editing is a fickle process. But so far, to my knowledge, we are on schedule. The cover is currently in design as well and I received two beautiful designs to look over. I love love LOVE my cover artist. A little story about how she became my cover artist and this is definitely not typical. Most writers of eBooks don't usually meet or know their cover artist. This is one adorable story let me tell you . . .
Her name is Marie and she lives in Australia. I met her in my local urban coffee shop where I spent ridiculous hours writing (like, starting 7-9am and ending 5-6pm. At the same table. Several days in a row. Every week. For the first six months of living in the US. I still do it.) Her and her husband were visiting the area for a conference he was attending and of course Marie tagged along to the US to keep him company. They stopped into the hip wee joint on the corner of the cobble-stoned street in downtown mystery city where we live. Meanwhile, my husband and I had just brought our cappuccino and latte over to the only open table in the entire coffee shop - right beside Marie and her husband. We heard their Australian accents and they picked up on our English ones and there struck our friendship. We shared conversation and a few giggles. I told Marie that I had just finished work on a book ("The Solicitation" - the cover for this book on Amazon.com is not Marie's design, the cover on Blushing Books is) but I hadn't told anyone I was being published. Or what the title was. Or anything. I hadn't known myself for that long by that point anyway.
The next day was Monday and I was at my usual table working on my second book ("The Shorlist") when I saw her at the counter ordering a coffee to go. She spotted me and popped over to say hi. Whilst her husband was at the conference she was going to do some sight-seeing in the city. I was going to remain firmly planted at the table in the coffee shop. Writing. For nine hours. As usual. Which I love :) I didn't tell her what I was working on though - I was very ambiguous.
I ran into Marie and her husband once more after the conference ended. We three sat at the same table and chatted about all sorts of things. I learned Marie was studying graphic design and working at the same time. We chatted about her husband's work too, and then I couldn't contain my excitement. I felt very comfortable and trusting to these news friends and felt like we'd built quite a sweet little friendship in the few times I ran into them. "I'm getting published!!" I had to tell someone. I was bursting. My husband was the only person who knew at that point. We were in a strange place and didn't know many people anyway. Who was I going to tell? In any case, Marie and her husband were immediately supportive and curious. I shied away and tried to change the subject but the cat had already been up the tree and refused to come down so what was I supposed to do? Except continue to avoid telling them the titles of my book(s) or who my publisher was. Of course. Why? I don't write anything to sincerely blush about. (Blushing Books. I know. Hilarious. I'm laughing). But I was still a little insecure about the fact that my books were for adult eyes only although significantly more g-rated than most teenage minds I have now come to understand.
Conversation began to close and they wanted to sight-see before it rained and started the long journey back to Australia the following day. They were going to a place right at the end of where our loft was (we've moved since then to a house on the other side of town) so we walked together. I showed them where the entrance to their point of interest was and then we realised that was probably the last we would see of each other until . . . who knows when? I gave Marie a big cuddle and told her it was lovely to meet her and was truly sad that they were leaving. I felt like I'd made a fantastic friend and then that was it - she was leaving. Marie said to me, ''send me your book. I want to read it.''
Bella: You won't like it.
Marie: Send it, please. I want to read it.
And then she said something that made me feel like no matter what it was she wouldn't think any different of me whether she liked it or not. And I thought to myself, 'yes, I'm going to send her a copy.' Well, a few days later she emailed me to say they made it home safely and could I please send my book? I knew she was serious. She kept asking. And THEN, she offered to design my book cover. I remember being so excited about how excited and supportive she was. She sent me some of her designs of her coursework she'd done and I was like, ''YES. DO IT.''
Marie then re-designed my first book cover for ''The Solicitation'' (as a designer had already done one cover) and then designed the cover for "The Shortlist" - without even having read it by that point. She did it blind and with very, very little direction. She's that talented. Marie is also doing the covers for "The Courting" and the fourth book (no title yet, sorry :/ )
She's given me a brand of sorts to run with in her cover designs; they are very clean and sophisticated which is what I like. I'm so glad to have met her and I think how wonderful it was that we went to get coffee on the same day. I got a friend out of the deal too, which is the best part!
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