I’ve done a few “making of the cover” posts, but this one is a bit special to me, because it’s for my own book and uses one of my own photos. Last year I purchased a couple of cowboy photos from photographer Dan Skinner. I just totally fell in love with his model and knew I had to have him on a cover. I just didn’t know at the time that he would end up on my cover for Pickup Men. <img src=”http://www.lcchase.com/images/PuMCoverPanels/cowboys.jpg“>
I cropped out the background, and then went to work on the details. I did some cloning to clean up skin spottiness and stray whiskers, some surface blurring and color leveling and correcting. The main cowboy in my story has green eyes, so next was an eye color shift from blue to green. <img src=”http://www.lcchase.com/images/PuMCoverPanels/cowboy2.jpg“>
So I had my cowboy. Now I needed an action scene. Just about every year I head out to a local rodeo. When I’m not volunteering I’m walking around with my trusty camera. In one of my collections I caught the pickup men hard at work, and just knew that was the photo. I knocked out the whole background and saved it to another layer to blur and fade it out. Next I dropped in a background from my stock photo stash and added a textured overlay to not only tone it down, but also give that sense of heat and dust. I put all the pieces together, and feathered the cowboy/action scene into each other. The rodeo scene needed a little more obscuring, so I pulled the curves down to darken it, but now it was too strong. Overlay textures! I love my textures and filters, really, I do. I doubled-up my overlay texture, increasing the transparency over the cowboy’s face, but bringing up the side of the page like a cloud of dust, because rodeos are dusty places. *g* <img src=”http://www.lcchase.com/images/PuMCoverPanels/compiled.jpg“>
Finally the typography. I wanted a western font for this, something a little more unique than what I had in my 2000-plus-font book, so off to MyFonts.com for some shopping, where I found the perfect font. Spent some more time messing around with colors, gradients, effects, and finally was set on the typography. But still it needed a little . . . something. A lasso! In a conceptual sense. I drew a circle, added the same treatments that I added the type, and then used the eraser tool with a custom brush and “knicked” out pieces of the circle. Dropped that behind the text and voila! 🙂 <img src=”http://www.lcchase.com/images/PuMCoverPanels/compiled_txt.jpg“>
And there you have it. A cover is born. 🙂
It takes a pissed-off Brahma bull named Shockwave to show rodeo pickup man Marty Fairgrave the cold hard truth about champion bull rider Tripp Colby: Tripp will never leave the safety of his closet or acknowledge Marty in public. Sometimes loving someone just isn’t enough, and after a year of hiding what they are, Marty finally sees the light—and it’s no longer shining on Tripp.
Tripp Colby would do anything for Marty. Well . . . almost. He’s never loved anyone before, and isn’t quite sure how to handle it now. But he knows Marty is his everything, and in order to win him back, Tripp will have to overcome his darkest fears and step into the light.
But no matter Tripp’s intentions, the cost might be too high and the effort too late for these two cowboys to ride off into the sunset.
Where to Get Pickup Men:
Riptide Publishing: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/pickup-men Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pickup-Men-ebook/dp/B00DTJJHKI ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-pickupmen-1228430-149.html
About L.C. Chase:
Cover artist by day, author by night, L.C. Chase is a hopeless romantic and adventure seeker. After a decade of road tripping on three continents, she now calls the Canadian West Coast home. When not writing tales of beautiful men falling love, L.C. can be found designing book covers of said beautiful men, reading, drawing, hiking the trails with her goofy four-legged buddy who, if he were human, would be a stand-up comedian, and fighting her root beer addiction.
You can find out more about L.C., story extras, works in progress, and cover designs at her website: www.lcchase.com, or her blog: www.lcchase.blogspot.com. She can also be found on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4662239.L_C_Chase, Twitter: https://twitter.com/LC_Chase and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/LC-Chase/510383032351100.
*Rodeo photo copyright L.C. Chase, 2013. All rights reserved.