Friday, September 13, 2013

Interview with cover designer Jenn Rush ... and pics of hot shirtless guys. AND a giveaway!

GUYS. I am so excited to have author, photographer, and designer Jennifer Rush on the blog! As you may know, she's the genius behind all three of my covers, and I wanted to bring her here and interrogate her a bit! Oh, and also, to get her to show us some outtakes from the photo shoots, including some amazing *ahem* shirtless pics of a few of the male models.

You're a published YA author and a photographer/designer. In other words, you seem kinda busy. When and how did you decide to start doing cover designs?

This might sound silly to some people, but I am a firm believer in astrology, and I am totally an Aries. I lose interest in everything I do very quickly, and found that switching up my creative process, or switching projects, helps immensely. Graphic design has always been a love of mine, and when I finally learned how to properly use a camera, I realized I could combine all my loves (books, photography and design) to create.
And designing book covers is a creative field that is almost tailored to my work style. I can tell a story through the image, but it’s a tightly compact story, short and sweet, the way I like it. And once it’s done (usually takes about a week or two from beginning to end), I’m ready to move on to the next project.
Writing is different in that it takes months, sometimes over a year, to finalize. Which isn’t to say I hate writing (writing is definitely my first love), or that I like it less than designing/photography, it just uses a lot more energy. It’s nice to take a mini break every now and then, and do something that’s just as creative, but in a completely different way. 
You've designed three covers for me now, and others for authors at Spencer Hill Press. Do you have a specific design process, or is it different every time?
My process is similar for each cover. I go into it having a general idea of what I want the finished cover to look like. I always start with the image, and finish any composite work, if it needs it. From there, I tweak the coloring, because the color of the image will dictate the overall color scheme of the design. Then it’s title placement and author name. I would say I almost spend more time picking out fonts, and placement, than anything else.
Tell us what it's like to work with hot, shirtless male models. Because really, that's what all of us want to know.
Well, before the shoot, I always get a little bit nervous! You’re never quite sure what the models will be like in person, or if they’ll take direction well, or if the location is good, or if the lighting is good. There are a lot of things out of my control, and I always worry about getting the perfect shot.
Every model I’ve worked with so far has been phenomenal. Great people, super sweet, and totally willing to try whatever I throw at them. I can only imagine how hard it is to almost-kiss a near stranger while someone is snapping your picture. But they do it! And they do it well!
After the shoot, when I’m going through the pictures of hot shirtless boys, it finally dawns on me (every single time) that my job is photographing hot shirtless boys, and then I realize how lucky I am. 

In your opinion, what makes a great book cover?

So many elements! I’m not sure I could pinpoint just one thing. It takes a great image, good compositing (making all of the elements look natural to the overall image), the perfect font, the perfect placement of the title and the right colors. You want to make sure the colors compliment each other, but also pop off the design as well.
Do you want people to come to you with requests to design their covers? 
I’m definitely open to taking on more design work! But, my schedule is definitely limited, since my writing deadlines come first. J I’m really looking forward to doing more compositing in the future, and trying my hand at some fantasy/paranormal work.  

There you go, folks! And, because Jenn is awesome, she's decided to share a few extra pics from her photo shoots! Enjoy!
These are from SPIRAL's photo shoot, and I think these two make the perfect Nessa and Aron!
Airbrushing could not make his abs more perfect.
These are from the photo shoot from EVERYTHING BETWEEN US, and we chose these two models because they are the *perfect* Daniel and Stella.
Okay. This one kinda leaves me speechless.
Sorry, my brain is no longer functioning, so perhaps I'll just leave this giveaway here for you and leave it at that.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Sigh. I never get tired of looking at "Aron's" abs.

    I can imagine the models are nervous too, not knowing what to expect from you.

    LOVE Jennifer's covers!!!

    1. Thanks Stina!! I can't possibly imagine what it's like to be a model, but I try to remind myself that it's possible they're nervous too. We're all there to do the same thing!

  2. Jesus! This is such a delicious and drooling post. The abs! Look at his abs. My God! 0_0 YUM! I love the cover. I have always love cover reveals. It's so nice!!! :)