Friday, 15 December 2017

Interview between K.S. Hunter and his cover designer Sam Sheridan

Who are you and how long have you been doing what you are doing?

My name is Sam Sheridan. I am a visual communicator. I graduated from the Arts University Bournemouth this summer and have always had a passion for art, but I have been designing and creating since I was 16.
What’s your process when designing something for somebody else?

A typical process would be to dissect the brief – research existing designs – draw up suitable concepts – then develop the strongest concepts until we have a final response.
What’s your process when designing a book cover? How do you get from concept to the final product?

I approach this the same as any other project. Book covers enable huge creative freedom because they are (in my eyes) essentially posters, and posters are some of the most fantastic and fun ways of communicating anything (ask any designer, I bet they love making posters).
You can see the Pinterest board that I used to share the progression and ideas for Just One Time here:
How do you feel during the process and when you get to the end of the process?

The beginning of the process is always the most exciting for me – brainstorming ideas and concepts. The development is also enjoyable, but as with any project there comes a point when you start to get tired and bored. So there is always some degree of relief at the end of a project but also a great sense of accomplishment.
Here’s what I told you when I first asked you to create a cover for Just One Time: ‘I'm looking for something that is somewhat in keeping with the industry trends you can see [I shared some recent popular covers for novels in the erotic fiction and thriller fiction markets] but a bit edgier. In all these books, the lead characters are female but my main character is male, so I'd like to incorporate more 'thriller' elements into the cover and less of the sparkly jewel-type art work that tends to be used in much of the erotic covers of today - it's definitely not that kind of book.’ How did you get from this to your idea about the woman with her face being torn through the front cover?

The inspiration for the cover of Just One Time came from existing designs – particularly the Fatal Attraction poster and the The Immortalist (by Andre Gide) cover. I wanted the Just One Time cover to show the woman and her underlying personality. She needed to be seductive and dangerous. The tears were used to reveal areas of her neck and lips (the erotic elements) and to also point to her dangerous side.

Why did you make certain colour and font choices with Just One Time?

Red was the obvious choice in colour. However, I didn’t think the cover needed to be entirely red. The cover for Just One Time is mostly light grey with tears that display the red underneath as a nod to the thriller aspect of the book. The typeface was also chosen to reflect the thrilling nature of the book – with sharp serifs, it suggests danger and accompanies the tears well.
What are the main things that authors and designers should think about when creating a book cover?

As with any creative project, you have to think about the audience and the story that you want them to imagine. Everything needs to be tailored to what the story is about and how you want the audience to feel when they see or read the book.
What are the main challenges you find in the whole process?

Trying to maintain a minimalist look throughout my work is the hardest aspect. I think overworking a design is an easy thing to do.
Let’s think about all the books you’ve designed. What have you learnt along the way?

Working with the author to ensure the cover represents their story is the most important
part of the cover. Without a good understanding of the story, the cover is compromised. The author knows the story best!

No pressure here, but do you read the books you design after they are released?

I love to read the books before and after the design process if I can. I want to know more about the story the more time I spend on designing the cover.
Would it be helpful if you could read a book before you designed its cover? I’m intensely private about my writing, so it would pain me to share it before it’s ready, but other authors might feel differently.

Absolutely, the more of the story I can understand, the more intricate and appropriate I can make my response. I understand the pains of sharing work before it is complete, so the blurb can be equally useful in determining the cover. The blurb is what the audience sees coupled with the cover and so it should be enough to convey the story. This is why I try to keep the author completely up to date throughout the design process – because if they feel the cover is not representative of the story, then they can say so and adjustments can be made.

If you could do anything else for a career, what would it be?

I can’t imagine ever doing anything else. However, I have always had an interest in music, so I suppose I’d be pursuing my 10-year-old dreams of being a musician.

Thank you so much Sam and KS Hunter for that interesting interview. 

To see more from Sam Sheridan -

The first novel by K.S. Hunter, the alter ego of an international bestselling author, whose identity will remain a secret.

Desire can have dire consequences

Two years ago, David Madden made a mistake that almost cost him his marriage. His wife, Alison, gave him another chance, but she has not forgotten, nor has she forgiven.

She is irresistible

Then David meets the alluring Nina at a theatre in London. When he loses his phone in the dark, she helps him find it, and by giving her his number he unwittingly invites her into his life.

What David initially views as an innocent flirt turns into a dangerous game of deception. His increasingly suspicious wife thinks something is up, and each lie he tells pushes them further apart.

She is insatiable

Nina pursues David relentlessly, following him to New York where she gives him an ultimatum: sleep with her, just one time, and then she’ll get out of his life forever; or she’ll ruin everything he holds dear.

She is unstoppable

Of course, once won’t be enough for Nina, and what David hoped would be the end is merely the beginning.

A modern-day Fatal Attraction, Just One Time is a steamy psychological thriller that will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath until its shocking conclusion. 

Purchase from Amazon UK

Author Bio – K.S. Hunter is the pseudonym of an international bestselling author. The identity of the author, who lives in the United Kingdom, will remain a mystery.

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