cover art

Cover Artist Dawne Dominique; AJ Llewellyn Tribute to Director John Bruno

I’ve been meaning to post something about cover artist Dawne Dominique for a while now. As a side note, I’ve also wanted to post something about my cover artist for Ravenous Romance for a long time, too, but he doesn’t want the publicity at all. Over the years, I’ve noticed this trend with some of the best cover artists I’ve come in contact with. They aren’t interested in promotion or any glory at all. They love what they do and expect very little in return. In fact, I can say for certain I have never once seen cover artist Dawne Dominique promote herself or her cover art on social media.

That’s probably because most are so busy they don’t have time to promote. I also think it’s a creative artistic thing that all visual artists share. When I owned my gallery in New Hope and represented over one hundred different visual artists for ten years, I learned most were behind the scenes people. And those who weren’t and wanted too much promotion I rarely took on because they were too pushy and could be trouble.

In any event, most publishers would agree that book covers help sell books. There’s even a web site that focuses on coverfail sometimes…and most of the time they are right. What always interests me is how you can distinguish certain styles from a particular artist, and yet no two covers ever look alike. I think that “style” is something readers look for sometimes. What amazes me is how someone like Dawne can take a few lines that I send to my editor, with cover thoughts and wishes, and then turn my thoughts into reality as if she’d read my mind. That takes skill, aside from actually doing the cover. And I’m always left wondering how in the world she can do this without actually speaking to me. Half the time I’m worried I didn’t give a good enough description. And I have to admit that I’ve given her a few challenges over the years.

In any event, here’s a link to Dawne’s web site where you can check her out on your own. If you’re a self-published author and you’re looking for a cover artist (and you should be looking for one), Dawne hasn’t just done my books for publisher Loveyoudivine.com. She’s also done two of my self-published covers as well. And I can say without thinking twice that “Chase of a Lifetime” so far is my all time favorite cover. And it’s not even the most elaborate cover she’s done for me. My second favorite cover she’s done is above for my upcoming anthology, With This Cowboy I Love So Freely.

Here’s the link to her cover art page.

And here’s one to her deviantart page. I didn’t even realize she was on deviantart until this moment. I’ve been going there for public domain photos for the blog and trying to figure out which are legal and which aren’t. If you don’t know what deviantart is, check it out. You can get lost for hours. It’s actually very therapeutic.

AJ Llewellyn Tribute to Director John Bruno

This afternoon author AJ Llewellyn wrote a blog post about the death of a personal friend, John Bruno. He was a director in the adult entertainment industry and also a photographer and artist. As I stated above, I worked with artists when I owned my gallery and I know them well. It will break your heart. It’s one of the most touching tributes I’ve read in a long time and I think it’s something that most authors who write erotica and erotic romance can understand. In fact, it’s something most artists can understand. Here’s the link, and below is an excerpt:

When I first started writing gay erotic romance fiction six years ago, I didn’t tell many people. It was a new medium for me and I wanted to see how it went. I had coffee one day with my friend John Bruno, who had been struggling to find work as an artist. I’ve never met a kinder, more talented man. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t get a break. He told me he was getting work here and there…and suddenly mentioned a movie he’d directed. When I probed he wouldn’t say what kind of movie at first. He finally said he was directing gay porn.

I was delighted. I told him I was writing gay erotic romances and we had a good laugh that we were such shy purveyors of porn. John Bruno (his porn name, not his real name), became one of my biggest supporters and introduced me to Adam Killian before Adam became the multimedia superstar he is now. Adam and I did a shoot for three of my favorite bookcovers and John showed an intense interest in my work.

DOWN THE BASEMENT II: SANTA SATURDAY

I know it’s not even Halloween yet, and I’m usually the first one to complain when stores start pushing the seasons too fast. But I’ve been working on this sequel to DOWN THE BASEMENT so it will be ready for the Christmas season and I just received the cover art for it. I didn’t do anything Christmassy for Ravenous Romance this year, but I did want to get something out for the holidays for the people who have been asking me about it.

As I said this is the sequel, titled, DOWN THE BASEMENT II: SANTA SATURDAY. It is twice as long as the first story (13,000 words), which was originally pubbed in a Cleis Press Anthology that went on to win a Lambda Award that year. And this one is original and has never been pubbed before by anyone. I’ll post more when the book is released. Just wanted to share the image now.

New Cover: Strawberries and Cream at the Plaza and Dawne Dominique

I saw this new cover art for a stand alone that hasn’t been released yet and couldn’t help posting about it. Dawne Dominique did the cover art, and she worked hard on this one. Very hard. And I can’t tell her how much I appreciate it. This stand alone e-book is a little different for me. It’s not an erotic romance this time. It’s just a nice simple love story about two gay men who meet by chance and fall in love. I’ll post more. But I wanted to thank Dawne first. It’s always a pleasure working with her. Check out her web site and see what I mean. Just looking over her work is fun.