Heart of Darkness – Setting the mood with cover artIt’s wonderful to be back here at Paromantasy. This time I’m here as part of my HEART OF DARKNESS book blog tour and today I’ll be talking about the cover art for this long vampire romance novel.
In case you’re not familiar with me, here’s a quick introduction. My name is Felicity Heaton and I write under that name and also as F E Heaton. I’m a paranormal romance author and I’ve been writing since 2005, and turned indie in 2006. In that time I have written over forty stories, including my best selling Her Angel series and my popular Vampires Realm series (which I write as F E Heaton). My paranormal romances are usually focused on vampires and werewolves, but I do also write other shape-shifters like black panthers, and also demons and witches, and a whole bunch of sexy angels.
It’s quite well known that I create my own cover art for my books as I have a degree in Graphic Design and have been working with PhotoShop for around half of my life. Because I create my own cover art, it means I get to produce something that really speaks about the book and can source images that match my vision of the characters. It’s not easy to produce a successful cover and takes hours of work, most of which is spent tracking down the right image that will work with the idea I have in my head.
With the cover of Heart of Darkness, I traipsed through hundreds of pictures searching for the right one that really spoke to me. I wanted to give the reader an immediate impression that it was a dark paranormal romance book but also that it wasn’t your typical one. In Heart of Darkness, the hero Aleksandr has to really work to win the heroine Elise. He starts his pursuit of her in completely the wrong way because he has been away from society for four centuries tracking vampire hunters in his mission to avenge his murdered sister. Everything has changed in his time away from the vampire world and so he tries to chase Elise in a way he would have four hundred years ago. Let’s just say that approach doesn’t go well for him. I wanted to show his fight for her and the fact that Elise definitely makes him work, and makes him change, in order to win her heart. A typical romantic clinch picture we see on plenty of romance covers wouldn’t have worked for Heart of Darkness.
The picture I chose, with the woman turned away from the man, conveyed the battle Aleksandr has to wage with Elise to win her but there’s also more going on in that picture that spoke to me. The fact that the heroine is still in his arms, as though she’s torn between remaining and running was so very like Elise. The man too was perfect for Aleksandr, who does change his ways in the story, opening his heart to Elise and laying everything on the line so she will be his at last. The quiet affection in the pose reflected the tenderness that Aleksandr shows towards Elise and the care he takes with her, but also made me feel that he fiercely needs the woman he’s holding and that was Aleksandr to a T.
The colouring and font choices on the cover are always of utmost importance. I wanted those to really convey the struggle in the book, not just between the heroine and hero, but between the hero and the darkness growing within him that threatens to destroy him. I chose to make the cover fade up from black and white and have the area behind the text dark. I also chose two fonts that went well together, using one that said romantic and love, and another that really screamed darkness and danger.
It isn’t my most elaborate cover but it is one that many readers and reviewers have commented on because it intrigued them and made them want to venture into the story to find out why the hero and heroine are so at odds on the cover, and that makes it a successful one to me.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this insight into how I designed the cover for Heart of Darkness, my new vampire romance novel. If you’d like to know more about the book, I’ve included a blurb, links to an excerpt, and buy links below. You can also follow me on my Heart of Darkness blog tour. The dates are listed at my Paranormal Pandemonium 2011 Blog Tour page at my website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/paranormal-pandemonium-blog-tour.php
Heart of Darkness is currently available in e-book from my website, Amazon Kindle Stores, Apple iBookstores, All Romance eBooks, and Smashwords. It will soon be available from Barnes & Noble, Kobo Books and the Sony Reader Store. It is also available in paperback at amazon.com and will soon be available at other Amazon stores worldwide and Barnes & Noble.
Heart of Darkness
A vampire prince on a four hundred year old mission to avenge his murdered sister...
Aleksandr Nemov won’t stop until the last of the vampire hunter’s progeny is wiped from the Earth. Each kill has stolen a piece of his humanity, pushing him towards the black abyss all vampires hold within their hearts. Now he is teetering on the edge, close to devolving into a beast, and time is running out as he tracks the last hunter to Prague. There he finds a beautiful woman who could be his one chance for salvation, but is it already too late for him?
A vampire guard who will do whatever it takes to protect those she loves...
Elise is dedicated to her duty. It’s the only thing she has left. All that changes when she meets Aleksandr in Prague and her master grants him permission to stay at her bloodline’s mansion. She knows all about Aleksandr but none of it prepares her for how she feels when the legendary prince’s hunt becomes one for her heart. Elise battles him with all of her strength but can she stop herself from falling for the handsome hunter? When he reveals the depth of the corruption in his soul, will she have the strength to face the pain in her past and do whatever it takes to save him?
Felicity Heaton is a romance author writing as both Felicity Heaton and F E Heaton. She is passionate about penning paranormal tales full of vampires, witches, werewolves, angels and shape-shifters, and has been interested in all things preternatural and fantastical since she was just a child. Her other passion is science-fiction and she likes nothing more than to immerse herself in a whole new universe and the amazing species therein. She used to while away days at school and college dreaming of vampires, werewolves and witches, or being lost in space, and used to while away evenings watching movies about them or reading gothic horror stories, science-fiction and romances.
Having tried her hand at various romance genres, it was only natural for her to turn her focus back to the paranormal, fantasy and science-fiction worlds she enjoys so much. She loves to write seductive, sexy and strong vampires, werewolves, witches, angels and alien species. The worlds she often dreams up for them are vicious, dark and dangerous, reflecting aspects of the heroines and heroes, but her characters also love deeply, laugh, cry and feel every emotion as keenly as anyone does. She makes no excuses for the darkness surrounding them, especially the paranormal creatures, and says that this is their world. She’s just honoured to write down their adventures.