The Cover Story

Straight Up by Cate DashwoodWriting my books was a long (eighteen months and still going) process. It was exciting, but also challenging. On those days when I couldn’t write another word and I was sure I was the worst writer to walk the planet, I needed a distraction – something positive to focus on.
I chose my book covers.
You might be wondering why an e-book needs a good cover (though the paperback versions will have similar covers as well). Think about the last time you ordered a book for your Kindle or other electronic device. How many times has the cover helped you decide whether or not to order a book? (This one by Elizabeth Boyle has been a longtime favorite of mine, perhaps because black dresses are so rare on Regency romance covers.) Long gone are the days of random models in the arms of Fabio. Modern covers are true works of art, and I wanted mine to be no different.
When I started looking into cover designers, I knew that I wanted to invest in mine. After all my covers are the first things readers will see about my books. So I went for the best: my covers were designed by the amazing Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations. She has designed some of the most famous new adult book covers out there, and I knew I had to have her as my cover designer. Sarah designed all five covers for the Dugan Siblings books, and I cannot wait to show you the rest of them!
characters, writing

What’s in a (character’s) name?

Scarlett O’Hara is one of the most famous characters of all time – but would she have had the same impact on the world of fiction (and film) if she didn’t have her fabulous name? Author Margaret Mitchell almost called her heroine Pansy – and let’s face it, Pansy O’Hara just does NOT have the same ring to it. So why are character names so important?


I have always been big on the importance of good names. I love discussing and dissecting them, and nothing makes me happier than hearing of a beautiful baby name. (Likewise, nothing makes me more annoyed than hearing a name I don’t like).

The same goes for character names. I cannot start a story until I have the perfect name for each of my characters. Names should be memorable and true to the time period that the story is set in. I instantly can tell whether or not the author has researched name popularity by what she names her characters – it’s pretty obvious that hasn’t been done when a contemporary romance has popular names from the 1960s in it.

So what about the books you read?

Image via Wikipedia


That Tricky Release Date

Release dates are hard to pin down.

As I’ve finished the first two books (out of five) in my first series, the question I always get is, “So when are you publishing those books?”

And the answer is – I have a rough idea (this fall) but beyond that, I don’t know.

Believe me, it’s as frustrating to say that as it is to hear it. Besides juggling a full-time job and other responsibilities, I’ve discovered that it’s very hard to write one book while editing another. So hard, in fact, that I’ve given that up completely. I’m only <1000 words into Book #3, but as much as it kills me to do, I’ve set it aside so I can finish editing Book #2.

Writing is fun. Editing is not. And of course I’d rather do the fun stuff instead of the not-so-enjoyable stuff, but I assume you all want a coherent book to read, so back to editing I go!