I recently shot a book cover and promo video for Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans (art directed by Lizzy Bromley at SImon and Schuster). It was such a good experience that I decided to ask Lenore to answer these “8 questions with an author”…
1. What is the natural talent you wish you had?
LA: I wish I had a better ear for languages. I speak Spanish and German fluently and I studied Japanese, but I’m never really able to get the accent right. I envy those few who can sound like native speakers.
2. What makes you happy?
LA: I love travel – exploring new places and meeting new people. But I also love being at home with my cats.
3. What makes you miserable?
LA: Not getting enough sleep.
4. What’s the first book that influenced you?
LA: That would probably be the illustrated version of Last of the Mohicans. I loved that book as a kid.
5. What’s your favorite motto or saying
LA: You can’t step in the same river twice.
6. What are you reading?
LA: I’ve made it my mission to read as many books from the authors in my debut author group, The Apocalypsie,s as possible. Right now I’m reading SHADOWS CAST BY STARS by Catherine Knutsson – a post apocalyptic where native American people are hunted down because their blood is the only cure for the plague and VELVETEEN by Daniel Marks, a much more twisted look at the afterlife than LEVEL TWO.
7. What are you listening to?
LA: For our 6th wedding anniversary a few days ago, my husband I went to see this Belgian choir called Scala & Kolacny Brothers. They do amazing covers and I’m obsessed with their rendition of Bjork’s Joga. It’s on my LEVEL 2 playlist.
8. What did you think when you first saw your cover for Level2?
LA: My husband is a designer and illustrator, so when I saw Alexandra’s e-mail with the subject line “Your Cover” I called him over and we opened it together. We knew Lizzy Bromley was amazing, but THIS — wow. I feel so blessed to have a cover with such a fierce girl on it. It totally transports the thriller vibe of the novel and is so eyecatching. Your photography is amazing and I can’t thank you enough.
AS: Thanks, Lenore! It was a real pleasure!
I just shot this cover for a thriller called Level 2. I think of this cover - another one I’ve had the pleasure of shooting with Lizzy Bromley of Simon and Schuster – as a mix between Barbarella and Dubstep.
Also check out my “8 Questions with an Author” interview with Level 2 author Lenore Appelhans next week.
I recently produced, filmed and edited this trailer for the release of “Fever”, the latest book in the Chemical Garden Trilogy by Lauren DeStefano. We shot in an amazing home that rents itself out for shoots called “House of Collection” in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Although certain key shots had to be covered, we mostly just got to play around in that space and be creative.
I just shot the third and final cover in “The Chemical Garden” trilogy this past monday. I won’t be able to show it for a few months, but the first two covers (below) have been a smash hit with readers and critics, winning many “best covers of the year” awards on literary blogs. These covers have been incredibly fun to shoot! Each one has been a true collaboration with Simon and Schuster art director (and resident genius) Lizzy Bromley! From sketching to brainstorming to prop shopping to dress shopping to building elaborate sets on the day of the shoot, every step has been pure joy! I’m sad to see the series come to an end. But Lauren DeStefano is a hugely talented writer, so hopefully we’ll get to help bring her next series to life as well.
I shot the cover for Lauren DeStefano’s amazing novel, Wither, earlier this year, and just completed the shoot for the cover to the sequal. The second shoot was even more over the top than the first set up. I love this cover (designed by Lizzy Bromley at Simon and Schuster), and the premiss of the story is extremeley compelling. Check it out on Lauren’s website.
And now for 8 Questions with Lauren DeStefano:
what is the natural talent you wish you had?
I don’t know if this is considered a talent, but I’ve always wished I had better handwriting. In
elementary school, my teachers would put me through something I can only call a Penmanship Bootcamp, and I failed horribly. I can scarcely read my own grocery list.
what makes you happy?
xA combination snowy day, purring cat, and a good literary tragedy I can get lost in.
what makes you miserable?
Mornings. I avoid them when at all possible.
what’s the first book that influenced you?
There are so many wonderful books I read in my childhood that have stayed with me, such as the American Girl series and the Ramona Quimby books. But I have to say the first book to leave a permanent footprint with me was The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon. It’s perhaps the first adult book I read, and I was mystified and at the same time horrified by the characters. The ending is one that still takes my breath away over a decade later.
what’s your favorite motto or saying?
“There is no satisfactory explanation of style, no infallible guide to good writing, no assurance that a person who thinks clearly will be able to write clearly, no key that unlocks the door, no inflexible rule by which the young writer may shape his course. He will often find himself steering by stars that are disturbingly in motion.” ~ This comes from Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White
What are you reading?
Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald.
What are you listening to?
Dice, by Finley Quaye
what did you think when you first saw your cover for Wither? (I know, that’s cheeky of me… )
When I saw the cover, I wasn’t thinking in words so much as in bright lights and exploding rainbows and harpsichord music.
Thank you, Lauren.
This series is still one of my favorites. The books were great, the art director, Beth Clark, is incredibly talented and funny and sweet, the author, Daniel Waters, is the best, the concepts were smart and allowed me to revel in my old punk rock and goth days again.
Dan talks about the covers on his blog where he also was kind enough to ask me some questions about myself. Stay tuned here for an interview with him soon.
This recent book cover I shot seems to be getting a lot of great press all over the web. Like here and here and here. Hooray for Lizzy Bromley, art director extraordinaire, for her creativity and great ideas.