My guest blogger today is Sheri McGathy, author and cover artist. Welcome, Sheri! Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in writing.
Hi Elizabeth, thank you for having me as a guest on your blog!
I’ve always been a storyteller. I loved to daydream and pretend when I was a child, loved to believe that there really were elves and magic and faeries. Fantasy is my love. I would sit for hours and tell my dog, Babe, stories. He was a great listener :) I didn't actually try to write a novel until my late twenties or early thirties. Before that, I wrote mainly fantasy poems--very long, story poems. And I am not sure I would have attempted to write a novel if a friend who had read the 48-page poem of Elfen Gold hadn’t encouraged me to turn the poem into a novel. At the time I thought, what the heck, I’ll give it a go. I’ve been givin’ it a go ever since.
As I mentioned, I loved to daydream and pretend when I was a child, and in a way, when I plot a novel now, I still do this. I daydream the scenes, imagine the characters, their personalities, how they interact with the others in the story, and how they will deal with the challenges I give them. By the time I sit down to write the story, I know my characters fairly well.
Tell us about your books.
I mainly write fantasy, but I have done a few ghost stories too.
My first novel was Elfen Gold - A Storyteller Tale. This was the novel that was birthed from a poem! And this story gave birth to another favorite of mine, The Storyteller. I use his narrative voice in several stories.
Blurb from Elfen Gold:
“Gather round. Aye, gather near, and I will spin you a tale of magic from a time long since lost to lore. Come and I will tell of elves and the kingdom of Ra-Jee, a kingdom now forgotten in the mists of enchantment.
“This tale is one of sacrifice and sorrow, yet one of hope offered to a future not yet written.” The Storyteller curled his gnarled fingers over the worn top of his cane and smiled. “And it is a tale of a young elfen maiden named Ra-May and the human male, Michall, she is destined to meet.
“Come, join me as I tell of these two very different and unique individuals, brought together by fate, and guided by ancient magic as they venture forward to save Ra-Jee--or die trying.
“And so,” whispered the old Storyteller, “the tale begins...”
Next came Within the Shadow of Stone, a journey through legend and myth to the time of the standing stones. . .
Then a string of short stories and novellas followed:
With four shorts
~ THE BIRTH OF SPRING~
~ THIEF OF DREAMS~
~THE ANCIENT ONE~
~WHERE LIES BEAUTY~
Ghostly Tales (These stories originally appeared in the Anthology Trespassing Time)
~The Graveyard Dance
~What’s a Ghost to Do?
~Forgotten, But Not Gone
A duet with fellow author and friend Shannah Biondine:
Winds of Forevermore
My story Summersong is one of my personal favorites, as well as Where Lies Beauty from Omnibus Collection.
Promises and The Gift
I also was a contributor in The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels: Volume 1
Why did you decide to start a cover art business, and when did you start it?
I won’t lie, I needed a second source of income since I hadn’t really written much for some time. As to why cover art? Well, aside from the fact I enjoy creating them, I wanted, or needed, to be creative, I wanted to tell a story with the art, and I wanted to create affordable covers that wouldn’t break the bank. As to when did I start doing cover art? It’s been a few years now, I am horrible about time, but I started probably in 2011.
Do you have a special technique for coming up with cover art? Do you work with authors?
I work with authors the best I can. There’s lots of ways I work. Sometimes the author supplies all the art, and I ask them questions about the book, what they think they might want. If they don’t supply the art, I ask even more questions. I want to get a feel for the story before I go hunting for stock art. That’s the writer in me searching for the story with the art, what art can I use to help convey the story, etc. And most importantly, what art can I actually work with. Sometimes I love the art but it just doesn’t fit with everything else. Sometimes I can hit it on the first attempt if I get a really good feel from the author about the story; sometimes it takes me a while :)
How many covers have you done for specific books, and how many have you done as examples?
Truth? I have no idea! I create a lot of pre-mades, I love crafting those. But I have done a fair share of custom covers. While not all the customs are up on my site, you can see some by going here:
Just click on the text below each album cover to see all the covers posted for each author.
Do you feel that as a writer you have an advantage in creating cover art authors will love?
Maybe or not. I don’t know. I just know that once I get started, sometimes, just like my characters, the cover design speaks to me.
What’s your favorite cover of all you’ve created?
They are all my favorite. :-) For various reasons.
Where can people see your covers?
This is the home page of my personal cover design website:
There is an email subscription signup that will email the subscribers any time I post a new pre-made.
And this is my Facebook page:
Sheri, thanks so much for posting today.
Thanks so much for inviting me to be your guest!
Check out Sheri McGathy's books and cover art. You'll love them!