I was asked a very interesting question last week. I was visiting the Saint Joan of Arc School in Rickmansworth, which I was astonished a delighted to discover has an actual moat, like a castle or something, and a literary claim to fame (George Eliot wrote Daniel Deronda there). I was also delighted by the pupils and their questions.
"Do you design your own covers and is it different when you are designing a cover for someone else's book?"
"Yes," I replied. "I am lucky enough to design my own, with the help of an art editor. And yes, it's quite different when I'm designing one for somebody else."
This started a whole discussion about the publishing process, how brilliant art editors are, how I get inside the head of an author and how publishers often need a cover finished before the author has even finished writing the book!
I am in the fortunate position of having a commission to illustrate a second book by an author I both admire and like very much, Karen McCombie. Today I had the rough artwork approved for the cover of the lovely Karen's new title, Honey and Me. Minutes later another emailed pinged onto my screen - the finished first draft, hot from Karen's writing desk. You see, I wasn't lying!