Take Ten with...Amanda Stevens

Interview - Take Ten With Amanda Stevens by Linnae Crady

Author Amanda Stevens gives Cover Cafe her take on romance book covers!

The Diamond in the Window

1. What was the first book you remember reading? Can you describe the cover of the book and did you like the cover?

The book I remember most vividly from my childhood is The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton, a tale of lost children, hidden rooms and enchanted dream riddles. The cover was very gothic and evocative—a snow-covered Victorian house with lots of turrets and towers.

2. Have you ever purchased a book because of the cover alone? If yes, which one and why?

I buy a lot of young adult novels because of the gorgeous covers. Most recently, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Beautiful Chaos, The Replacement…and happily the stories inside are just as compelling.

The Replacement

3. When did you first know you were destined to be a writer?

I wanted to be a writer since childhood. One of my earliest influences was the book I mentioned above, The Diamond in the Window. I’d been reading The Little House on the Prairie series and some Nancy Drew, but this story gave me my first taste of fantasy with a Gothic edge. Several years later, my influences took a romantic turn when I discovered Mary Stewart’s Nine Coaches Waiting and Victoria Holt’s The Pride and the Peacock. All three books are still in my library.

4. Who gave you your first break in publishing?

Leslie Wainger bought my first book for Silhouette Intimate Moments. I stayed there for nine more books, but my career didn’t really take off until I moved over to Harlequin Intrigue. That was my second big break.

Killing Moon

5. What was your first published book and what did the cover look like? Did you love it or hate it and why?

My first published book was Killing Moon, a romantic suspense about mistaken identity. I remember the cover only too well—heroine wore black; hero wore a white dinner jacket and an eighties ‘pornstache'. That mustache still gives me nightmares.

6. Do you believe a cover can increase or decrease the sales of a book? Have any covers affected the sales of your books?

Strangely, my worst-selling books all had yellow covers.

7. What has been your favorite book cover from all of your releases and why?

I love the covers and branding for The Graveyard Queen Series, but I think my favorite is The Dollmaker. Very creepy and cool and so different from any of my other covers. My mouth literally dropped open the first time I saw it.

The Doll Maker

Linnae's note: I bought The Dollmaker because I had been a fan of Amanda since her Harlequin Intrigue series, Gallagher Justice. The cover scared me to death. I knew that it wasn't my typical HEA romance but the cover stopped me cold and I was intrigued. I bought it and wasn't disappointed. The Dollmaker is a story of love, loss, and evil. It's full of suspense and stays with you long after you read the last page.

8. What has been your least favorite cover from all of your releases and why?

Definitely the pornstache cover.

9. What trends do you see in book covers currently and in the future?

It seems we’ve moved away from the literal to a more symbolic interpretation, i.e. all those gorgeous Twilight covers. I’m also happy that more emphasis is being placed on typography, which can make or break a cover.

10. Do you have a current or upcoming release to share with Cover Cafe? Please give us the details and a peek at the cover, too!

The fourth Graveyard Queen book (tentatively titled The Keeper) releases October, 2013, and Chrysalis, the first book in my new YA series, releases February, 2014. Sadly, I don’t yet have covers for either so I’ll leave you with my latest.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd books from The Graveyard Queen Series; The Restorer released in 02/11, The Kingdom released in 03/12, and The Prophet released in 04/12.

The Restorer The Kingdom The Prophet

Amanda's cover from her release, The Restorer, placed 6th in the
Alternate Reality category in Cover Cafe's 2011 Romance Cover Contest.

Thank You Amanda!

Amanda Steven's website

Linnae Crady () (October 1, 2012)

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Author image, and covers are displayed with permission from author.