Tag Archives: Stephanie Bibb

Thoughts on Writing: Author Interview at Cathleen Townsend’s Blog

Just a head’s up if anyone’s interested, Cathleen Townsend interviewed me at her blog today: http://cathleentownsend.com/2015/07/07/interview-with-stephanie-bibb/

Check it out, and if you like that one, she has a few other author interviews on her blog, as well. Enjoy. 🙂

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Behind the Scenes – The Great Forest of Shee

This is a cover for Melange Books. I’ve done covers for this author before, but in the previous cases, they were contemporary stories, not fantasy. The author mentioned in the provided art form of the possibility of having the unicorn on the cover, so that’s the direction I went. At first I tried a unicorn running toward the reader, but upon learning that the unicorns in this story where primarily passive, I tried a different route. The calm, resting creature. Originally I had the unicorn as a smaller piece of the cover, but since it didn’t really stand out (the cover lacked a focal point), I brought it forward and made it larger, thus drawing more attention to the unicorn. To add to the magical feel of the place, I increased the yellow and green color tone for the forest, as well as added a leafy texture to the edges of the cover.

This is the result:

SBibb - The Great Forest of Shee - Book Cover

SBibb - The Great Forest of Shee - Back of Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-white-lying-horse-green-grass-spring-image42596458
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-african-oryx-image15187054
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-morning-deep-forest-foggy-image33124894
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-huge-old-tree-washington-olympic-peninsula-forest-theme-nature-photo-collection-image32432337
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-ancient-castle-door-image22839459
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-shaded-blue-swirls-background-image12615609
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-giraffe-underbrush-image27233341
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-dappled-morning-light-shines-though-elm-tree-image11383183

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Behind the Scenes – The Witch and the Hairbrush

A cover for Melange Books. For this cover, the author requested an illustrated look, similar to what I created for Screw The Devil’s Daquiri ( https://sbibb.wordpress.com/2014/07/23/behind-the-scenes-screw-the-devils-daiquiri/ ). In order to achieve the effects we wanted, I used stock images. However, I also used quite a few filters and blur effects from Photoshop CS6. These effects can be quite useful when placed in different blending modes, partially masked, and/or at varying levels of opacity. Another trick I used was to put a heavier emphasis of illustration on the background, while only partially applying the filters to the skin and face of the model.

This is the final result:

SBibb - The Witch and the Hairbrush - Book Cover
Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-small-croatian-village-image14193196

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-portrait-woman-sitting-playing-piano-black-dress-concept-music-art-image34582905

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-witches-broom-image14974800

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-two-witches-image27339945

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-flying-witch-image26918313

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Behind the Scenes – Finding Clara

This is a cover for Melange Books. In this case, the author wanted to show the main character looking into a mirror and seeing a different aspect of their life, other than what they felt. In order to portray both scenes, I looked for stock images where there were multiple images of the model to choose from, both from the back, and from the front. Though the clothing is different, I tried to choose a less obvious difference, as well as placement which would draw less attention to the outfit, and instead focus on the concept of the two different “lives.”

On a technical note, when I usually complete a near-final cover, I use auto-align to get the rough size and position for full-sized stock images based on the proof cover. Lots of layers are typically involved. Every once in a while, however, something doesn’t want to work quite right. In this case, I had a smart object (very useful for maintaining the original size of images and grouping clusters together) decide it didn’t want to be edited. No idea why the layer locked, but with a little bit of searching, I found this link: https://forums.adobe.com/message/1870944

The post of use for this situation suggested to right click the smart object layer that refuses to be edited, open up the resulting menu, then export contents. Save that as a separately named file, and when you reopen the file, it opens as the smart object you were trying to open. Quite handy, I thought.

This is the final result, including the back cover I created for it:

SBibb - Finding Clara - Book Cover

 

SBibb - Finding Clara - Back Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-beautiful-woman-smiling-image15889714
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-victorian-mirror-image12415487
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-man-leaning-country-gate-image21409557
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-beautiful-woman-necklace-looking-image17998425
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-drive-autumn-woods-thanksgiving-day-image46328634

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Behind the Scenes – Nairobi Bloodstar

This is a cover for Melange Books. In my first proof, I gave this more of a historical movie poster look, but upon learning the book had a bit more of an action-thriller bent, I put more of a focus on the train wreck explosion than the scenery and characters. Still, I added texturing to give the cover the historical feeling, and I played with the coloring (we wanted the red highlights for the ruby). After playing with positioning of the title and the hands with the ruby, this is the final result:

SBibb - Nairobi Bloodstar - Book Cover

Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-old-stained-paper-texture-beige-image39122645

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-savanna-landscape-africa-amboseli-kenya-image29222114

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-black-hands-pills-two-african-holding-pain-image37001611

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-ruby-polished-slice-image9155467

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-giant-explosion-image11628125

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-train-crash-accident-image43972160

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Behind the Scenes – For the Love of Ruthie

This is a cover for Melange Books.

For this cover, I wanted to portray a happy, light-hearted tone, so I used bright, vivid colors. I also used a font with a swirly influence to give the title and author name a fun, romantic feel. The pig is Ruthie, so I gave it a prominent place on the cover. The text I wrapped around the couple in the scene so that the faces remained clear. The author requested that there also be a cat and tri-colored basset hound pup on the cover, so I included them near the couple’s feet.

Once the concept was approved, I blended the full-sized stock images together (using multiple layers and masking, and retouching the background between layers).

This is the result:

SBibb - For The Love Of Ruthie - Book Cover
Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-young-couple-standing-over-white-background-image37973502
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-cute-basset-puppy-image23115808
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-pink-pot-bellied-pig-image29172888
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-abandoned-wooden-farm-house-image23179806
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-cat-yawning-image19233539

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Behind the Scenes – The Doors

This is a cover for Melange Books.

For this one, I used texture overlay (the mosaic around the edge), as well as scene creation to create the desired stormy atmosphere and remove some of the birds from the original haunted house stock photo. I added in the girl, then at the author’s request, gave her longer hair. There are benefits to finding pictures where the hair is similar in color and goes roughly the desired direction you want it to go.

My original proof for this cover was too dark and gray, looking more like a horror novel than paranormal, so I lightened it a bit with the various blue and green tones to give it the sea/ocean-side feel, while still keeping the stormy atmosphere.

For this blog post, I’ve also included what I did for the back of the book. I usually keep these fairly simple, and in this case, I took part of the stock image that wasn’t used on the front cover to complete the back. That way the atmosphere remained consistent, while offering something a little different to look at. I used the same texture overlays and adjustment modes to keep the covers consistent, and included the publisher’s logo and barcode information on the back. I also include a separate layer with the author name and book title, that way the publisher can adjust for the spine as needed. I also flipped the back cover image so the white clouds act as a line, leading the eye back to the spine, and so that the dark blue mosaic would act as a frame.

SBibb - The Doors - Book Cover  SBibb - The Doors - Back of Book Cover
Stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-man-walking-field-towards-haunted-house-scary-dark-atmosphere-image35050105
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-images-dark-storm-clouds-image2046209
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-calgary-beach-mull-scotland-bay-located-north-west-framed-low-hills-broad-area-machair-grassy-meadow-image42890362
http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-beautiful-teenage-girl-outdoors-portrait-jeans-wear-looking-away-image36670484
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-broken-green-wall-tiles-image19929346
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-sad-girl-image22656428

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