Virtual Book Tour: Sheila R. Lamb: The Art of the Cover

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Today’s Virtual Book Tour stop is from Sheila R. Lamb, who visited us last year to talk about Once a Goddess, the first book in the Brigid trilogy. Sheila’s work previously appeared in JMWW


Andrew and Andria Love (Studio A and A) are a husband and wife art team who made all three covers for the Brigid series. The typically create in a variety of mediums, themes, and styles. A number of the images on their home page look like something out of a fairy tale.

sketch

 

I love my cover artists. I grew up with Andria – we’ve known each other since the fifth grade and took creative writing classes together in high school. For my Brigid series, I sent preliminary sketches. By preliminary, I mean rudimentary, which is the extent of my drawing skills. I can see the full image in my head, but god help me putting it on paper.

 

 

When I read and write, I envision the scenes as if watching a movie. I wanted Brigid to be front and center of the covers because, ultimately, the trilogy is her story. Patrick is part of it, though his role is sometimes mysterious. That’s why he’s a smaller, shadowy figure on the cover of Fiery Arrow (#2), and why Bres is far away on the cover of Once a Goddess (#1). Andria sketched a couple of drafts from my stick figures to make sure she was interpreting them correctly.

FA drawingPersonally, I like covers that give a hint of what the character looks like. More covers now are symbolic, which leaves impressions more open to interpretation. Symbols let the readers envision their characters. But, I like a profile of the character or setting. I’ve probably been most influenced by Morgan Llywelyn’s older covers of Druids, Pride of Lions, and Bard.

I came up with the book cover ideas and brought them to the artist, before I had a publisher. When I signed with Solstice, I asked about cover design, and they agreed to go ahead and use Studio A and A. I believe they were in transition in changing their policy about cover art. This was a generous gesture on their part; authors do not usually have their own cover art. Publishers generally design covers in-house, and maybe you get a choice of a few options. But because the artists and I had sketched out the trilogy beforehand, and the artwork was good and professionally done, my editor discussed it with the editorial team and they approved it.

Follow along with Sheila R. Lamb’s virtual book tour to learn more about Fiery Arrow and Church of the Oak, books #2 and #3 of the Brigid series!

Book 1Book 2Book 3


Sheila Lamb

Sheila Lamb

Sheila Lamb received an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. Her short stories have earned Pushcart and storySouth Million Writers Award nominations. She is a writer-in-residence at the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities and is a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA). Sheila is the author of the Brigid of Ireland historical fantasy series, which tells the story of Brigid as goddess, druid, and saint.  Sheila has traveled throughout Ireland and participated in the Achill Archaeology Field School. She loves Irish history, family genealogy, and is easily distracted by primary source documents. She lives, teaches, and writes in the mountains of Virginia.

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