Monday, February 4, 2013

Interview with Fantasy/Romance Author Serena Clarke

Serena Clarke is a graphic designer and author. She is also a member of the Red Mountain Shadows Publishing Team. She edits books, formats them, and creates covers for authors. Many authors want to publish their books through Amazon’s Create Space and other self-publishing companies. Serena helps authors get their books into shape.

Welcome back to my blog, Serena. You create book covers for authors. As everyone knows, the cover is what sells the book. You have to create just the right mood of the story. What is the procedure in creating a successful book cover and give us an example?

First, it is best to start by figuring out who your demographic is.  What age group and gender is going to be your main audience?  And then you want a cover that appeals mainly to that demographic.  

Next, make a list of keywords that describe the feel of your book.  Do you want your cover to be inspiring, gloomy, energetic, adventurous, romantic?  It is fantasy, romance, historical fiction, or a biography?  And do you want the cover to have a realistic look or an illustrated look? 

Then, make a list of things that you would like to see on the cover.  It could be a scene or an object or a symbol.  Do you want a person?  If so, what should they look like?  Do you want a picture of a landscape?  An ocean or a forest?  Do you want an object to be emphasized?  A coin or a flower or a shoe? 

Last year you published a new fantasy romance, and a couple reviewers have compared it to a fairytale. I noticed you changed your book cover for The Treasure of Isian. Why did you create a new one?

When I realized I was going to turn this book into a series, I knew I wanted my covers to have a similar feel.  So I decided to make some changes to the first book cover so that it would better match the rest of the books in the series. 

I read the reviews for The Treasure of Isian and they are wonderful. Here is a review for my readers to read: The Treasure of Isian was a stirring tale of an enchanted servant and a handsome prince and the adventures they face together as they search for the fabled treasure of Isian that will grant the bearer any wish they desire. This story had everything–dragons, witches, giants, elves, kings, princesses, terrifying forests and true love. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. Elani’s story was touching and heartbreaking as she goes on a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. The author did a wonderful job pacing the story and connecting me to the characters. I loved them all. Superb story that brought a smile to my face and helped me remember that sometimes, we can overlook the most valuable treasures in life if we’re not careful.  –Charissa Stastny, Author of Eyes of Light

Here is the cover for book 2. You mentioned that you are having a tough time coming up with a title for this book. It is temporarily called Isian’s Arrangment. I have an assignment for all my readers. Anyone who can come up with a good title that Serena absolutely loves, she will give you a free copy of the first book in this series, The Treasure of Isian. Then we’ll have a second drawing for everyone else who makes a comment. Serena, will you please tell my readers what book 2 is about so they can have fun coming up with a title?

Sure.  The title should preferably have the name Isian in it, but not necessary. War is coming and all the kingdoms must choose a side.  Isian decides to make an alliance with their long time enemies in order to defeat a common enemy.  So Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter in marriage to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance.

Princess Gabrielle and her new husband, Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other even though they have vast cultural differences, in order to triumph in the approaching war. At times there is tension between the couple, but as they get to know one another, their love for one another starts to grow.

There is fantasy, danger, a bit of mystery, and of course romance!

Would I recommend The Treasure of Isian to my readers? You bet! Here is my review: This story is captivating and has many twists and turns. It gives a new dimension to fantasy characters. It was difficult to put down. Not only is it a fantasy, but a sweet love story that can be enjoyed by young adult and adult alike. The devotion of Elani to her Prince was enjoyable, making the reader wonder when the Prince will see her as something more than a servant.

Thank you for this interview, Serena. It was fun interviewing you. You’re such a sweetheart. Good luck to my readers in this drawing! Stop by often because I have a new book giveaway every week.


Unknown said...

This sounds like a great book and I would love to read it. And what a great talent, to be able to make book covers. Love the covers on these two books. Congrats!
grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

Meghan said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I would prefer a print book and I live in the US.
These book covers look awesome.

Michelle said...

Great interview! I would love a print book, I live un the US.

Shan said...

Isian's Compact?

I would love a print copy. This sounds like a great read.

Thanks so much for the chance to win.

shan4178 at

Watts Family said...

Isians Proposal?

I would love an opportunity to read this book. Thanks for the chance at your give away.


Unknown said...

would love to get a chance to read

Unknown said...

Beautiful covers! wow! Print (US).

Veronica said...

These look really cool

I'd prefer a print copy (I live in Canada)


laurie said...

I would love a print copy. This sounds like a great read.

Thanks so much for the chance to win.

Mary Preston said...

These books look wonderful.



Unknown said...

I would love to win a hard copy... thanks so much for the chance to win!!!

Library Lady said...

I would love to win a print version of the book.
Thanks for entering me in the giveaway.
Janet E.

Anonymous said...

i would love to win this book thanks for a chance. Shirley B.

Anonymous said...

These giveaway's are super. Thank you. I hope to win. I would like a hard copy so I can add it to my library.

Sarah Perry said...

Its so hard to choose a name...Both stories sound fantastic, and if I were to be so lucky as to win I would prefer a hard copy please. If I were to try and come up with a title on the spot for your second book it would be something along the lines of Isian's Evolution, since it kind of sounds like an evolution of their love and relationship. Thanks!
oddball2003 at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

Great interview! May I suggest the title "The Alliance of Isian"? It kind of goes with the first book's title.

Ashley E said...

I love fantasy, and these sound just great! And they have beautiful covers, as well. :)


Cassandra said...

I would love to have this in hardback :)
GFC: Cassandra Hicks
Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

Jenn said...

This book sounds amazing. The covers are spectacular! I would prefer a print copy and I live in the US
Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

hotcha12 said...


bn100 said...

The series sounds intriguing.


Caro said...

i think maybe "Isian's Peace" or "Isian's Sacrifice" since she is sacrificing (in a way) having her daughter closer to her in order to help save their people. i would love a copy of the first book, it sounds right up my alley, kind of reminds me of Maria Snyder's books! thanks for the giveaway

Vicky CK said...

These stories sound fasinating!
For the title, I would go with Isian's Triumph since she makes an arrangement for her daughter hoping for peace between the two kingdoms against a common enemy.

Congrats on the books and thanks for the giveaway!


Darlene said...

How about Isian's Proposal or Isian's Alliance?

I'm in Canada and would prefer a printed copy, but I'd also be happy with a digital version, thanks!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

VampedChik said...

These both sound great and they have beautiful covers! Thanks for sharing!

andie said...
I prefer hard copies. Nothing to view the ebooks with, yet.

Unknown said...

This sounds really good! I prefer a printed book.

volta2173 at sbcglobal dot net

Unknown said...

Oooohhh This series sounds really good! Dragons, witches, giants, elves, kings and princesses?? I LOVE all these Supernaturals!! I would LOVE to win a print copy of these books!! Thanks for a chance to win the giveaway!!

LAWonder said...

I love fantasy and I love your books. I do not think I have read any of Serena's.I would love to read and review these. I very much prefer a printed copy to add to my library.
Thank you again for these wonderful giveaways.
I hope to win.

Unknown said...

I would prefer a print book, and I live in the US. The covers on these are amazing. Plus, the story sounds really interesting as well.

bookaholicholly at

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations to Darlene, Dena, and Lu Ann Worley! I know you'll enjoy this book. I know I did.