Saturday, July 21, 2012

Taking Back Control - Part One - The Vampire Bride Series

If you have followed my blog for any amount of time or read any interviews I've done, you know that the one book I've written that is closest to my heart is THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE. Conceived in a dream when I was around twenty-six years old, it would take over a decade of starts and stops before I finally completed the novel.  It was published in 2009 by an imprint of a small press, Twisted Library, much to my delight.  It would take years before the novel found its audience, but when emails and sales indicated an interest in a sequel, I wrote THE VENGEANCE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE and self-published it in 2011.

The story of English aristocrat, Lady Glynis Wright, remains my favorite of all my novels. I adore her determination, rebellious nature, and inner strength. The gothic setting of Buda, Hungary of the 1820's is the perfect backdrop for her quest for independence from her vampire creator and master, Count Vlad Dracula.

At this time I have at least four more novel ideas in the series.  Her series is the only one that I regard as endlessly "open." I have no idea how many books I'll write about her. If a story reveals itself, I will write it. It has yet to reach the popularity of the AS THE WORLD DIES zombie trilogy, or the PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES trilogy, but I don't think it's because of the story.

I think it's the covers.

previously wrote  about cover overhauls.  Tor has altered the covers of the trade paperbacks before publication and are re-doing the covers for the mass market paperbacks that will be released starting later this year.  In that same post, I also discussed the reasons for the change to THE TALE OF THE VAMPIRE BRIDE cover.  Though I loved the artwork by Detra, the same artist who did the original AS THE WORLD DIES covers, it failed to draw in readers.  Also, there were many snide comments left about the cover in glowing reviews on A few reviewers even said they almost didn't read the book because of the cover.

The publisher and I also had difficulty finding review bloggers willing to read the book.  I have spoken to multiple bloggers who have told me the same thing over and over again: if the cover doesn't grab them immediately they will pass on reviewing the book.

Since I loved Philip Rogers work on my zombie novels (AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES 1 & 2 and THE LIVING DEAD BOY AND THE ZOMBIE HUNTERS), the publisher of Twisted Library (and the imprint of the Library of Horror Press) agreed to commission new artwork from him.
Philip did an amazing job bringing a very gothic feel to the cover and adding elements like Vlad Dracula.  I really loved his shadow reaching for Glynis.

We happily uploaded the new cover files and...
The same thing happened.  At this point we realized it was the fact that the covers were painted artwork and NOT photo-manipulations that was causing a lot of issues. The reviews the book were receiving were excellent, but it was hard to acquire those reviews and garner more sales.  Even Philip's beautiful work on the sequel didn't catch the eye of readers.

It was disappointing and heart-breaking. I loved the new covers, but it was clear that the tastes of the reading public has changed significantly.  If a cover is not a photo-manip, a lot of readers tell me they regard it as "cheap."  This especially seems true with UF/PNR/YA covers.

The Vampire Bride series is dear to my heart. When it’s reviewed by book reviewers, it receives stellar accolades, but it is difficult to get many to look beyond the covers. I hope to draw in more readers by redoing the cover artwork by hiring the fabulous cover artist Claudia McKinney of Phat Puppy Art

Recently, Helena Cruz of Cruz Designs took photos of model, Megan Young, dressed as the main character, Lady Glynis Wright, at a beautiful location in San Antonio, Texas.
 My plan is to give these photos to Claudia McKinney as a base for the new artwork.

Claudia has already created two covers of recently published books for me, plus one that soon will be released.
The response to her covers has been extremely positive and THE LAST BASTION OF THE LIVING has become the biggest seller of my self-published work.

I started an Indiegogo campaign to help fund the new covers, but the generosity of a good friend made that campaign unnecessary and I canceled it. If you did contribute, I will honor the perk promised.

So be on the lookout for the big cover reveal of the new covers for THE VAMPIRE BRIDE series!! I have already seen the first two covers and they are AMAZING!  The third cover should be done within a week.

I'm so excited to give my beloved series a new cover overhaul!


  1. That's awesome, Rhiannon! I was surprised & delighted when I saw your post that you were able to cancel the IndieGoGo Campaign. And your new covers are going to be amazing!

    1. I as very touched by my friend's generous nature. :) And the new covers are rocking.

  2. Replies
    1. They're beautiful! I hope to do a full cover reveal soon.


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