Monday 23 April 2018

Interview with Jo-Anne Sieppert: Writer and Cover Designer

I met Jo-Anne Sieppert at a reading and book a few years ago. I was impressed by her wide range of writing interests and her personability. I then had the pleasure of getting to know her better through different writing groups and events and have worked with her on a number of cover projects. Thanks to Jo-Anne for agreeing to an interview on my blog.

Jo-Anne created the cover for the audio version of Expectations. You can find her design page here Coversanddesign
Cover by Jo-Anne Sieppert
She also created this cover for Taking Comfort.
Cover by Jo-Anne Sieppert

Samantha Adkins: How did you come to be interested in both writing and designing book covers?

Author Photo:
Courtesy Jo-Anne
Jo-Anne Sieppert: I’ve always been a writer, cliché I know. I was just never good at talking that much. Growing up in England you don’t talk about feelings or emotions, so I wrote stories or poems. I never thought I would do anything with them. My first book was just a little story I would tell my youngest at bed time to help him sleep. I used his nightmares and turned them into adventures he and his brother went on. When they would ask me to tell them again I knew I needed to write them down because I’d forget. Eventually the little stories turned into 110,000 words, 
then 4 books.  
When my first book was released (Nytstars) back in 2008, the cover the publisher selected was awful! It didn’t represent the story in anyway. So, I tried making my own cover, which the publisher excepted. This represented the story but was equally as terrible. I was embarrassed to show my book to anyone. I knew I had more books to write and that if I wanted them to look as good on the outside as I knew the story was on the inside that I needed to learn how to do them right. I went to school for web and graphic design. I discovered I really loved making book covers and I wanted to help other authors love their covers as much as I did.

SA: How are the two crafts similar and different?  

JS: Writing and cover design are similar because they both tell a story, only one uses words, it has sentences, paragraphs, pages and pages to get the whole story out. You have time to describe things, grab a hold of your reader and take them on an adventure. Cover design tells a story in images. Not the whole story, just enough to make you want to read more. Sometimes, you get to use images to draw the readers in and entice them. Other times you only have a design and title to catch their attention. Just as in a writing, it’s all in the details.

SA: Do you have a favourite book cover? (One of your own)

JS: My favorite book cover is for my book Brother. I love the way it tells the story from the face in the background looking over the silhouette of the couple.
SA: Where do you find inspiration for book covers? Does this differ from your writing inspiration?
Brother available on Amazon
JS: When I come up with a book cover idea for my own books it often comes to me as I’m writing. There’s a certain spot in the story, which varies for each book, and that’s the part that needs to be the cover. When I do them for other authors I ask them first if they have an idea that they want to see as the cover. If they don’t I ask them about the book. The part that they get the most excited about, that’s the cover. That’s the part that they wrote the story around.

SA: What is the best thing about being creative? What is the worst? 
JS: This is a loaded question. How long do I have? Lol. If I have pick just one, I’d say it’s having an outlet. A way to release all the thoughts, images, colours, and noises that swim around in our head all the time. It’s hard to focus on day to day with all the extra chaos in there. Being creative means we get to release all that into to something brand new, something that has never been seen, heard, or read before.
The worst part, there’s never enough time for it.

Here's a video of Jo-Anne reading from her book Aberrant:

Youtube Channel: It's My Story and I'm 
Sticking to It

No comments:

Post a Comment