Hey, a real blog post! As promised, it's time to dissect the cover of Defying the Skies, and all the FEELINGS I had about it. To refresh your recollection:
I'll be totally honest here: My very first reaction was "...where are her pants?" (Okay, if we're going for total honesty here, it was "GENEVA Y NO PANTS?") My heroic, ass-kicking commander seems to have left half her armor at home. That's quite the oversight.
Then the feminism started to kick in. My heroic, ass-kicking commander should be appealing because of said ass-kicking, and all the really smart thoughts floating around in her head. For lack of a better term, this cover is a bit...fanservice-y. I had some concerns about my heroic, ass-kicking commander being relegated to little more than a pinup girl.
I walked away from the computer to marinate on this for a little while. (Next total honesty point: I was on the toilet.) Something about the boots and color scheme reminded me of someone. In thinking it over, I came up with Tyris Flare from Golden Axe, a well-loved game from my childhood and beyond. Well, the bottom half, anyway. At least Geneva had the good sense not to go try to save the world in a bikini. Then Boobulon pointed out the obvious - on this cover, Geneva looks almost exactly like Mieu, a popular character from Phantasy Star III, which friends and frequent readers know is part of one of my all-time favorite video game series ever. Seriously, the resemblance is striking.
It's no secret that a lot of my writing has been influenced by video games. While not the most perfect representation of my character (and really, how often do covers flawlessly depict what's inside?*), I think it works as kind of a kitschy callback to the games and character designs of my youth. I DID love growing up with Tyris Flare and her irrational bikini, after all.
Lastly, I took a step back and remembered what I'm really doing here: I write erotic romance. There is sex involved. Sex involves skin. There is skin on this cover. If anything, this cover hints at what's inside more than any of my previous ones. And if that helps sell more books, even better!
Bottom line: I like this a lot. While some aspects (PANTS) made me raise an eyebrow at first and it's not going to win any points for being sensitive to gender issues, I think this is an appropriately badass cover for Geneva & Co., and how they heroically save the day and go home for some kinky fun afterwards. Fun!
(*The worst example of this is when I was browsing a well-known publisher's site and a lesbian romance book had a heterosexual couple on the cover. Eeeeeesh....)