{Interview/Giveaway} Author Michelle Madow on Cover Design

Check out the TIMELESS Blog Tour Schedule for TIMELESS,
the final book in Michelle Madow's Transcend Time Saga. 
Check out each stop to learn more about the series, the characters, and the author.
You can also enter to win a Deluxe Transcend Time Prize Pack.
This is a tour you won't want to miss!

It's no secret that I'm obsessed with cover design.  When I heard that Michelle Madow not only wrote, but designed her own covers, I wanted to read her books even more.

Cover design can be hard work, and a lot of self-published authors who design their own covers suffer because they don't understand all of the elements that go into good design.  Michelle Madow, however, doesn't fit this pattern.  All three of her covers are gorgeous, and I was so excited to sit down and talk to her about them!

Haven't read anything by Michelle Madow yet?  Check out my review of REMEMBRANCE, the first book in the Transcend Time Saga.  It's currently on sale on nook, Kindle, iPad, etc. for 99¢!  
(The second book, VENGEANCE, is also on sale for 99¢ through the holidays!)

Michelle Madow was inspired to write Remembrance after seeing Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video while a junior at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. The song and video gave her the story idea about a high school girl reincarnated from Regency Era, England. She handed in the first chapter as a homework assignment for class, and when her teacher and classmates wanted her to continue writing, she decided to go for it. By the end of the school year, her first novel was completed! 

Michelle graduated from the Park School of Baltimore in 2005, where she always took two English classes each semester. She graduated from Rollins College in 2010, cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. At Rollins she was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and a member of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta. 

She received the Charles Hyde Pratt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing in 2010. 

Michelle lives in Florida, where she is hard at work writing more novels for young adults.

Follow Michelle through her blog, her websiteTwitter, Facebook, and Goodreads!

A cover design interview with 
author Michelle Madow

I love the covers for the Transcend Time Saga. They're what made me first sit up and take notice of this title. Since you designed the covers yourself, did you always know what you wanted to do? Did you go through multiple designs before deciding on your final covers?

Thank you! The big thing I knew when I started looking through images on stock photography websites was that I wanted Lizzie’s face to be on the cover. I spent hours searching through images of “girls with curly blonde hair.” Some I considered were this, this, this, this, this, and this. That blonde girl was PERFECT for Lizzie, but none of her photos jumped out at me as “the one.” All those photos were from iStock. Then I went to Dreamstine, saw Girl in a Mask, and knew I’d found my cover.

What are the easiest and hardest things about designing your own covers?

The easiest (and the most fun) is searching for the perfect image for the first book in the series. The hardest is making sure the covers of the other books of the series match the theme of the first, while still being unique to their own story.

Which of the three covers is your favorite?

The cover of REMEMBRANCE will always be my favorite. I can’t believe I found an image that perfectly embodied the story. The girl looks exactly like Lizzie, and she’s wearing a gold mask similar to the one described in the book. I love how she’s looking straight at the viewer, and the contrast of the light on her face against the jet black background. The mask symbolizes the mystery of the past life that Lizzie discovers throughout the story.

Have you always been interested in graphic design? Would you design covers for other authors in the future?

My interest in graphic design started when I taught myself how to use Photoshop during my senior year of high school to create icons for LiveJournal. I made hundreds of 100x100 pixel icons for my favorite television shows and books. Then when TWILIGHT came out, I joined the Twilight Lexicon discussion forum, and started making TWILIGHT icons for members of the forum. 

As for designing covers for other authors, that’s probably not something I would do. It takes time to design covers, and my number one priority is writing and getting my books out to readers. There are many graphics designers who have graphic design as their number one priority, and who are more experienced than me, anyway. (My capabilities are limited. When I realized the ribbon under Lizzie’s nose in the original image for Timeless had to be removed, I had to outsource that task to a more experienced graphic designer to make sure it was done well.)

[Sidenote from Bonnie: Can I just say that I also taught myself how to use Photoshop by creating 100x100 LiveJournal icons for favorite series?  I bet a lot of us got our start that way!]

What, to you, are the components that make up the best, most eye-catching cover?

I am partial to the “pretty girl in a dress” covers, even though I know it’s a bit overdone! I think the best covers are simple. If too much is going on in the cover, the viewer doesn't know what to focus on. Also, the text must stand out and be easy to read, so the person looking for a new book doesn't have to struggle to see the title and author for the book.

What book covers do you love so much that you wish you'd designed them?

Some of my favorite covers are: 

MATCHED by Allie Condie
FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan 
HALO by Alexandra Adornetto 
TEMPEST by Julie Cross 
TRIS & IZZIE by Mette Ivie Harrison 
CITY OF LOST SOULS by Cassandra Clare

Thank you so much, Michelle! I loved seeing everything that went into the design for your Saga, and am already anxiously awaiting the first book in your upcoming Elementals series, THE PROPHECY!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Michelle Madow
Release Date: Out Nov. 14, 2012
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Received: ARC for review



In REMEMBRANCE, Lizzie and Drew changed the course of fate so they could be together. 

In VENGEANCE, Chelsea set fate back on its original, deadly path. 

Now, strange things keep happening to Lizzie. Things that are omens of darkness to come. A curse has doomed her to die an early death, just as she did in her past life. To make matters worse, even if she can figure out who cast the curse, it's irreversible. There's only one option left for her to save herself. It's crazier than anything she's heard yet, and to do it, she'll need Drew and Chelsea's help. 

Because to make things right, they must go back to when it all began … and Lizzie discovers that the final events in her past life were more sinister than she ever imagined. 

TIMELESS is the final part of the Transcend Time Saga. The Transcend Time Saga is a Clean Romance suitable for anyone age 12 and up!

In celebration of the Timeless Blog Tour, Michelle Madow is giving away a Deluxe Transcend Time Prize Pack! 

This includes: 
• A signed paperback of Remembrance 
• A signed paperback of Vengeance 
• A signed paperback of Timeless 
• A gold Venetian mask 

 This giveaway is International!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great interview, Michelle. I loved reading about your process - I'm big into seeing alternate designs of books I love. It's fun to pick out which we like best. :)

    1. I agree, Rissi! These are favorite posts of mine, because I loved seeing "What If?" and peeping behind the scenes!


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