The hero isn't always the good guy, or girl.

It is amazing how one “little” to-do item cascades into multiple other tasks.

For example, prepare the newsletter. I laughed out loud– at my own expense.

You see, it went like this:

  • update newsletter
  • whoops, need to replace my banner image because I’m announcing Boots’ book
  • whoops, that means I need a sneak peek at a cover that I hadn’t finished designing.
  • whoops, maybe should get ON that.

Sigh.

So, instead of accountability today, LET’S take a DEEPER DIVE into the NEW COVER, shall we? 🙂

(I know you’re excited for this one.)

Step One (completed over a month ago) prep comps with various model photos and finalize image search. I contacted two photographers and browsed images because this one is special. That meant an EXCLUSIVE photo. (cha-ching! Don’t tell Mike, okay?)

I wanted a model like Dylan Horsch. So, searched and searched and searched. Then slapped myself upside the head because, duh. And I mean, DUH. To get Dylan, buy Dylan…photo that is. I’m certain that came out sounding wrong. Ah well. (A special shout out to Golden for being patient with me.)

Peek 1:

It is all in the eyes. You know? That glint and the humor in them are just SOOO magical.

Then, of course, there was a stylistic choice to be made. What color should the bold text be? (cue the Pantone rabbit hole of color research, theory, and trends.)

Look at some of these lovely colors!

Samoan Sun won the battle. It was the right blend of eye-catching, thematically correct (Boots LOVES the sunshine), and on-trend for a late Fall release. Yes, I think of all these things to choose the color. It isn’t random.

Title reveal time:

Lights Camera Mayhem Title on the book cover. It uses the same font and grunge texture as all the other Destroyers’ books.

From early on, this book’s theme was “Mayhem.” So much so, it lived under that code name for almost a year. It embodies Boots’ energy and random shockers. Moreover, it was FUN to write something so “out there” I re-discovered a truth. That is, WRITE FOR FUN, not profit. Yeah, that’s going to go over really well when I’m not making any money. (Don’t tell Mike.)

Background time: Boots and his leading lady, Olivia have some unique “hobbies.” For Boots it is all about being outdoors, getting muddy, riding his dirt bike, and pushing the envelope.

Background close-up. Mud texture with Knobbly tire tread.

Do you know when you search for “motocross tire tracks” that there is basically ZERO, okay, maybe one or two, correct images? That ATV tires and CAR tires dominate the imagery? I’m such a perfectionist on this crap that I was getting angry at all the mislabeled stock photography. I ended up finding an image or two that I could composite for the background. YAY. That’s what you’re looking at above.

But what about poor Olivia? Doesn’t she get featured on the cover? I mean it is a story about both of them. Even though she’s pretty quiet, she is hinted at in the majority of the words in the title. Lights, camera… Olivia. Get it? Wait, maybe you don’t. Hint: she’s a cam girl!

Here is more of that lovely textured background. And, there’s Olivia’s influence. Again, knobbly tire tracks are in this texture because Boots is the type of hero who puts his sticky fingers on everything.

A surprise nugget in the image search wasn’t planned. I’ll show you the close-up, then explain it.

What’s this? Handcuffs?

Handcuffs. Yes, the only image I could find that matched my vision of Boots had handcuffs.

Well.

Yeah, I could work with that. I mean… they just work on so many levels. One, the preceding book (Truth as Poison) Snake has a thing with Haley about handcuffs. Boots is Haley’s found-family-adopted brother. Two, Boots is a fun-loving, sexy man. Of course, there are handcuffs, right? Three, it alludes to BACKSTORY. Now I know you all aren’t in my head listening to these guys yammer on about their stories, but the handcuffs brought up a very interesting twist.

I mean, how DID Boots end up prospecting? He’s been a fixture in the club since “Down in Blood.” But if you’ve read that book you’d know that no one would seek him out on purpose. Or would they? Hagerstown (the real town, not the fictitious one in my head) has a prison complex nearby. My guess is that IF there were a one-percenter club in Hagerstown, and IF they were recruiting, they might have members who get locked up once in a while. Right? Maybe Boots, who (in my fictitious world) was homeless and angry, got arrested (likely more than once), and served time with future Destroyers members. That was a great way to bring him into this fold of brothers who needed recruits who weren’t afraid to get dirty.

Amazing how that all comes together nicely. Golden, how did you KNOW?

Here’s the full cover: (you all can see it now)

full cover for Lights Camera Mayhem by Calia Wilde, coming November 2022.

The book is still in edits, but it is definitely the final stretch. I’ll have a preorder link for you SOON!