Saturday, February 16, 2013

Studio Smexy™ Saturdays: Designer Viola Estrella

Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance

Meet Viola:
Viola Estrella loves a story with humor, flawed characters, paranormal elements, and romance. She tries to include these aspects in all that she writes and loves every minute of it. When she's not reading, writing, or designing book cover art, she's spending quality time with her husband and sons in their Colorado home.

Viola is a 2010 RITA® finalist. Her Urban Fantasy, ANGEL VINDICATED, was nominated for Best First Book. Recently she was honored by her local RWA chapter, Colorado Romance Writers, with the 2010 Writer of the Year award. She's represented by Elizabeth Winick Rubinstein from the literary agency McIntosh & Otis. do you pronounce her name? Good question!

Viola -- Not like the instrument, more like the flower.
Estrella -- With an ay-ya not an el-la. And she dares you to roll the r.

Connect with Viola: Design Site | Author Site | Facebook | Twitter

Jenn: Welcome to Studio Smexy Saturdays at Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance!!!
Viola: Thanks for inviting me, Jenn!

Jamie and Kati: Share 5 fun facts about yourself.
1. I'm an author as well as a cover artist.
2. I'm getting Lasik surgery next week after wearing glasses/contacts for over 20 years. Yay!
3. I have four wonderfully amazing sons. (I'm not biased at all)
4. I love wine! But I've been trying to cut way, way back in order to lose weight. Boooo
5. I have a cute, anxious, slightly overweight beagle named Caramel who I love. But, dang, she drives me nuts at times.

Jamie and Kati: What drew you to pursuing design?
Viola: I'm also a writer (like I mentioned above) and I found that designing cover art gives me a satisfying feeling that's similar to writing "The End." The entire process is like telling a story. Of course it's a story written by someone else, but I can work with that. :-)

Jamie and Kati: How many hours do you spend on one cover?
Viola: It depends on what the author is asking for. Anywhere from one hour to an entire day, sometimes a day and a half if there are changes requested.

Jamie and Kati: What program do you use to design covers?
Viola: Photoshop.

Jamie and Kati: When you design a cover, does the author have any input or do they give you full creative control?
Viola: The author has a ton of input. In fact, I have them fill out a cover form that asks various questions regarding the characters, the mood/tone, the sensuality, etc. I incorporate their answers and suggestions to the best of my ability. Sometimes I hit a home run on the first try and other times the author requests one or two changes. In the end, I want the author to love the cover and to feel it represents their story well.

Jamie and Kati: What is your favorite genre to design?
Viola: I specialize in romance cover art simply because I'm most familiar with this genre. But I also design for other genres as well.

Jamie and Kati: Which authors have you designed covers for?
Viola: A good number of indie (or self-published) authors and a couple of small press publishers. You can check out my portfolio to see some of my work.

Smexified Covers by Viola:

So dear reader, what is your favorite type of cover? (the clinch, torso, inanimate object a la 50 Shades...)
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