Hooray - time for answers!
Tynga asks: My question might seems weird, but who created the cover?
Not weird at all, this is a great question with two answers: The first is that Penguin held a photo shoot for the cover. The photographer is Suza Scalora - who is incredibly talented, a lovely human being, and has published several books of her own featuring worlds full of faeries and angels.
The second is that covers always have designers. After the photo shoot my covered went to awesome designer Linda at Penguin. She did such a wonderful job - love that blood drop!!
Em also asked about the cover: Did you have any say on yours or did Penguin do it all on their own?
Authors often have very little input on covers, but Penguin was amazing at including me in the process. They sent me photos of the model, Suza's info, and images at each stage. It was wonderful to be included and I love the cover so much. The only change - and this was one my editor and I came up with together, was making Calla's eye more gold - as described in the book - from the ARC (where it looks slightly hazel) to the final jacket.
Lisa - You know that woman with the make-up brush at the beginning of the Travis video? (from the last post) Can I be that person when you go on tour?
Dear Lisa Desrochers, my fabulous crit partner and author of Personal Demons, you are going to be too famous from your own brilliant book to be worrying about my make-up. However, if you have a free minute I'd just love your company :)
Kiersten asks: Are you a natural redhead? AND If so, do you secretly resent unnatural redheads?
Kiersten is fixated on my hair. These question made me laugh out loud :)
The answer is: sort of. My natural hair color is a weird mix of light brown, blond, and copper - the color changed with seasons: in the summer I'd be more blond, in the fall more red, and in winter more brown. I always liked red the best, and while I experimented with lots of different colors (I find changing hair color lots of fun) going red suited my personality and complexion best. I can't imagine ever going back. Plus now that I'm in my 30s (eep!) I have a few grays (gasp!)
I think changing your hair color is fun - I have no problem with switching up and idealizing a 'natural' color just seems silly. If I didn't like my red hair so much I'd be happy to go blue or green or any other 'unnatural' color. Stripes would be fun.
Kiersten continues: If not, who does your coloring because wow?
Thanks! I love my stylist/colorist. It's Brent at Moxie in St. Paul. He is awesome and Moxie Salon is a really cool place.
Did you originally write the NIGHTSHADE series as a trilogy or did you envision it as a stand alone book?
The book was always the first in a trilogy and I am indebted to my agent for loving it enough to sign on with an unknown author for the series. As a total publishing 'noob' I didn't know that debuting with a series can be really hard; most advice you'll find out there is that even if you think the book will become part of a series you shouldn't plan on it. I didn't know that and my queries described the book as a planned series, fortunately InkWell and Penguin loved the series as much as I did so it wasn't a problem.
Em asks: How long did you work on Nightshade from start to final edit?
First draft: Thanksgiving to Christmas 2008
Revisions on my own: January and February 2009
Revisions with agent: April and May 2009
Revisions with Jill: September 2009
Kiersten asks: Brownies, cake, or cookies? You will be graded. There is no curve.
Brownies that are chewy and fudgy. Cake of the chocolate, angel food, or carrot varieties. Cookies that are soft - I hate crunchy cookies.
But chocolate and pistachio cannoli are better than any of the above. Mmmmm, cannoli.
Man I hope I passed.
Em asks: If I think of some REALLY good ones I might want to use them to interview you for my blog once I've read the book! Assuming you do that kind of thing... There's another question! Do you? :)
I love doing blog interviews. I've already done a few, the most recent of which is at I Heart Monster.
Thanks for the great questions you guys!!