When I suggested to Gigi Little, my cover designer, that the wooden box my narrator discovers in the opening pages of Besotted might make a strong cover image, I never dreamed she would carve the box herself—not out of wood, but out of pixels. On her website Gigi describes creating a flat design first, marrying it with a smooth image of wood, layering the image in different shades, and finally using the eraser tool to carve away the layers to create a three dimensional design.
That I had this kind of access to my designer—sharing with her other covers and color palettes I liked and passages from the book that might resonate—is a testament to the culture of 7.13 Books created by publisher Leland Cheuk. “It’s important to me that the author be 100 percent behind the cover because they’re going to be out there championing the book,” Leland told me. “I make cover design decisions based on the author and designer’s creative vision, so it is, as much as possible, about the art instead of the commerce.”
I’m absolutely thrilled with the results of Gigi’s vision and careful work, and was eager to talk more to Gigi about what inspires her as a designer. Gigi was kind enough to select some of her favorite small press book covers for the November issue of Magnify.