Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Interview with James (Cover Designer)

Designer Questions

1.   How long have you been designing covers for?

About 6-7 months - not too long but I was a commercial freelance designer for like 10 years, but it was the dullest of dull stuff - like working on fliers for car parts, hair extension, tv wall brackets - that sort of thing. Most of the jobs I've blocked out because they were really bad! But I love books. I'm an avid reader - I read about 4-5 books a week and when I say books I mean the papery things. I don't actually own a kindle.

2.   What do you think is essential for a cover of a zombie novel?

At least one element that grabs the attention. It's the same with all covers. All a cover should do is grab the attention. All the other crap authors spout about covers is all hearsay Chinese-whispers crap, like: the font should reflect the genre, the picture needs to have a person on there, the text should be readable. ALL rubbish. And it's recycled rubbish. Grab the attention - that is all.

3.   What separates your covers from other designers?

Nothing, anyone can do what I do, given the amount of experience learning the craft of design, thousands of pounds spent on fonts over the years, and the patience to do it. As a service what separates me is probably the volume of pre-made covers I do. I don't know anyone else that has done 1,600 in the last 6 six months. I work fast!

4.   What books do you read and do you have a recent recommendation?

Fiction wise I like things with an odd bent and spine of humanity running through it - stuff like Nicola Barker, Alan Warner, Dan Rhodes and I've just discovered a guy I like called Andrew Kaufman - enjoying his stuff at the moment. Fact wise, I read a lot as well. It's not non-fiction. It's FACT. That's the opposite to Fiction. I guess it's indicative of the way that Amazon and others see books that they would call it Non-Fiction. But fact wise, I'm enjoying a book on Hoaxes at the moment - it's gigglesome. And I read a lot of psychology and history. And you can't discount the sciences as well. Especially when it's stuff to do with the brain. I read about 3-5 books a week. I don't watch television - unless it's incredibly good.

5.   Where can authors find you?

Sat at my desk working my *ss off listening to good music! But internet-wise at - it's a call to arms!

Zombie Survival Questions

1.   You see a hand gun, a bat and a knife. Which do you choose as your weapon for the apocalypse?

Simple. The bat. A gun is gonna run out of bullets at some point. So is rendered useless at some point. The knife will blunt. But more importantly. If you've ever been in a knife fight, it's incredibly easy to cut yourself in the heat of battle. There's a fantastic film my Kurosawa called Rushamon - any writer that has never seen that film, should watch it. It's about fact fiction.

2.    Place of survival. Your own house, a shopping mall or The Winchester pub?

Pub. If I'm not at home that's where I am. I love the pub.

3.   You see an underground parking centre. Do you go in?


4.   You see your boss is now a zombie but is no immediate threat to you. Do you still use your last bullet on him/her?

Bosses? What are they? I have never had one. So I wouldn't know how annoying you feel about them.

5.   What luxury item would you keep in the apocalypse?

My music collection - you always need a good soundtrack to whatever is happening in your life. I would make mix collections of the best songs for different situations.

6.   You're bitten, do you
A)   Shoot yourself before you turn?
B)   Ask a friend to do it?
C)   Turn and enjoy the all you can eat human buffet?

C. You always just have to roll with the new. It's an important lesson life teaches as you get older. Zombie - fine.

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