Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Covers, Old Friends, and Hiatuses...we've come a long way, Tressa Jayne!

Most of you recall the cover of my first book, CALAMITY JAYNE, with the cute blonde holding the ice cream cone. The book that started it all for me. The cover, a cute, eye-catching one, also initiated cover branding for the series, as well. Folks knew for sure when they saw the book cover with a different food item obscuring a portion of the cover model’s face that this was the latest Calamity Jayne mystery. Instant recognition. And with most cover art, it’s always been a sort of a love/hate relationship. Readers either love ‘em or hate ‘em. Some readers thought they were too YA. Some felt the cover model didn’t depict Tressa Jayne accurately (the hair, you know). Others thought the covers were awesome and just right for the series. Me? I always like to be different so I thought they were cool, too.

But all things must come to an end.
With the upcoming November release of my sixth Tressa Jayne Turner mystery, the art department decided it was time to go another direction with the cover. Therefore, without further ado, may I present the cover for my sixth Calamity Jayne mystery, ANCHORS AWEIGH.
Whoa. That didn't upload right. The background is supposed to be more of a sky blue. Not sure why that went all funky on me. Oh well. You get the gist, I hope. So. What do you think of the cover? I was surprised, to say the least, as I had expected more of the same branding as had been done with the previous five covers. It’s growing on me. My only concern is that those readers who are waiting for the next book in the series won’t recognize it as a Calamity Jayne book as easily as before.
Still, all good things must come to an end.
Even series. Even series we love. Even series love to write.
Yep. That’s right. ANCHORS AWEIGH is slated to be the last book in the Calamity Jayne series. As Trigger Happy can attest to with her fabulous High Heels series, when you’re writing a series, it’s always a challenge to keep each book fresh and funny and new and exciting. When you love a cast of characters as much as you have to when you write a series, you really want each story to be better than the last. You want to give these characters the funniest forum you can to showcase their idiosyncracies, their unique personalities, their growth as individuals. You simply want the best for them because you care so much about them. They’re family. Friends. Muses. Even alter egos at times. They deserve the best. Your best.
From most accounts, I’ve succeeded in keeping each story in the CJ series to those standards I expect and believe me when I say I’ve had an absolute ball doing it. But it’s equally important to me to take this series out on a high note and ANCHORS AWEIGH seemed like the perfect vehicle to accomplish just that. (When you’re editor emails to tell you he’s reading the book and he can’t wait to see how it ends, you know you’re in the ballpark.)
So, it’s with a great deal of pride, personal satisfaction, and yes, a tear or two, that I bid a heartfelt ‘see ya’ to Tressa Jayne and the Grandville Gang.
Well, for now, that is.
Because with ‘Calamity and Company’ you just never know what’s waiting down the road a piece.
And for Bullet Hole here? How will she fare without her favorite comical cast of characters whispering in her ear all the time?
She’ll cry a little. Snot a little. Second guess herself a little. (Okay, more than a little. ) Then she’ll dig into that thick file folder of story ideas of hers, put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) and get back on the horse and sink spur.
Hey. What else would you expect from a cockeyed cowgirl from the Heartland?
~Bullet Hole Bacus~


Kristi said...

Oh no! I'm sad. I love Tressa Jayne and Rick too. Your books have been laugh out loud funny. I have the whole series because I wanted to keep them instead of getting them from the library.

I'll still read anything you write though. :)

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks, Kristi! I'm so glad you've enjoyed the series. I think you'll get a kick out of Anchors Aweigh, too, and I'm really excited about some of the stories I have in the works.

Great that you'll be sticking with me even sans Tressa!

~Bullet Hole~

Christie Craig said...


We'll miss her, but you've given her a great life.

Love the new cover girl!

Crime Scene Christie

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks, Christie! I told our editor that the cover was cute, colorful, and fun--just like Tressa!


~Bullet Hole~

terrio said...

It sounds so sad to say goodbye to those characters but then there's the excitement of all the new characters that will now be filling your thoughts. Very bittersweet.

That's a great cover, though. Makes you wonder what made her throw her top off. :)

Kathy Bacus said...

Who says it's Tressa's top, Terrio? I'm betting it belongs to her gammy-- 'Hellion Hannah'....

And yes, it's a bittersweet moment for sure, ending a series you have so much fun writing. But you're right about the good news and all those new characters waiting to have their stories told. Good times ahead!

~Bullet Hole~

Anonymous said...

The last CJ book?
Now I'm going to have to wrestle my copies of the earlier books away from my sisters. I need to be sure they're on hand when I get an urge to re-read them.
I did like Fiance at Her Fingertips though, so I do have something else to look forward to, if I read it correctly there is a sequel to it in the works.
As for the cover of Anchors Aweigh, perhaps you can combine the two concepts and keep everybody happy.
Have blond model holding up the bikini top so that it obscures part of her face, :)

Kathy Bacus said...

Yep. Better get dibs back on that 'Calamity Six Pack' there, bookmobiler.

So glad you liked Fiance at her Fingertips. Hopefully, we'll see more 'boyfriend in box' stories down the road. Or rather 'outside the box' stories.

The bikini top on the cover kind of threw me. Tressa Jayne is more a one-piece kind of gal. ;)

~Bullet Hole~

Keri Ford said...

Congrats for finishing the story on top instead of letting it drag. Both covers look awesome, though, I have to admit, it drives me bonkers when stuff like this gets shifted gears mid-stream. I have a thing balance and even, and I so need to get over it.

Great job and get those other characters out of your head on paper!

Kathy Bacus said...

I was kind of scratching my head over the switch in covers, too, Keri, especially considering this was the last book in the series, but I do like it.

One criticism the previous covers had received was that they appeared more 'Young Adult' in nature. I think this cover has taken care of that concern.

~Bullet Hole~

Tori Lennox said...

Love the new cover!

But I'm starting to feel like Typhoid Mary. *g* I just discover your (and Gemma's) series and you stop writing them!

I look forward to what you do next. :)

Kathy Bacus said...

You crack me up, Typhoid Mary--er, Tori! I know Gemma's LA Tabloid series is going to be a riot. And you never know what Bullet Hole here has up her sleeve...


~Bullet Hole~

Leslie Langtry said...

Kathy! Awesome cover! I can't wait to read it!!!


Dru said...

I love the cover and I too recently discovered the Calamity Jayne series and will miss them. I will enjoy the other stories that you write.

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks, Les! Got my revisions today. It's a short list!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

You're sweet, Dru. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep you entertained with future stories!

~Bullet Hole~

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Sarah McDermed said...

It's a cute, fun cover, but I don't get why they'd change the last book of the series. I loved the other covers; they stood out from the usual chick lit covers. Maybe they're planning to re-issue the series with the new cover design on all of them. Hmmm...not necessarily a bad thing, in that case!

Gemma Halliday said...

Very cute cover!!!

Kathy, let's hold hands as we sniff our way through last book syndrome. :)