Guest Blogger–Jinger Heaston–How Do They Do It?

Today I’m happy to be posting a blog by my dear friend and colleague, cover artist Jinger Heaston. She is a multi-award winner and probably one of the best cover artists out there, because not only does she have an extraordinary eye for imagery, and an inborn creativeness like no other, but she has a very rare knack of being able to envision what the author wants as a cover.

I’ve worked with her on several covers for anthologies and my novel and she has captured our vision dead on each time. I swear she has uncanny psychic abilities because it’s as if she can read our minds, but she denies this of course. 🙂

Today, you’ll be getting a glimpse though her eyes of how she sees an author’s world, which is quite interesting.

How Do They Do It?

By Jinger Heaston

I am not a writer. When I was asked to guest blog, my first instinct was to run from the room screaming and waving my arms, yelling, “Don’t make me do it!!!”

I lack that creative writing ‘thing’ that all Authors have to make the written word spring off the page and paint an instant image in your mind. For example, I have been sitting here looking at a blank Word Doc. for almost half an hour. Already, I’ve had enough coffee to give a Third World country the shakes.

When I receive an Author Information Form, I get a glimpse of an author’s talent. Things like: Character Description: Hair the color of sun kissed wheat and eyes like French coffee with a splash of cream, skin like a creamy Georgia Peach. Emerald green gown flowing like the wind off a cliff at high tide.

My question to the masses is this, how do they do it? ‘Get up in the morning, sit down to write, and it just flows from the brain to the fingers, to the keyboard, to the screen.’ Do Authors see everything in that light? Instead of an ugly brown wall, do they see a mahogany-colored surface with wood grain patterns scarred with age? Is there a narrative voice in their heads at all times?  She awoke with a playful smile, climbing out of bed ready to greet the day before her. Or did she just get up?

Where do these fantastic story ideas come from? Do they all have some bottomless vault in their minds that they dip into when they want to write a new book? Are there stories all around them at all times and they simply grab one from the air and bring it to life on a whim?

I am not sure how Authors do what they do, but I will say I am grateful! What an Author gives us is the chance to sail the high seas, climb impossible mountains, and make a journey with a soul mate that of course we do not discover until about Chapter 30 or so. Suspense, drama, intrigue, scandal, murder, love, humor, these are all gifts that Authors give us on a daily basis.

I always say coming to the end of a good book is bitter sweet. These characters become a part of my everyday life. What will they do today? Will she escape? Will he fall in love? I am always desperate to find the answers, but sad when I close the book for the last time. It is like leaving an old friend behind. I have also been known to talk to a book, things like: “Oh no, she didn’t!” or “Oh, come ON!!!” That is always a tell tale sign of a good book for me!

Authors write in such a way that you almost feel as if you have been to the places in their stories, you can almost smell the air, feel the breeze. If the heroine has her heart broken, you cry with her. If she is going to see what that ‘bump’ in the dark was, you scream, “DON’T GO LOOK!!! RUN, WOMAN!!!”  I envy them their gift and thankful they choose to share that with me.

So thank you, Authors of the world! Thank you for sharing your stories, whisking us away to far off lands and untold adventures. Without you all, I think our lives would be a little less interesting.

While I sit here reading over everything I have just typed, I think to myself an Author would write, “The Golden Labrador ran through the flower-covered meadow.” I would simply write, “The dog ran.” I am not a writer.

1-Describe, the average Jinger Heaston day.

Get up at 6:30am. COFFEE!! Make sure that Kylie and MaKenna are up for school, taking all the verbal abuse they can dish out as I do so. Run the girls to school. We usually have a jam session of some sort on the way, just to kick start things. MORE COFFEE!! Sit down and sort through emails, file away any new cover art assignments, answer others. COFFEE AGAIN!! Change and dash off to the gym for about an hour or so. MOCHA FRAPPE!!! Head home, sit on down, and start working. I pretty much spend the rest of the day working, only looking up long enough to check the time. I love to work in quiet, so I take advantage of it while everyone is gone. Go grab the ladies from school, try to listen to them as they both talk 90 mph all the way home, with the occasional nod so they know I heard them…sorta. Answer more emails, hang out with the girls a bit and argue over homework being done now vs. later when it’s just like 5 mins before bedtime. (wink)

Head off to bed usually around 10 p.m. with a good book or a movie and pass out somewhere in that process. Boring, but it’s me!

2-Any particular resolution you made this year that you plan to keep, no ifs, ands, or buts?

None this year. I actually like myself the way I am. Quirks and all. I’m in a very satisfied place right now.

3-Who has been your biggest inspiration in life? In your artist work?

I take inspiration from all sorts of silly places–music, books. I’m a pretty free spirit and I like to make my own path. I can actually find inspiration in a lot of things. I like that. As for inspiration for my work? Well, I guess I do not really have anyone who inspires me. I appreciate all kinds of art work, mainly classics.


4 Responses to “Guest Blogger–Jinger Heaston–How Do They Do It?”

  1. J.R. Lindermuth Says:

    Who said you can’t write, girl? You painted a picture with words here. And your covers rock, too.

    • giovannalagana Says:

      Hi John. Hope all is well. 🙂

      John’s right. All your friends are saying the same thing. Yes, you can write, my dear. This blog proves it and so did the other stuff you made me read.

      So the question remains, when will you show the world that other hidden talented? You’ll blow them away just like you do with your spectacular covers. 🙂

  2. virginia Says:

    wow!!! you go girl. You have got it in you.

  3. Savanna Kougar Says:

    Jinger, I love learning more about artists. Thanks for sharing yourself with us.
    My Jinger covers are the best!

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