Guest Author Skyler White

Please welcome debut urban fantasy author, Skyler White! Skyler's first book, ''and, Falling, Fly'' will be released on March 2, 2010.

Summary from Amazon:

In a dark and seedy underground of burned-out rock stars and angels-turned- vampires, a revolutionary neuroscientist and a fallen angel must put medicine against mythology in an attempt to erase their tortured pasts...but at what price?

Olivia, vampire and fallen angel of desire, is hopeless...and damned. Since the fall from Eden, she has hungered for love, but fed only on desire. Dominic O'Shaughnessy is a neuroscientist plagued by impossible visions. When his research and her despair collide at L'Otel Mathillide-a subterranean hell of beauty, demons, and dreams-rationalist and angel unite in a clash of desire and damnation that threatens to destroy them both.

In this fractures Hotel of the Damned, Olivia and Dominic discover the only force consistent in their opposing realities is the deep, erotic gravity between them. Bound to each other finally in a knot of interwoven freedoms, Dominic and Olivia-the vision-touched scientist and the earth-bound angel, reborn and undead-encounter the mystery of love and find it is both fall...and flight.

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 here

                                              Why I Love My Cover
                                             By Skyler White

I’m a serial fretter. It’s something I’m working on. I try to worry less. But I end up worrying that I worry too much, so I with the intermediary layer and just let myself fret. So it wasn’t long after I learned that and Falling, Fly had sold that I started worrying about what it would look like. A book cover is someone else’s creation, but it will be your face – the first impression you will make on readers and future friends.

It’s worrisome.

And it’s a bit of an arranged marriage. Your editor, like a good mother, knows your book – not necessarily better, but more objectively than you know yourself. And you trust her. You trust her to see the weaknesses you may not be aware of, and compensate for them. You trust her to craft the back-cover copy in a way that is both true to your voice, and also a sales tool. And most match-making editors do consult their author-children, but we’re not privy to the back-and-forth, the conversations and debates. I turned in a twenty-slide PowerPoint deck with ideas and images from blogs, magazines and album covers. And I assume it mattered, but ultimately, the entire process is shrouded in mystery and possibly magic dark or entrails. As an author, you just don’t know; you can only imagine. And worry.

You’ll know your cover is on its way to you, but you won’t know when it will arrive, so while nervously anticipated, its actual presence in your inbox will inevitably come as a shock. I worried for months. I pestered my agent with questions and my real (and self-chosen) husband with the chronic fretter’s dark boogeyman: What If.

Now, in my defense, and Falling, Fly is a difficult book to render visually.

Olivia is the fallen angel of desire. Her appearance alters subtly to conform to the tastes of whoever wants her. If she looks in the mirror alone, she can’t see herself at all, so how could an artist render her face? He shadowed it heavily with her hair.

Olivia is a vampire, but her feeding teeth are retractable quills on her tooth and nail edges that allow her to feed from those who want her – and she would break her teeth against anyone who did not – without their knowledge. And because she can’t have fangs, she has a dagger. There’s not even a butter knife in the story, but the artist found a way to make her visually as dangerous as she is invisibly.

Olivia is sick of humanity. Everyone you don’t love tastes the same. In the course of the book, she returns to the secret, Irish, subterranean Hotel of the Damned to bury her hope with her severed wings. And the cover gives me the hopeless underground dark in a slanting beam of filtered light, and the Irish earth in the mortared stones behind her.

And then there are her wings. Olivia’s have been entombed for millennia, blood-caked and bone-broken, in a red rock sarcophagus. But her wings are part of the cover too, borrowed from a headstone or funerary statue, and rendered in stone. The symbol of flight in the one material you know cannot fly. And that captures Olivia’s spirit. It illustrates the book’s title. It encapsulates my book.

There’s been a lot of controversy about book covers recently, about images that aren’t just poor fits, but are actually counter to the intent of the book. I feel for the authors who I imagine must feel like an artistic child whose athlete-mother can’t remember she hates sports, and gives her to a jock in marriage. And some of the brides are just grateful to be married and too fearful of parental displeasure that they don’t feel safe asking for a better match.

I think that’s sad, because ultimately as an author you have to trust your editor to choose for you. You have to believe they’ll pick the right mate for you, the one you need. You want to learn to love him, this chosen-for-you spouse, who just shows up in your inbox one day as you’re dashing out the door already late for something else.

And there it is. The image that will hold your book in its paper arms. And the soles of your feet and fingertips start prickling, and the sip of coffee you were taking when you saw the subject line goes cold in your mouth. Because he’s gorgeous. He’s better looking than the boys you admired at the book store. And he’s yours.

At this point, it becomes difficult not to squeal and caper, to retain some dignity. You are, after all, about to be a wife and published author. Surely dizziness and giggles suggests an immaturity unworthy of what’s coming next, but what the hell. You’re too happy to worry about that. Or anything else. And when the worries surface about other things, about blog tours and print runs and reviews, you console yourself some with your good luck in husbands, real and paper-bound. And sometimes you blog about it.

We have one copy of  ''and Falling, Fly'' to giveaway
Open to everyone, everywhere
Leave an email address in the comments if you don't have a blog
Contest will end March 2nd at 6:00 pm EST
Comment about book covers and how they affect your book buying
Leave a comment or question for Skyler White


  1. I am one of those people that will not read a book if I don't like the cover. The cover really does pull me into reading the book. I do wonder if I missed out on a really great book though. I hope not. lol


  2. Hmmm I read the majority of my books on my Kindle so the only time I see a cover is when browsing sites. I will say I HATE inconsistent covers, "he had gorgeous black hair" and the cover guy is blonde, hmmm can we say someone didnt' read the book. I'm more of an excerpt (back cover) kinda girl if that doesn't catch me.............


  3. I will read a book with a cover that doesn't thrill me if I've read good reviews of it. But if it's a book and author that I'm not familiar with then I probably won't look at it unless the cover catches my eye in the bookstore.

    sgiden AT verizon DOT net

  4. The cover is what draws my attention to a book, but I ultimately base my decision to buy/read on the back blurb and the first few pages. If I did end up buying and reading it, then the cover is what tends to draw me back in for a re-read, though. :)

    mireyahwolfe @ hotmail . com

  5. The covers don't really matter to me. It would be a plus, but what really matter is if I'm interested in reading the book.

    I have read so many books with suppper cheesy covers, but the story/novel was amazing. In the end I will read the novel if i like the author, and if the plot is interesting enough.

    As for 'And Falling, Fly' it sounds interesting and a rockin' cover :)

    thanks for the giveaway.

    Van P.

  6. Book covers can influence my book buying - if it's a bad cover by a new author I'm less likely to check it out - though if I know the author and like their writing it doesn't make a difference. Also eye-catching covers sometimes grab my attention and get me to check out a book.

  7. I was just looking at books today so this should be interesting. ^^ I'll admit that I fall privy to judging books by their covers sometimes, if just in library browsing. Almost always I'll end up picking every one up and reading the back blurb anyway - but that's just the type of person I am. Sometimes, though, I think covers are a big deal. Like with the big controversy with the YA novel Liar, which had an original cover with a white girl, and the protagonist was african-american! That major kind of inconsistency is horrible in my opinion. Something like that definitely prevents me from buying said book until the cover is changed. On a normal basis they don't have a huge say in things, but if they are offensive or really badly done, then they affect my choices.


  8. There are a variety of factors that influence my decision to read a book. They include: cover, title, author, description, recommendation.

    In detail, it does help to have a good cover that attracts me but it isn't required. (That book has an awesome cover.) A title that catches my attention helps. Liking the cover doesn't always mean I'll like the book so I consider the other factors as well. If I know the author from other books or someone has recommended the author/book, I will consider reading it. The description of what the story is about is probably the most important factor.

    Question for author: That is a rather unusual title, in my mind. What influenced the decision on it as the title for the book? Where did the title come from?

    Email: DawnEmbers @ ymail . com
    Blog: dawnembers.blogspot.com

  9. ::grin:: hi Dawn -- yeah, it *is* sort of an odd title, isn't it? I think if I'd know exactly how odd, I might have done it differently. Turns out in publishing they routinely all-cap titles, so it's been a bit of a struggle to get the lowercase "a" on people's radar. Amazon still has it wrong. But to answer your question...
    The title came pretty early in the writing, about half as a summation of Olivia's journey and half as a reminder to myself. Both she and I had to take some pretty big jumps for this book. You can't learn to dive in the shallow end.

  10. Hi Skyler!
    Thank you so much for guest blogging! It's so nice to have you here. I love your book cover and I think that is what initially attracted me to your book. Then I read the excerpt on your site...the whole excerpt. I know it sounds silly, but that's not something I normally do.

    Usually I only read a couple paragraphs and then I move on. But your excerpt HOOKED me and I could not stop reading it. It was just SO good!

    A great cover gains a book lots of attention and it's even better when the author is happy with it. So congrats on a great cover and what I am sure will be an excellent book once I get to read it. Still battling bronchitis so my reading mojo isn't completely back yet.

  11. While the cover is the first think that catches my eye, I wouldn't buy the book strictly for the cover. I've got to have read reviews praising the story or it has to be an author that I know and recognize as suiting my taste.
    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  12. the cover is what catches my eye to start with. sometimes a good and the a good blurb will make me buy a new to me author sometimes it takes an excerpt on the books sites I have had books I keep putting down because I dislike the cover. Charlaine Harris was one of those. Hate those covers but love the books.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

  13. Book covers are a major influence on me. It is the first thing that grabs my attention. If the cover looks interesting then I want to know more about the book.
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  14. And Falling, Fly sounds so great. I can't wait to read it. As for covers...I am ashamed to say a beautiful cover does have sway on a book I purchase, but of there are enough good reviews for a book with a slightly less striking cover then of course I'll read it.

  15. Oh, I forgot to leave my email

    angel28140 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com

  16. I'm not entering, but hey, great post, and I'm very excited to read this book!

  17. Book covers: I do fall into the "judge a book by its cover" category. I know that the authors have little to no say in the design process, and yet if the cover is heinous, I just can't pick it up. However, if the cover is fabulous, or even "not thrilling", I'll pick up the book & read the back cover then go from there.

    On the other hand, I can securely say that the cover also directs me to what type of genre the book is. Hand-drawn people with a magical object? Probaby high fantasy & I'm not interested. Pretty female in leather with a weapon? Urban fantasy & sign me up! See? Even when the cover isn't 100% accurate to the book, at least I have an idea where we're headed.

    As for "and falling, fly" I just love the cover. It makes me want to snatch the book right from the screen! And knowing that the author is also pleased with the cover gives me hope. With a beautiful cover & happy author, the story must be pretty good. wink, wink.

    ambience.of.rain [at] gmail.com

  18. Book covers do sway me in buying a book. The book covers and title entice me to pick up a book but I dont judge the book that I buy with only that. I do read the premise of the novel and the first chapter to see if its my kind of novel.


  19. A book cover is something that sparks an interest for me. If I'm browsing in the bookstore or looking at a list of upcoming releases, if the cover looks interesting, I'll stop and read the blurb. If I'm interested in the story, then I'll buy the book or put it on my 'to read' list.


  20. Lets face it, its the conver that catches your eye. Unless someone has recommended the book to you, why would you pick it up if the cover didn't attract you. I have read book recommended by friend that I would have never picked up based on their covers, but enjoyed them.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  21. curious to check this one out...


  22. I admit that i'm not that book cover person. when i buy a book, i read the blurb on back cover. it's so rare for me to buy a book from a look of its cover.

    question to Skyler :
    - what's your favorite scene(s) on this book ?

    uniquas at ymail dot com

  23. I've been known to buy books based just on the cover. Sometimes it's a miss but I've also found some great books that way. If I see a pretty cover at the library or bookstore I'll usually grab it.
    I'm loving the cover of and, Falling, Fly and can't wait to read it.

    Christie522 AT Yahoo DOT Com

  24. Hi again everybody and thanks for your thoughts on covers. I *do* feel like I got lucky since authors don't have much input. And I'm thrilled that there's so much excitement about "Falling." Today is launch day for me, so you know I'm excited!
    Mariska, I honestly don't know if I could pick a favorite scene. That's hard! I like Dominic and Olivia's first conversation, and Alyx was a lot of fun to write, but it's very hard to be objective about that. I'd be very curious to see what readers' picks were though!

  25. The cover of a book will catch my eye but if I don't like the blurb on back I don't buy. If I also like the blurb then I will read Chapter one or part of it to see how interesting the book is to me.

    I have bought books where the cover did not invite me to read but I had read books by that author that I really liked and took a chance and bought the book.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  26. Covers totally affect my book buying if I have no idea what the book is about. More often then naught I never pick up a book if I find the cover to be hideous.


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