Friday, November 11, 2011


Some of you may wonder why an artist is presenting at a writers conference--so today I am interviewing author and artist, Deirdra Eden Coppel, who will teach a class at the ANWA writer’s conference coming up in February 2012.

The temptation is to do an Author Inquisition, but I have to be serious once in a while, and the conference is 1st rate. I wouldn't want to give the wrong impression by attaching thumb screws to one of the presenters, now would I? No. Definately not.

Tell me, Deirdra, how long have you been an artist?
Deirdra: I’ve been an artist my whole life. I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t creating something.  Granted, I’ve improved over the years as I’ve taken lessons and practiced.
I like to paint just about anything and try out new subjects and styles as well.  If I’m painting for a pure creative release, I tend to draw thing that are earthy, mystical, or ethereal in nature. I have a soft spot for drawing eyes, galaxies, and trees.
What is your experience, or particular qualifications for teaching at the conference?
Deirdra: I taught private art lessons for a while, so I’m familiar with just about every art medium out there. I’ve also won a prestigious art award, though to tell you the truth, I think a lot of it was luck because when I looked at the work of the hundreds of other art contestants, they were all superb and any one of them could have won the award.
I started branching out into graphic design in 2001 when I worked for a small publishing house. It was actually out of their desperation that I was asked to format a cover. I was able to learn the complex software in a short time. They liked the cover so much, I had a new job. Word spread quickly and soon I had theaters, authors, and other businesses asking me to give estimates on their projects.
Because of my ability to use diverse mediums and styles, along with keeping my prices competitive, I have created a successful home-based business in this field.
I love working with authors. They are the only ones who cry like a first time mom when you place their new book cover in their arms. And then I start to cry too.

There is a lot of drama when working with an author directly. A lot of times it really is like working with a first time mom in the maternity ward, except women are usually educated about the birth process before they go into labor. LOL.

When an author has their book written and edited and they are ready for a cover or illustrations many of them don’t know what to do. They are nervous about the process, they don’t know what’s involved, how much they should pay for the work, etc.
With publishing becoming more and more independent many authors will have the pleasure of working with an illustrator or graphic designer.

You've done a lot of interesting things. What will you teach at the ANWA conference?

Deirdra:  At the ANWA Conference I will speak about the author/artist relationship, what you can expect during this creation process, common mistakes authors and designers make, how to get the best book cover/illustrations for the right price, and about a whole lot of surprises that come up that authors don’t usually think about.
As an author, former publishing art director, illustrator, and graphic designer I will be tailoring this class to a wide audience of authors, publishers, and artists, so you will learn about this important key marketing element from many different angels.

Thanks, Deirdra! I can’t wait.
To register for the conference, click on the Time Out For Writers button on my blog. To learn more about Deirdra and her work, visit either her website or her blog:               

1 comment:

Marsha Ward said...

Thanks for this interview with Deirdra, Tina. I can hardly wait for the Conference!