Interview with Cathy Helms, Book Cover Artist

For the second interview on Tim’s Curious Questions I am delighted to introduce the charming and talented Cathy Helms, who is living proof that if you search on the internet you can sometimes meet really wonderful friendly people.  Cathy designs book covers and websites, and she is very very good at it. Here are the questions she has chosen.

1. In everyday life, what is the thing that annoys you most?

One of my biggest pet peeves in everyday life are judgmental people. One should never, under any circumstances, pass judgment on another human being. We are all unique individuals who have walked different paths, who were born in different places and of different heritages and circumstances. Never judge a person by their outward appearance as that is not the total sum of who they are. No single person is better than the rest of us – we are all human.

2. What is your favorite smell?

My favorite scent would have to be lavender – it evokes serenity and peace. I love the way the scent stays on my skin after I’ve brushed my fingers over the silvery leaves of the plant itself. I love using bath products infused with Lavender and I could spend entire days wrapped up in a warm blanket scented with lavender oils. I swear that I can close my eyes and see endless fields of lavender every time I smell it. I call it my ‘happy’ perfume as I tend to where pure oil of lavender for a perfume.

3. If a genie came out of a bottle on your birthday and gave you three wishes, what would they be?

I probably should think long and hard on this one, but immediately I had my answers for this one. I would ask for a cure for Diabetes so no one in the world, including me, would ever have to deal with this horrid disease again. I would ask for financial freedom – this would be the creative part as I’d want enough income to sustain myself and my family for the rest of our lives so I’d have to ask for ownership of the Starbucks Coffee corporation (because I’m addicted to their products so really this is a two part benefit), and lastly I would ask for Middle Earth to exist – hidden away from our world as we know it but me given access to get there when I was done exploring this world.

4. What is either the best or most useless invention you have ever come across?

The internet. Hands down. The invention of the world wide web has opened doors for all of us we never thought possible until now. The reasons for it being the best invention are endless – and some might argue that I must say the personal computer before I could say the internet. But the personal computer didn’t really take off until the internet did. I would not have my current career as a graphic designer without the internet. I would not have made all the fantastic and invaluable friendships that I currently enjoy without the internet. I would not have been able to research my own heritage and keep in touch with my family without the internet. In many ways I am a better person for having the worldwide access and limitless resources that the internet offers to me every day. I’ve discovered new books, music, movies, history and so much more simply with the click of a mouse.

Do you have a picture of an object, place or animal which is important to you?

Yes, this is a picture of a Friesan stallion which I think is really beautiful. I’ve loved horses ever since I was a small child. Never owned one, but my grandfather raised horses and bought me a pony before I could walk! Of course my mother wouldn’t allow it as I was too young to ride just yet. Here are a couple of pictures of me as child, riding.Cat-1968


Thanks Cathy. I think you’d need to be a pretty good rider to cope with a horse like that stallion. He looks beautiful but very spirited. As you know I’m delighted with all the book covers you have designed for me. When did you first realize that was what you wanted to do? 

After I earned my degree in Advertising and Graphic Design, I was a bit unsure of which direction to go forward with my new found skills – until I reached out to author Helen Hollick with praise for her books. The thought had never occurred to me to design book covers until Helen asked what I did for a living and gave me the opportunity to re-design one of her book covers. I found that I immediately loved the process and I then found my niche!

I work with predominately independent authors who are in the process of self publishing their novels. I enjoy working directly with the writers as we create a visual representation of their manuscript during the process of designing a book cover. Being a fan of fiction myself, I feel like I’m helping to breathe life into a story when I create that cover illustration.

Can you show us a few samples of your cover designs?

My pleasure. Here are just a few – you can see lots more on my website if you click on the links below.



♦ •♦ •♦ •♦ •♦ •♦ •♦ •♦
Graphic Designer ~ Avalon Graphics
Main Website:
On Facebook: Avalon-Graphics
On Twitter: Avalon_Graphics
Direct Email:

About Tim Vicary

This entry was posted in Tim's Curious Questions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Interview with Cathy Helms, Book Cover Artist

  1. Cathy Helms says:

    Thanks so much for having me, Tim! This was fun!! Great selection of very interesting and thought provoking questions!

  2. Tamian Wood says:

    I am totally enjoying the blog. What a fun project! Cathy your work is stunning, and your writing engaging (IMHO). Eagerly awaiting the next installment of curious questions.

  3. Cathy Helms says:

    Hi Tamian! Thanks so much for commenting and for the generous compliments! It is an honour coming from a fellow designer!!

  4. Geri says:

    Great interview with a great lady! Not only has Cathy helped us at indieBRAG but she has done the most amazing covers for R.A.R.Clouston (who just happens to be my husband!) We hope to get on her very busy scheduale to do some additional things for us. Number one will be a video for the B.R.A.G. Medallion!

  5. A wonderful post from a wonderful and talented lady. Cathy has desgined three of my books covers and is in the process of designing the 4th. A truly beautiful lady.
    Tim, thanks for sharing this interview and also for your great courtroom drama books with Sarah Newby. More soon please!

    • Tim Vicary says:

      Thanks so much Pauline. Cathy is a top designer and it was a great pleasure to meet her and her husband Ray here in York, too. As for Sarah Newby, I’m preparing a new adventure for her and I hope to have it out next summer, if only I can find the TIME!

    • Cathy Helms says:

      Bless you, dear Pauline! I’ve certainly enjoyed working with you and gaining your friendship over the past year or so! I look forward to many more years of collaborations!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s