Get to know Mills & Boon!

Publishing can be a bit of mystery at times. Sometimes even our authors only get to know a few of the names and faces that work behind the scenes! While we hope we make things look easy and that everything happens seamlessly (!), there are a lot of fabulous and talented people involved in getting our books out into the world and we thought you might like to meet them. 

 We’ve already met Katie and Julia and this week Kate Oakley, one of our wonderful designers, answers some tough questions. 

Hi Kate! First and foremost, what is your role at Mills & Boon?  

I am a graphic designer, I design a lot of the Mills & Boon single title book covers, as well as design covers for the monthly series such as Cherish and By Request.

I am also involved in designing the artwork for the Mills & Boon website, marketing and emails.


What do you like best about your job?

I love my job because it is so fun and creative. We have a lot of free reign when designing covers and it makes every day at work different.

Everyone in the company gets quite excited to see cover design concepts, and the cover meetings are such fun – as we have to discuss which men are sexy enough to make the cut!  It’s also amazing to get to see all of my designs on the shelves in bookstores.


What is the hardest part?

Designers have a saying; “Leave your soul at the door”. Cover meetings aren’t always easy work, sometimes the team approving the covers dislike all of them, which can be disappointing when you’ve worked for hours designing them, but you just have to take notes and start from the beginning again! It’s very important for all departments to be happy with the end result and as a designer you have to learn to not take it personally.


It sounds tough! What’s the best thing about working with romance books?

Not only do we get to have loads of lovely books for free, but it’s great to work with such a lovely uplifting genre. I get to read tons of briefs before I design a cover, which describe the plot and characters, and they always have the most romantic and heartfelt plots. Reading such lovely content all the time is quite inspiring.


What are you reading at the moment?

I have just read Amy Schumer’s book “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo”. It was SO HILARIOUS. Every page made me smile, and she is such a fascinating person.


Finally, share 5 things about you!

– I absolutely love pugs. I am well-known amongst my friends for this and everyone sends me pug-related things all the time!

– I can speak Zulu and Afrikaans.

– I hate having my feet touched.. to the extent where I would never have a pedicure! 

– I have a strange love for zombies… I have watched almost every zombie movie twice, read quite a few zombie novels and LOVED the iZombie program on Netflix.

– I could eat cereal for every meal. Sometimes when my husband is away I eat cereal for dinner…

Thank you Kate for taking the time to chat with us! Have any questions or comments? Let us know in the comments below or on our social media pages! Remember to check back next week as we shine a spotlight on another member of the team.