The closer you get…

…the further away things seem!

Settling on cover art, I’ve learned, requires a heap of patience and really works your ability to communicate your wants and needs. It requires a drilling-down of the thought process to a few relevant, eye-catching ideas – and a lot of what you think should be used ends up falling by the way.

Actually, it looks much better in full-size and I think we’re very close to a final draft. I’ve requested the witch be reduced in size and sent deeper into the background, for some colour to be added to my main character, Lorne, in the foreground, for that wayward space in the title to be corrected, and for the title colour to be returned to orange.

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, I’m already thinking about the cover for “Pilate”, when it’s finished. OMG… it’s going to be so hard coming up with a workable theme for that, because every chapter takes the story into completely new territory. Maybe for that one, I should keep it very simple and just use a picture of an aged Victoria Cross.

Hmmm… what have I created?

gg… over and out!

A wealth of ideas…

I crept past the 250-page mark with “Pilate” over the weekend – things are progressing very well, but if I’m to save Lawrence from contracting some exotic disease, I really must get a move on! The rain today will help – I love writing on rainy days 🙂

Meanwhile… back to the cover design for “Wytch II”. Do you like the photo? A comment I received on the weekend suggested the witch character in the background of the second draft wasn’t nearly as imposing as it could be. I agreed, and with that in mind, went surfing this morning…

I thought something like this, to show the sheer gloominess of the forest…

and to give some perspective on size…

Then, for the witch figure in the background, I got a little crazy…

But then, on the other hand, if we are going to stick with the current design, I thought it important to have either the witch or the forest reaching out to grab the boy in the foreground – so I went looking for some arms. I’ll leave you with these…

gg… over and out!


Life, in a parallel universe…

You can all laugh if you wish, but before I proceed, I have to admit to loving a good social experiment and lately, I’ve taken an interest in the reality tv series: “Married At First Sight”.

Like many others who have been following the series, I was appalled during a recent episode when a ‘Boy’s Night In’ was arranged – in which the male halves of the surviving couples gathered to do what ‘men’ supposedly do on a ‘boy’s night’. What followed was an alcohol-infused trashing of one of the ‘wives’, which put the notion of men behaving badly squarely in the spotlight.

If you haven’t seen the footage, you can catch it on 9Now; but make sure you have a bucket handy because you’ll probably want to vomit!

I guess my irritation comes from years of working in various large organisations and from seeing the way women are often treated in the workplace. I’m not a wowser and I’m not big on political correctness, but I seriously thought the majority of men had moved beyond the point of making breast-grappling gestures in the air, to impress their mates.

My thoughts, however, were blown to smithereens when the offending episode was aired last Sunday. There was a distinct line drawn, between the three or four male participants who regarded that sort of grubbiness as acceptable and the other half of the group, some of who were clearly offended by the attitudes and behaviours displayed.

Aside from the ‘men’ involved in this abysmal display, I’m left questioning why the producers stood back and allowed the whole sordid caper to roll on unchecked, to the point where they even used it to gain mileage and increase viewership over the following two episodes.

Sometimes, I think we men have come a long way in our treatment of women generally… but then, I see crap like that and I wonder. I really wonder!

gg… over and out!

Take 2… and call me in the morning!

So, here we have the 2nd draft of the new cover.

As requested, the main figure in the foreground has had a few years shaved off (as well as the facial hair – not a good look on a 14-year old boy!). He’s introduced the sinister figure in the background and has managed to keep the overall ‘feel’.

There’s still work to do… for instance, he’s inserted the space in the title – just in the wrong place! A minor point… just a wrinkle to be ironed out. The forest in the story is very old, very dark and very dingy… so I’ve requested some of the vibrant colour used in the background be washed-out or faded. On top of these and a few other minor things, Akira has a number of his own suggestions he wants to throw at me – I’ll be interested to see what he comes up with.

Stay tuned… more to come.

gg… over and out!

The first cut is the deepest!

Here’s the first cut!

The file arrived at around 2:00am this morning and was first seen by me at 7:00am. Delivery took a little longer than I thought it might, due to internet problems at the designer end, but I’m happy to roll with it because Akira does great work.

A few things sprung to mind immediately. On the plus side, I like that he’s carried the theme across from part 1 in the title and subtitle. I’m even thinking, I might stay with his design on other books in the series – then, regardless of the title, readers will identify with the theme in use and be able to separate them from non-series titles.

I think he’s captured the mood of the forest nicely, from the limited information he had to go off. It’s perhaps not as dark and broody as in my mind’s eye, but there’s a limit to how dark we can go on the cover of a book. I think the compromise is a good effort.

He’s also captured the mystery of my main character – and his interpretation of medieval-period costume, again, different to mine, was a surprise.

Things we need to work on, in my opinion…

Obviously, there’s a space missing in the subtitle. I’ve suggested, if space is an issue, perhaps he could superimpose the main title over a slightly darker ‘II’, to create more room on the subtitle line. Otherwise, I believe his work on the title lines is quite eye-catching.

In the artwork, I’ve asked if he can make the character younger in appearance (Lorne Harper, the main character in the story, is only 14-years old!)

The immediate reaction from the first person to see the draft, and shared by me, was that the forest in the background needs to be ‘busier’, but not by much. One suggestion is to insert an opaque image of the witch, reaching out to grab him; and to that I added, I would like to see several pairs of ghostly eyes (sticking with the opaque theme). I would like to provide you with more detail to back this suggestion, but then I’d run the risk of giving away too much information.

Anyway, this is only the first draft – but it demonstrates wonderfully what the process involves, and how two people of different artistic leanings and a half a globe distant from each other, can bring life to a mere concept.

More to follow…

gg… over and out!