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!

4 thoughts on “The first cut is the deepest!”

    1. Oh, there’s no doubt at all – he’s a keeper!

      The thing to keep in the back of your mind is, the final cover may not resemble the first draft at all. This is only the start of the process.

  1. What a fantastic first draft. Akira is a true artist and you are lucky to have discovered such a great talent. Definitely you should stay with him on future novels. Maybe you should also consider involving him with new covers for the second editions of “Hunt” and “Goth” so that all your books have the same look. I can’t wait to see the final version of cover and a chance to read the book. Just one question, is it “Toiland Trouble” or “Toil and Trouble”.

    1. That’s why I like having you as a proof reader, Frank. It’s “Toil And Trouble” – I mentioned the missing space in the accompanying article, but not where it was. He’s aware of it now, and I’ve given him a few suggestions on what he can do to get the correct fit.

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