One of the challenges for the self-publisher of Ebooks is being responsible for everything. This includes coming up with a striking cover image. Luckily, I have a modicum of artistic talent and design sense. Even luckier, I have a vast network of friends who are more talented artists than I am. For my project I enlisted the help of a couple of them.
The first is Marcel Walker. I have the benefit of him being my housemate, so I can pretty much bug him at any time to help me out. For the covers of both Scratch and This Creature Fair I had pretty clear ideas of what I wanted.
This is the doodle I did for Scratch.
This is the image Marcel came up with.
The photo is one of the Union Valley Methodist Church. This is the church I grew up in. My house was a few yards from where this picture was taken and the area around it is intrinsically linked to most of my childhood memories. I found this in a batch of pictures from my grandmother, Ida Wise. Someone had handwritten the date 1929 on it. Family legend has it that my great grandfather, Lon Wise, donated the land this church was built on in 1879.
I want to stress that no one in the book is based on anyone from this church. We never kept an angel chained in the basement. It doesn't even have a basement.
One of the recurring images and motifs in This Creature Fair is that of the bright red lips of the rock star, Morrigan Blue. My protagonist, Nick Chambers, is trapped by her charms and magic. This image has been in my mind since I first started writing the book.
This is my doodle.
This is what Marcel came up with.
My friend Margaret Bashaar, a talented writer herself, was my model for this. And yes, that is me in the photo as well. My original idea involved just the outline of the lips, but I LOVE the way this looks.
For Bedivere I knew I wanted something more traditional. The story is classic Arthurian fantasy, so I wanted something that conveyed that. I wasn't sure who I was going to ask to do this until I saw a post on Dave Wachter's website. Dave is a relatively new friend and an amazingly talented artist. He recently drew a three issue miniseries for IDW called That Hellbound Train (based on a Robert Bloch story. Dave regularly posts his artwork on his website. One day he posted a beautiful drawing of a knight on a horse and I knew exactly who I wanted to do my cover. The drawing I saw wasn't right for my book so I sent Dave some general ideas. I can't ell you how much I love what he came up with. If this epublishing thing is successful at all, and assuming I actually finish the project, there will be two more books in this series with covers by Dave.
Here is Dave's original painting without the cover text.
Thank you all!