Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Anatomy of a Cover

Within the next few days, my second novel will become available for download.  It's the first book in my ongoing Hunters of the Dark series, Her Dark Destiny, about a group of monster hunters.  Here's the cover image:

I'm going to be using this format for the entire series, a photograph at the top, the title in the middle with a different colored band each time, and a classic illustration at the bottom.  The illustration on the first book is by Gustave Dore, originally created for Dante's Inferno.  My friend Sarah Cornell is the model in the picture, and I don't think it could have turned out better.  The longest process for the cover is always the title, which I hand paint onto a painted background.  It's a lot of detail work with a lot of going back over to smooth things out to make those painting errors disappear.

On my first book cover for Twice Bitten, I painted my name as well as the book title, but I used computer font for the author name and series title this time around just because I wanted them to be smaller and I wasn't sure I could pull it off (and if I could, it would be quite a chore).  I splattered a little black paint on the red painted background before starting on the lettering of Twice Bitten, to kind of mimic a blood splatter, but with black since it's on red.  I think that suggestion works pretty well here.  And of course that photograph is of me, taken in front of my bathroom mirror with the background cut out.  I made that blood myself with Hershey's syrup (which I know they use for blood in some horror movies), and Ketchup and red vinegar for the color.  It did not smell pleasant.

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