Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cover Design

Lately I have had several inquiries concerning the design of the cover of Seventh Earth. So, to answer the questions the following is the story behind the cover.

After writing the book I wanted to make sure that I had a cover that would not only provide a touch of insight into the book, but give it enough intrigue to capture the eyes of readers wandering through the book stores. If you haven't noticed, there is fierce competition out there in the young adult genre and I didn't want my book to be the one on the shelf collecting dust.

While working on the book my mother had informed me that my niece, Madeline, was becoming quite an artist and suggested that I might use her to do the artwork for the cover. Each time my mother made this suggestion I would thank her politely for the idea but decline. I wanted my book to have a professional polished look and I was not convinced that my fifteen-year-old niece would be able to deliver. However, my mother was quite persistent and insisted that I at least let my niece draw something I could look at.

In the book I use the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco as a setting for one of my scenes. I love this building with its intricate architecture set among a beautifully crafted landscape. I decided to have my niece take a crack at sketching this building as something I might want to incorporate in the cover. The result was a beautiful charcoal rendition of the Palace. I knew I had found my artist. The only problem was that I wasn't convinced that the Palace, although stunning, would be enough to capture attention. My wife came up with the idea of having my niece recreate a portion of Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam. But instead of using the hand of God reaching out to touch Adam we used the hand of a Reficul--an alien being in the book.

With these two drawings in hand I incorporated the skills of a wonderfully gifted graphics design artist, Melissa Lewis, who just happened to be a good friend. She was able to take the sketches, along with a few ideas jumping out of my head and create what I see as a masterpiece.

Only time will tell if the cover holds enough mystique to grasp attention, but at least for now I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.

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