The fine folks at Deranged Doctor Design and I are getting pretty good at working together, I think. (It would be interesting to find out if they feel the same way.) We’ve both learned that I care so much about my main character that the process goes better if they send me photos to look at before they begin.
This time around they knew they’d found my Ariel and only sent me one option. They were right; she was perfect.
Cillian, the other main character to be featured, appeared perfect too. I’d struggled with whether fellow psychic and love interest Siarnaq should be featured on the cover instead, or perhaps Mikkel, the other love interest. In the end I picked Cillian. While there is no romance between him and Ariel, he has the most important precognitive skills and he goes on to play an important role in book six.
The first cover came back and I liked it a lot.
But there’s almost always a snag and this cover had two.
First of all, in the book, Ariel and Cillian can’t touch each other because it results in a painful electrical shock. That’s a problem given the way they are standing. I should have guessed the designer would put them right next to each other, but I didn’t, so I had to ask for a revision in which they were separated.
While we were at it, I also wanted more blue ocean in the background. So a design was produced with both corrections.
It had separation and more ocean, but unfortunately, the beautiful blue on the left of the cover got lost along the way. Also, a weird serpent like rock appeared off to the right.
This wasn’t going to work.
Then, someone pointed snag number two out to me. They thought Cillian, who is supposed to be in his forties, looked a little too old and could even be mistaken for Ariel’s father Alex, who is in his fifties. At first I didn’t think so, but upon reflection I saw the vague resemblance.
Would getting rid of Cillian’s grey and maybe his facial hair solve both problems? It seemed like it would go a long way towards distinguishing the two men.
So I requested a revision with younger hair on Cillian, the blue and rocks on the left put back, but the waves and water on the right left there.
This came back with two out of three. I definitely liked the younger looking Cillian and was happy to have my rocky cliff and thunderous sky back, but I’d really liked those waves and they weren’t there.
I will say, at this point it is tempting to give up. You feel like you’ve been enough of a problem and that the cover is close enough and you should just accept it and move on.
However, experience has taught me that covers matter a lot, and it is worth getting just want you want. So I sent this photo trying to explain what I was hoping for.
The final cover is shown below and I don’t think I could be happier with it.
What a shame there is only more cover left to do. I feel like I’m finally getting good at my part in this.
Guess I’m just going to have to write more books, so I can get more covers done. 🙂