Now, this is an interesting twist.
You guys know that the cover is the first eye-catcher of any publication, especially for a self-pub like myself. When I first started the book, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted them to look like. When Jenna Bacci stepped forward and, at the age of14, drew me the first cover, I got a crash-course in the importance of a good cover. Jenna’s cover for Book 1 was very, very well-received, and even now, two years after it got released, I get a lot of compliments on the cover art.
Book 2 – same reaction.
So now, the cover of Book 3, which you see here.
This is what I kept under wraps since late 2010: my guest cover designer is none other than Marion Meadows, who doubles as a digital artist, photographer, and web designer in addition to the overall Hurricane Soprano Sax thing. You know him best for the latter; I know him for the fact that the Photoshop-related contents of his computer put the same contents on mine to shame. Seriously, I kid you not. The man is a brilliant designer.
And also know this: the fact that Marion was the contributor this time has absolutely no bearing on Jenna’s art. This is my first full-wraparound cover, and Jenna’s task this time was to design and draw around Marion’s art.
The idea of a joint cover came about accidentally, and it mostly came about because, at the end of the day, I still had no idea what to do for Book 3. My original idea was to have my main character share stage with another, on a select background. However, life happened, and the concept, while still there, was relegated to the back burner. I started thinking of other concepts, and Jenna did too. We hashed, hashed, and rehashed…nothing came to fruition enough to say, “Yes, this is it!”
Enter Capital Jazz Supercruise 2010.
To preface this, I will say first that Marion and I have known each other a few years. Heck, I met him before I got Book 1 out the door! After one show in Jersey, he let me take a look at his unofficial portfolio (read: contents of his hard drive). Believe me when I say that this is a designer of prodigious skill, with a particular gift for fantasy art. Aboard the cruise, lost for ideas still, mid-editing grind, I asked if I could use a piece for a potential book cover.
The hunt was on. He and I found a piece out of his portfolio, and over two hours, transformed it into…well, what you see here. I blanched out the background, touched up some small bits and pieces, and coordinated the fonts, and the cover was complete.
When Jenna and I reunited after the cruise, this piece had been sitting there for some time, and I knew one thing firmly: that I don’t have to have just one artist. I can easily have both.
I will say this, guys: Book 3’s back cover is in progress, and if I know Jenna, it will be absolutely stunning.
This, ladies and gents, is how Book 3 cover came to be, and special thanks to Marion Meadows, owner and sole proprietor of RedTele Design, for his contribution, and for inadvertently inspiring an excellent overall concept for the full cover.