An author dreams of what the cover of their first book would look like. We’ve written the story and sent it out for a hopeful response; all the while, in the back of our minds, envisioning what our cover could look like. Would it be a scene from the story? An abstract collage suggestive of the plot? Maybe a portrait of the lead characters?
It’s not often, though, that authors have input as to what their cover art will be. We may be fortunate, as I was, to provide a concept for the graphic artist.
After considering covers of mysteries that appealed to me, I conceived of the following:
Ideally, I’d love to see a black and white silhouette image with a partial view of person (gender indeterminate) holding a shovel. The central view is looking down at the body of the victim. The victim is a young woman with shoulder-length hair wearing clothes suitable for gardening. Her body is lying face down in her backyard in front of a flower bed, which would be situated up against the back of her suburban house. The only spot of color would be the red pool of blood on the ground near the back of the victim’s head.
My hope was that this would translate to a cover that was both stylish and classic. And most of all, I hoped it would be eye-catching. I couldn’t be happier with the result…
Credit: Leah Kaye Suttle, artist; Soul Mate Publishing.
Of course there are differences from conception to artist rendering, but that may be for the better. The essentials of the scene are captured brilliantly. The minimal use of color makes it stand out, making the whole that much more eye-catching. And that is precisely what I hoped for most.
What are your thoughts of this cover, and how does it compare to some of your favorite books?
Death on Stoneridge releases November 12, 2014. Stay tuned for more details about this first book in the Syracuse Mystery series.