Due to having already created Going to California’s cover I knew this was to be a series so I worked at establishing a theme for the books full of line art and images that will reappear in different ways (look for wings and devil tales.)
Once again you will find the good & evil components in this cover. The angel wings (aka good) are represented as the weather vane perched atop the house. The Devil’s tale (aka evil) is wrapped around the tree where little Micah sits swinging, and once again as you can see, both boys are on the cover. So these three things, good/evil/boys, will always be represented. I also chose to keep the gradient feel going, it works well for the darker theme of the series.
To be quite honest the Remington house was the most difficult part of this particular cover and was quite labor intensive. I lost track of how many hours it took me to create but the work was well worth it, I am very pleased with how it turned out. It is based on an actual Victorian house in Oswego, Kansas that I took a photograph of while on a research road trip for the book. This really cool old Victorian was her vision of the home this family would have lived in and I felt it was important to represent the family unit…hence the house just had to be on the cover. So I sat down and began the painstaking task of digitally creating a Victorian style home, using some of the features from the photograph itself as my guide. Some may ask why I didn’t make it true to the photograph or use the photograph itself? I suppose I probably could have but because this photo was one snapped and permission wasn’t obtained by the owner I felt I needed to simply use it as something to go by and create something new.
My main goal, as with Going to California was to convey the feel of the story on the cover. This is another example, as with her other book where initially someone else had done the cover for a previous printing but the author just wasn’t as pleased with it as she should be. I am not criticizing the artist who did the initial cover, we each have our own methods for doing what we do but the end result was that it didn’t really set well with the author.
This is why I feel it is so important for authors to have input with their covers. If an author isn’t completely pleased with what I create I am always open to suggestions and ideas. I can never, ever, get emotionally attached to the cover I create and allow my ego to take a front seat with it. In fact, it can’t even be in the car. This isn’t my baby…it’s the author’s. I just have the privilege of helping with it. I’m curious to know, as I am always trying to learn what works and what doesn’t. What do you think of the two covers? What appeals to you from each, what doesn’t? Do you prefer one over the other? If so, why?