Following on from last week’s post about book covers, here’s another. I’ve spent most of this week working on the new cover for Resonance. I’ve just got the rights back to the book, but it needs a new cover before Book View Cafe can publish it. I could have handed the job over to someone else but…
My artistic past has been re-kindled. I’ve never really been an artist – largely because I can’t draw, and paint seems to prefer my skin and clothes to canvas – but I’ve always felt that I had an eye for it. When I was a student I dabbled with painting murals. Our landlady made the fatal mistake one day of asking six 19 year-olds if they’d like to redecorate the house for her if she paid for the paint. A more astute landlady might have had second thoughts when she saw the cans of orange, lime green and purple stacked in the hallway. Ever seen a lounge with a black ceiling and walls in purple, lime green and orange? You don’t forget if you have.
When it came to my bedroom, I thought I’d go for a mural. Here’s the first one I painted – a copy of cartoon on the inside sleeve of an LP (If anyone can guess the name of the LP, I’d be amazed. It’s from around 1971.) You can see the mantelpiece at the bottom of the picture and the clouds which filled the entire room between the picture rail and the ceiling. (Click on any of the pics to see a larger version)
Strangely, marriage and painting murals does not appear to mix well. But now, with the wonders of computers and photoshopping software, I’m dipping a toe or two back into the ultramarine.
Below is my first pass at a cover for Resonance.
Without giving the plot away too much, Resonance is about Graham Smith, a reclusive man with OCD who believes, with good reason, that the world about him is highly unstable. Roads change course, people disappear, office blocks migrate across town – all at night when no one’s looking. And he’s found that he can lessen the effect by sticking to a rigid routine. If he walks the same route to work every morning and catches the same train, and keeps himself to himself, then there’s a good chance his home will still be where he left it when he returns home in the evening.
Then Annalise comes into his life and everything changes. Annalise is a girl who looks different every time he sees her. She warns him that he’s being watched and his life is in danger. She rescues him, she hides him, she … disappears. Only to reappear a few days later in another guise. She too has problems. She hears voices – all from girls called Annalise. She has 200 of them inside her head. And all of them are telling her that Graham Smith is in danger and only she can save him.
So, how do you capture that in a cover?
I’ve gone for an unstable London at night scene with three of the many faces of Annalise. I think it works but … I’m not sure about the disembodied heads. Originally I had a head and shoulders shot but that looked too much so I cut it down to head and hair. I’m wondering if I should fade some of it back in – assuming I can get fade to work (I’m still learning Gimp).
What do people think?
Chris Dolley is an English author living in France with a frightening number of animals. His novel – Resonance (Baen) – can be downloaded for free here. More information about his other work can be found on his BVC bookshelf .
International Kittens of Mystery. If you like a laugh and looking at cute kitten pictures this is the book for you. It’s a glance inside the International Kittens of Mystery – the only organisation on the planet with a plan to deal with a giant ball of wool on a collision course with Earth. Forget Bruce Willis and his team of miners. Send for the kitties!