Friday, April 03, 2015

The Evolution of a Cover

I'm in the process of having my website redesigned and overhauled, which means coming up with new images. Now, images for a mystery set in the Regency are tricky, largely because so many of those images are linked in the popular imagination with Jane Austen--who doesn't exactly evoke a sense of mystery, threat, and death. It occurred to me that it would be cool to use the guy from the WHY KINGS CONFESS cover, but.... (There's always a BUT.)

Legalities require me to get permission from that cover's illustrator, Gene Mollica. I was a bit nervous, but it turns out that in addition to being a fantastic artist, he's also a great guy. Not only did he give me permission, but he also sent me a  HRes file of his original painting for the cover. This is something I'd never seen before, and I suspect you'll find it as fascinating as I did.

Neat, huh? Here's a closeup:


Gene also told me a few other things I didn't know, such as that he did the MERMAIDS and SERPENTS covers, too (by far my favorites, along with the original ANGELS). And he told me that for the photo shoot for the cover of WHEN FALCONS FALL they actually made the model's costume, based on examples from old prints and paintings I've been sending them over the years. I've seen the stills from that photo shoot, but the way, and I'm happy with the new "Sebastian." (For those who missed it, the previous model joined the Navy!)

Gene tells me the photo shoots are mine to use, too, so once the new cover is available for reveal, I'll be able to show you the entire evolution of a cover, from photo shoot to painting to actual cover. It's a fascinating process.

Oh, and if you have any suggestions from my big website overhaul, I'd welcome them!

31 comments:

JustWingingIt said...

Ooh, that *is* a nice painting. The book cover was nice too but this shows so much more detail. The artist does sound like a stand up guy. Maybe if you continue communicating some of your personal wishes for the covers he can work them in there. It's worth a shot. And I'm glad you're happy with the model for Sebastian. That only makes me more curious to see the new cover. Any idea when you will be able to reveal it?

Veronica

cs harris said...

Veronica, I only saw the photo shoot stills yesterday, so it will be months. I'm very anxious to see it, too. For this one, they took off the hat!

Charles Gramlich said...

excellent. That is very cool. I like this image a lot.

Anonymous said...

The too small hat - oh, how we shall miss it (not). I really like the painting. Agree with Veronica, it shows so much detail. I can't wait (as always). Will have a think on website suggestions. It is so great that you were able to meet the artist and he turned out to be such a great guy. Have a Happy Easter!!! Sabena

Anonymous said...

Oh and forgot - Mermaids and Serpents (along with Maidens) are my favorite covers too. S

cs harris said...

Charles, yes, I like the blue-green better than the yellow.

Sabena, I only met him via email. Have a good Easter weekend! We're going up to the lake.

Susan J. said...

The model does not look British to me. But then, I am British and even when I watch American programmes where a British actor is playing an American, I can tell he is British. Like the actor playing Finn Polmar in 'The Good Wife', I can tell he's British, even with the put on American accent. Certainly not American, anyway. Plus, he played Wickham in 'Death Comes to Pemberley'!
Interesting that the previous model joined the navy. I actually worked as a civilian telephonist for the US Naval Headquarters in North Audley Street in London the 1970's. I enjoyed it there but I had problems understanding some of the American accents to begin with! The officers were really nice and invited us to parties. They had a canteen and at night it turned into a bar called 'Splice The Mainbrace'. When I was on late duty I had to run the gauntlet to get through it to catch my train home. I used to get surrounded by American officers asking me to have a drink with them! Happy days!

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to the photo shoot to cover proscess

Suzanne said...

Wow, that is such a beautiful painting. The detail in it is gorgeous. And it is so atmospheric. If the cover for you new book is anything like this it should be spectacular.

Lynne said...

The hat again - Crikey! (Sorry - I've wanted to use that word since Robert used it in the last episode of Downton Abbey! So satisfying.) Okay seriously, the painting is nice and the artist was kind to send it to you. I look forward to seeing where it all leads.
Who Buries the Dead is terrific, by the way. Suzanne and I are having an email discussion which is great fun.
And Susan - I love your story about the Americans. We have trouble sometimes understanding folks from other parts of the US. But imagine our struggle with the different regions in the UK. I guess that's the fun of knowing people in a different English-speaking country...learning a different form of English.

Susan J. said...

Lynne: Yes, there are so many different accents in the UK, given that it is such a small country. I think I find the North East, Geordie accent the most difficult to understand. I love the Lincolnshire accent in the area I live now, it makes me feel in contact with the Vikings who populated this area, which was called Danelaw. I did find find it difficult for the first few weeks working for the US Navy though, particularly with the Southern American accents. I got used to them within a few weeks though. It was great fun working there. My mother actually worked at the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square in the 1950's, just around the corner from North Audley Street, so I was following family tradition! I always found the Americans I worked with courteous and kind. I remember my employment there with great fondness.

cs harris said...

Susan, I agree, there is a very definite English "look." But this particular shot of him always reminds me in some way of a young Sean Bean. That's neat about your work with the American navy!

Suzanne, I'm really anxious to see the new cover. Unfortunately, I know it's going to be a while!

Lynne, you'll be glad to know he's hatless in the poses for the new cover.

Susan, my stepdaughter grew up in Sunderland and Newcastle with her mom. The first time I went to visit her, we were in an elevator and I was convinced the people behind us were speaking some strange language. My then-husband really howled. It was my first exposure to Geordie.

Suzanne said...

I used to work with a very nice man from New York and he loved NYPD Blue, so I thought I would watch it. I couldn't understand what they were talking about, especially when they went to Harlem to arrest a black guy. I couldn't make out a word of what he said and unfortunately it was in the days before TV's had subtitle functions, so I didn't watch it again. I had the same problem with Hamish MacBeth. Then when Lynne was watching Phryne Fisher I had to translate some of the words she hadn't heard before. Isn't it amazing how we have all developed our own forms of the same language over the centuries?

Lynne said...

Oh, dear, Candy...no hat? How will I manage? It's been so much fun to joke about it. Oh well...
Susan, you're too kind...Americans can be very abrasive, particularly in a foreign country. When I visited England in the 80's I was very aware of some really ill-mannered tourists. Thankfully your fellow countrymen know how to handle that very graciously. Our tour guide, by the way, was Manchester born and raised and he was quite a challenge to understand at first. Took me a day or two to get the hang of his accent:)!

Susan J. said...

Candy: I laughed at your description of hearing the Geordie accent as not being English, I don't blame you! I find it harder to understand than many American accents!
Suzanne: I never had any problem with the accents on NYPD Blue, it used to be one of my favourite programmes.
Lynne: The American officers were really kind to us English girls on the switchboard, stuck in our little basement office. They gave us chocolates and perfume at Christmas and were very polite when asking us to connect calls through the automatic voice network that linked the bases in those days.

Anonymous said...

c - i am looking forward to seeing the new cover and the new Sebastian as well. I always liked this costume but the sideburns drive me crazy! they don't seem as prominent in Who Buries the Dead cover. i don't go onto many writers websites - i think many are disjointed/hard to look at. and i know nothing about web design but I do like it when you know easily the order of a series - i.e - What Angels Fear - book #1. etc. and a blurb about the story follows with link to purchase and maybe links to reviews. Also maybe separate tab to go the blog. Very similar to how you have it now but along the top.

Tasha Alexander’s – Lady Emily series is similar and I find it easy to follow. And I like the layout as well. not too much on a page. there is a tab with lots of links to pages about the time period etc.

And even though the subject matter is dark i don't think the website needs to be overly dark in color. and again let me say - i know zip about what makes a good webpage.
well good luck with it all!!
best, ali

Susan J. said...

I hope you don't change the website too much, it's so attractive as it is. I love the home page, it's designed really well and looks very classy.

cs harris said...

Suzanne, we always put the subtitles on for my husband whenever we watch Irish or Scottish movies/TV shows!

Lynne, I must admit I sometimes want to run over the tourists here in New Orleans! They act as if they're in Disneyland or the entire city is like Bourbon Street after the traffic is blocked off at night--it never seems to occur to them that DON'T WALK means stay out of the $#&% street.

Ali, thank you for your input. It really is hard, especially since I've written in three different genres. And now with the historical romances being released again, I'm going to need to feature them more prominently, too....

Susan, my web mistress tells me that it's now too narrow since they make them wider these days, so it will need a redesign. I've had this one 8 years. My photo is also now 8 years old and probably should be redone, too, but I looked better 8 years ago!

Suzanne said...

Susan, Could it be that you already had practice with lots of American accents from working with your lovely sailors? Some girls have all the luck! I don't usually have a problem with US shows just that one.

Candy, I have to use the subtitles on most Scottish shows too. I am Ok with Irish ones because I had Irish relatives when I was a child. Are your romances being republished? How exciting!! I am looking forward to that. I'm afraid Australians are really bad with jay walking. We have pedestrians killed frequently here, often just a few metres away from traffic lights because they just will not wait a few seconds.

Lynne and I are reading Who Buries The Dead together and really enjoying it. It is fabulous!! Congratulations on a job really well done.

cs harris said...

Suzanne, thank you. And yes, I FINALLY got the rights back to all 7 of my romances. I am sooooo excited.

Lynne said...

Oh, Candy - you made me laugh out loud. I re-act the same way to tourists here in Spokane - and we have so many more than we did 20 years ago. What irked me in England was the people who spoke to the British as if they spoke a foreign language - like the man in front of me at Barkley's Bank that was practically yelling at the poor teller. Everyone in the bank could hear him. And by the way, I'm quite sad about Jamie Knox - I was just beginning to like the man:(.
Will this page change with the redesign of the main page? I'd like a format that allows us to reply to you or one another. Just a thought.
Susan and Suzanne - my current language barrier is a new series called Shetland - a rather dark but well done mystery that stars an all Scots cast. I love it but struggle to figure out what is being said.

cs harris said...

Lynne, I'm actually quite sad about Jamie myself! And yes, the design of this page will change, too. Good idea to ask them to update the format at the same time.

Anonymous said...

candy - first EVERYBODY looks better 8 years ago. and i forgot about the other books since we focus so much on Sebastian/Hero books here. but i will share with you what a high school teacher said to us many times. KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. he wrote it on the blackboard. i have no idea if this system works for webdesign but it worked for a bunch of high school misfits. and do you know if all the historical romances will be available as eBooks soon - i only have a couple? Best, Ali

cs harris said...

Ali, yes, they will all be available as ebooks eventually. I've spent the last several weeks rereading them, looking to see if there is anything I want to change. And of course they will all need to be scanned before I can do anything with them.

Susan J. said...

I think there are ignorant tourists from all countries. What about the British abroad? Cringe cringe! I feel so sorry for the countries that host football (or soccer as you call it) matches and have to put up with hoards of British blokes getting drunk and running amock and complaining that they can't get fish and chips!
I don't have a problem with most Scottish accents, except those from Glasgow. Strangly the Highlanders seem easier to understand. So glad the Scots voted to stay with the rest of Britain, by the way, I would have hated them to become separate, I like Scots.
I also hope, like Lynne, that the format that allows us to reply to one another will stay on your website.

Anonymous said...

C- thanks - im sure it will take awhile. but it was nice to be able to re-read the Last Knight a few weeks ago when on i was on the road on my new Kindle paper-white. my original kindle tragically died - but it was a good life and gave me its all. :-) Ali

Meiqing Xu said...

15912meiqing
nike running shoes
christian louboutin outlet
gucci borse
hollister kids
ed hardy outlet
marc jacobs
adidas shoes
louis vuitton outlet
louis vuitton borse
ugg sale
nike air max
ralph lauren polos shirts
true religion jeans
fake oakley sunglasses
louboutin
michael kors handbags
mont blanc
new balance outlet
coach outlet
north face uk
swarov ski jewelry
jordan pas cher
moncler outlet
supra shoes
nike cortez

Harish Sangwan said...

best valentine day poem
valentine day whatsapp status
valentine day message for facebook
valentine day date sheet
valentine day wallpaper
valentine songs
valentine gift
valentine ideas
valentine card for boyfriend
valentine card for wife
hug day messages and images for girlfriend and boyfriend
kiss day messages images
promise day msgs,wishes and images
teddy day wishes,msgs for girlfriend and boyfriend
chocolate day msgs ,images sms for girlfriend
propose day msgs images wishes
rose day msg,sms,wishes for girlfriend

chenlina said...

chenlina20160329
adidas running shoes
moncler coats
air jordan femme
michael kors outlet
michael kors uk
mont blanc
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
coach outlet online
replica rolex watches
cheap air jordans
coach outlet
oakley sunglasses wholesale
kobe shoes
louis vuitton outlet
ray ban sunglasses
ugg boots
coach outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
louis vuitton handbags
michael kors outlet
cheap air jordans
michael kors handbags
louis vuitton handbags
ray bans
coach factory outlet online
cartier watches
hollister kids
coach outlet
coach outlet store online
hollister uk
coach outlet online
burberry handbags
adidas uk
michael kors outlet
ray ban sunglasses uk
coach factorty outlet
coach factory outlet
kate spade
ugg outlet online
as

chenlili said...

chenlili20160617
hollister jeans
toms wedges
michael kors handbags
christian louboutin shoes
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
ralph lauren polo shirts
cheap jerseys
coach factory outlet online
oakley sunglasses
copy watches
ray ban sunglasses
mont blanc pens
michael kors outlet online
michael kors purses
louis vuitton purses
oakley sunglasses wholesale
ghd flat iron
ghd hair straighteners
timberland outlet
air jordan femme
michael kors handbags
air jordan shoes
oakley sunglasses outlet
louis vuitton handbags
coach outlet store online
true religion outlet
hollister kids
coach factory outlet
kate spade handbags
air jordans
ray ban sunglasses outlet
longchamp outlet
beats by dr dre
nike air max 90
cartier watches

Thu LĂȘ said...

I was very impressed by this post, this site has always been pleasant news. Thank you very much for such an interesting post. Keep working, great job! In my free time, I like play game: superfighters2.net. What about you?