Saturday, January 5, 2019
Behind the Cover for A Tender Hope
As is always the case, many people are involved in turning a concept into the final product, but the biggest responsibilities fall on the Art Director, Cheryl VanAndel, and the graphic designer, Dan Thornberg of Design Source Creative Services.
This time, the process included a step that I hadn't seen before, namely the creation of a cover sketch.
One of the most important elements in my covers is the model. After all, she represents my heroine. Thea Mills is 27 years old, shorter than average, and has blonde hair, brown eyes, and a medium build. She's deeply compassionate but also fearful of having her secret revealed.
Knowing that, Revell chose Emily.
Next comes costume selection, which I freely admit is one of my favorite parts of the process, since I'm part of it.
Cheryl gave me a choice of more than half a dozen different blouses including the following:
While the cover sketch identified one possible pose, Dan photographed Emily in several different ones.
Do you like this one?
If you compare this to the final cover, you'll see that the pose is the same, but there's a big difference. Did you find it? Yes, Emily's expression is different.
Thanks to the marvels of Photoshop, Dan was able to use the head from the following picture with the body from the previous one.
The photo shoot was complete.
The model is one of the most important elements of the cover, but she's not the only one. The background is also key to setting the scene for the book and giving readers a hint about the story itself.
As is often the case, Dan used stock art for the background, starting with Thea's home in Cimarron Creek.
What to do? Dan used flowers that might have been growing in the Hill Country to block the water.
But the front cover is only part of the whole book. The back cover is almost as important, because that's where readers learn about the story. And the spine is critical for bookstores, since few of their books are shelved face-out.
As you might expect, given the attention that Cheryl and Dan put into the front cover, a lot of work was involved in the back cover too. Writing back cover copy is an art in itself. Fortunately, Revell has extremely talented writers who specialize in condensing a 95,000 word story into a few words. And the addition of a western picture as a cameo adds to the appeal ... at least it does for me.
If you'd like more information about A Tender Hope, you'll find it and buying links on my web page.
And, of course, I hope you enjoyed learning more about the cover art process. It never fails to intrigue me.