I enjoy mocking up covers for my stories, even before the stories themselves are ready for publication. Sometimes the covers help to crystallise my thoughts on how the story needs to be refined, and help me focus on key elements that I highlight in the cover.
I’m no artist, but I flatter myself that I know my type and have a reasonable grasp of the Adobe tools.
In this case, the aspects I want to emphasise are:
- the protagonist, Jane, who is a little weird
- the wild countryside of the north Midlands
- the looming presence of those from the other side of the sky
- and some hints that it is not contemporary
There are other elements in the story, but I don’t think they would catch the eye to the same extent. I wanted a face and a figure. People respond to faces on book covers. Looking through royalty-free photos, I found nothing I really felt was suitable.
But the problem is that it was too modern. That’s not an 18th-century face. It stares at you and grabs you, but doesn’t go with the long subtitle.
The single eye seems a bit odd to me as well. So I went searching.
So, Wikipedia has a lot of her paintings, including this delightful self-portrait:
And also this:
And this is what I came up with:
I made the image monochrome other than the eyes, which I made very saturated green, and placed it to one side, with a good deal of transparency.
But it still didn’t look right to me, so I moved the title and increased the font size.
Almost certainly it will not be the final cover, but it does give me inspiration to continue and get the book out. Here’s a little bit of what the book is about: