01 November 2010

First Cover - Stray

While I will probably still tweak font colour a little, I very happily spent the day working up the cover for Stray.  The art is courtesy of Simon Dominic, whose gorgeous landscapes really captured me when I was looking over the responses to my cover art post.

There's so many things I love about the picture.  The frame of trees, that glimpse of valley - and those small white flowers in the lower left, which are just different enough to leave a hint of uncertainty as to whether they're flowers from this world, or some other.

Cass' backpack was one I described in exacting detail, and just looks so real to me.  Writing all over your backpack seems less common than it was when I went to school, but it certainly stamps Cass' personality.

In terms of fonts and layout, I had the general style of font I wanted in mind for many months, and was fortunate enough to find one which worked.  Then fought Painter for hours trying to get my preferred colouring effect - which I still haven't achieved, though picking up a light tone of the colour on her blazer ties it together.

This image will lose a little off the sides, when it's trimmed for the book, but overall this is almost exactly what will be printed.

I have no idea whether this is the kind of cover Stray would get if, for some reason, a professional cover unit were tasked with selling a rambling SF diary (now with added whining!) but I think that I would pick this up if I were browsing in a store.  The SF elements are subtle and it would be possible to assume that she's heading toward an Earth village - but she still looks satisfyingly out of place, with that quick, almost suspicious glance over her shoulder to suggest this isn't a holiday trip.

Covers are fun.

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