16 March 2011

Paint me a picture

The cover of "Caszandra", the conclusion of the "Touchstone" trilogy, has reached sketch stage, and I'm really looking forward to the final version.  With the exception of Stained Glass Monsters, I've been fairly detailed in what I want on my covers, but the transition from word to image has each time been a thoroughly enjoyable blooming of concept to something far greater than what I was able to describe.

I have a strong liking for painted covers, and so commissioned work specifically created for the stories, rather than photographic or non-representational images, and I'm very glad I did.  It's been interesting to note how the cover art for Champion especially has been interpreted as aimed at middle-school or young adult.  Since the image itself is of a clearly adult woman in a not tremendously pleasant situation, it suggests that it's the particular style of art (painted, realistic but not photo-realistic) which has become associated in people's minds with middle-school books.

Since I love and adore the Champion cover, I wouldn't change it for the world, but it is something to always keep in mind, particularly when formulating the blurb.  The Touchstone covers  are a different artist, but also a painted style.  However, since they feature a 17-18 year-old on the cover, I suspect that they will be read clearly as YA.

"Stray" is very close to ready to go.  I'm most curious to see if the unusual rhythm and pacing created by the diary format will work for anyone.  Each of the three volumes represents a particular stage in Cass' year, and so the split into three parts was, I think, the correct decision structurally, but the absence of chapters and the filter established by what Cass chooses to record, and when she has an opportunity to do so, significantly changes how the story can be told, and also how it will be read.  The usual rising urgency I establish in my novels is, I think, not nearly so present, but I think Cass comes across quite intensely as a person.

What I need to do now is stop myself continually editing and re-editing until I've tweaked all her voice out.

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