So, I've been sitting on my hands waiting to show you the awesomeness of the new cover while trying not to bounce up and down - because that would kinda hurt my fingers. But before I do show you the goods, some preliminary remarks that build up the tension until you too can't wait to - show me the damn pictures already!
Preliminary #1: The old cover. I originally had a cover done via 99designs, and that was already an experience. (Mostly a good experience, but some ... meh). I was giddy and excited to see the things the artists would come up with but pretty quickly made the (beginner's?) mistake of pinning down one cover to rule them all. After that, all I got were variations of that favorited cover.
I loved the strong White Stripes feel to it - gave off a kinda Tarantino's Kill Bill vibe to my mind. Any succeeding series titles could have had a similiar strong color scheme going on. But, yeah. When it became clear that I would be publishing the first three "episodes" as one book, a new cover was needed. A playing-with-the-big-boys-now one. Because, as you know, everyone judges books by their cover.
Preliminary #2: Thus began an epic journey of spouting off every name of every awesome artist I had ever seen on a book cover and then some (the names Alan Lee and John Howe were definitely thrown in there for good measure - as in, this is the yard stick, find someone who can do what they did for LotR). But by
serendipity coincidence (my Twitter feed), I saw the artwork Tommy Arnold did for a short story by Lord Grimdark himself, Joe Abercrombie. And look! it was good.
So, enter the magnificent Tommy Arnold. And now, because you were so patient (and because I could easily go on for another 1500 words or so), here are the pictures he sent me after reading the book:
I got these three cover motifs to choose from and instantly had a favorite. But truth be told, I really liked the other two as well, and would have loved to have seen the one with the fire in the background. It would have been an impressive cover, too. But yeah, guess which one I chose ...
That's right, grim and dark ... how could you doubt it?
I was very interested in seeing Nora's face for the first time. I didn't have a certain actress in mind who I thought might look like her (I'm weird that way. Or maybe self-conceited. I pretty much imagine everyone in the book looks like some version of me but that's because they all are me or at least they speak the lines in my head for me. What? I'm a writer ... That's totally normal, right? RIGHT???).
All I had was a Pinterest board with some pictures - all drawn, curiously enough - of young women who each represented a part of Nora. Like a look she would give Diaz, her general attitude, a stance she'd take ... That sort of thing. So when Tommy asked what nationality she would come close to, I was ... clueless I have to admit.
But oh my god, so much over-delivering! So ... her. So much 'tude. So ... beautiful ... I nearly regretted doing all those terrible things to her in the book. Nearly. Muahahaha.
And so, finally, with color. Feast your eyes on what's going to be your desktop wallpaper for the next few months ... Or well, maybe only mine. Doesn't it just make you want to go and pick up that book and read the hell out of it, though? Can't wait for the title on it!
- Arnold TLB Paint
What are your thoughts on the cover art? Worthy of Alan Lee and John Howe?
Want to be first to see the next awesome cover artwork by Tommy Arnold?