Or the day I screamed at my phone…
Have I mentioned how essential covers are to me? If you haven’t heard me say so, read every cover reveal post I’ve ever written. So yeah, covers are everything. Covers are like a calling card for a book. The artwork (and I’ll be honest to say that I’m no expert), the fonts, and the colors give away what sort of book you can expect. Fantasy covers have a certain feel, purple and gold colors, and fonts with loads of ornamental elements, often embossed. Romance books on the other hand lure you with pastel colors had half-naked figures on the cover, usually a couple, but not always. Crime, on the other hand, uses many blacks and yellows (screaming ATTENTION in your face) and sans-serif fonts. But what do I know? I’m sure you’ll have your own telltale signs for covers. But every author knows how important they are.
When my publisher sent me a first draft yesterday, based on a photo I had taken just the day before, I literally yelled into my phone. To no avail. They weren’t listening and were too busy to pick up my phone. I ran around the house like a headless chicken. I LOVED IT! It really turned out well. A quick check with some confidants on which of the two suggested versions we all preferred (we all agreed) and the cover was finalized.
It’s been a long road…
For a novel that didn’t have a title a week ago, the cover was far away. But let’s just say that deadlines are helpful, in publishing as well as anywhere else. With all the events coming up, and the advertising needed to put the book before readers, a good title and a cover were necessary. The cover not only tells you what genre a book belongs to, but it should also appeal to readers. Not all authors are lucky enough (or known) to get away with Waiting for Godot. Hrmph!
I spent all of the Holidays thinking of a title for the book. Finally, in a long call with the publisher, we agreed on Anna and the Lost Zorn. You’d laugh at some of the ideas I was considering. I early on considered featuring Anna, the main character, in the title. It’s been a theme in my writing, with several titles featuring the main character in the title: Jonathan ( in Hope, Promise & Legacy, Willem, Michel, or Matt. But what else? A crime novel dubbed Anna wouldn’t work. Besides, I was afraid that the ghost of Tolstoy might be upset with me. The problem was the “what else”.
Zorn was a natural choice
A lost drawing by Swedish superstar Anders Zorn plays a certain role in the book. You’ll see which. We also considered using an AI drawing of the said sketch as a cover image but luckily decided against that, not just because the AI refused to draw a nude (which never stopped the real Anders Zorn) but because the quality just wasn’t good enough. More importantly, the images we did receive were sending the wrong signal about the content of the book. More poetry, more literary, less crime. I’m not sad. Just two days ago, on Monday afternoon, the weather was just right to go out and take some pictures in one of the book locations here on the island. I’m not there very often because it’s on the other side of the island. But I had an errand in the area and decided to take advantage. Here’s the photo that made it to the cover. This is the very first time that one of my own pictures is used on a book cover. (Stretches his back with pride!)
Not sure why the publisher chose THIS shot, but the spot is where the story begins with the killer looking out over the sea reflecting on the day. But this spot plays a role further on in the story. It’s called Salskärs Udde and is the westernmost point of the island of Styrsö where much of the novel takes place. The views from here out over the open ocean toward the west are spectacular.
Finally, the cover reveal:
The sans-serif font, all caps, and the ruggedness, the darkness, really do scream mystery and crime. It’s a beautiful cover. It wraps around the back and you get to see the entire headland. It is really spectacular:
I’ve always had a thing for covers and yeah, this is another favorite of mine. I hope you like it, too. As always, comments are welcome if kept civil. All comments are filtered and reviewed before publication. To learn more about the coming book, click here. Anna and the Lost Zorn will be released on April 6, 2023.
Finally, I started an Instagram account to highlight the scenery of where the book plays out, the island where I live. Would you like to follow it?