Covering Old Ground

Covering Old Ground –

More Cover Artwork for HO’M,O – Henry O’Malley, Omega.

 

So here I am again- more discussion on the arc of creating a look/feel for a book I’ve been putting together. It started out simple enough (almost bland in it’s simplicity):

 

My newly created cover image.

The originally created cover image.

 

Actually this is a later iteration as I can’t find my original which was just the slash cut with out any bloody references and minus the lycanthropic tagline.

It was slightly emotive of what I wanted but almost too simplistic in approach. Originally I was thinking of going horror novel ala Ikea – ya know, very Scandinavian in design – sparse and minimalistic, yet evocative.

Because the gash/slash was in a swooping motion I used a very swishy font. I tend to favor them. Mostly because I admire calligraphers. And as I said before – I am a BIG FONT WHORE.

So yeah, it was serviceable. Passable. Minimally getting me there.

I mean, I didn’t kid myself and say – wow, that’ll get them to buy it!

Cause, I knew it ultimately wouldn’t. I wasn’t foolin’ myself none, ya know?

So I posted it anyway and then my author pal, Jayne Lockwood commented that she thought the HOMO title should be bolder cause it was sort of lost in the vast sparseness of the work. I thought about it. I did. I swear I did.

Then did nothing about it. Told her that was what I was after.

But it festered. Made me rethink what I was doing.

I didn’t want to do the whole muscle dude thing on so many of the M/M romance stuff. Cause that’s just so… meh. So 1990 in my book. It’ll be cheesy in a few years and NOT retro-chic cheesy either. Just plain cheese – but not the good kind you can put on sandwiches and stuff.

So I needed to retool it. I knew that.

Then I hit a major creative speed bump. It happened last night. I took a breather from writing the ending to the story (it was a NaNoWriMo winner story so I knew I wanted to get it done). And I took a small (fitful) nap. I woke up and had a pseudo-meltdown. I don’t know if it was the wrong side of the bed, or in general I was letting my shit get to me but I wrote a rather long rant to my betas, friends and family (do they have a cell phone program for that?) and babbled endlessly on whether I needed to write at all. Whether I was good enough.

It was a fucktard moment. I ain’t proud of it. I mean, I even bcc’d my mom on it. How embarrassing is that? Your own mother knows you’re a fucktard. Brilliant – NOT!

So when I finally crawled out of my pity-party and began to sort out my shit and got back in the writing saddle I decided I’d take an artistic turn for a few and re-examine the HOMO book cover.

The hubby was busy with the initial edits and comments, so I was left to my own devices in retooling the cover for it once it was done.

I hit up istockphoto (my usual goto) and found a few werewolf-y looking things. But the costs are getting up there to use this service. I like the quality of work but the credit fees to just buy some shit is getting up there now. There had to be others out there that were cheaper. So I found CanStockPhoto.com.

I combed through their stuff on wolves and forests and such and found a couple of things I sort of liked. I always wanted ominous eyes if I was going to do a picture. I also knew the cover had to be dark. So I started to try and combine those two terms to source something for the new reworked cover.

I found these two pieces to start with:

A minimal version of what I ended up using.

A minimal version of what I ended up using.

 

And even though I railed against using a half naked man on the cover but I sorta liked this guy when I happened upon him – he had that whole Tanner Tallman (from my book) thing going on. And he had wolfy fangs so yeah, he was worth a saw buck to buy him. (Oh yeah, did I forget to mention? BOTH images cost me less than $9!) It was a no-brainer.

So here he is – (even if I didn’t use him this time around) – it’s a novella series so yeah, I could still put him to use down the road. Especially if I focus on Tanner somewhere down the line.

My version of Tanner Tallman (the beta of my wolf pack).

My version of Tanner Tallman (the beta of my wolf pack).

 

Anyway, so I went about taking the wolfy eyes and the darkened road and began to repurpose my original cover art.

First to go was the swishy font for the logo – rebranded it entirely into a sans-serif font rather than a display font (if you’re into typography like me you know what that means, if not, eh, don’t fret too much about it). This was invariably a big factor on my changing the background from a faux leather texture to solid black. It would allow the red blood and title to punch a bit more on the cover. Great, but it still seemed sparse without something else.

HOMO with some minor edits - black background and the font change in the title.

HOMO with some minor edits – black background and the font change in the title.

Then it was time to sort out which of the two picts I was gonna use. Since Tanner wasn’t the focus in this first book I decided it was better to go with an establishing and moody thought. So wolf eyes and road it is:

The reworked and final image for the first of my HOMO series of gay werewolves set in 1956 West Virginia.

The reworked and final image for the first of my HOMO series of gay werewolves set in 1956 West Virginia.

 

I think it is far superior to my original IKEA take on it. What do you all think?

I am hoping to release it to the masses in early January. It’ll be my first publicly released work for sale but my third novel that I’ve completed. The other two are still in edit mode before distribution. This one was for fun. While I love the work and am happy to dedicate it to my first fan (who loves all things werewolves) it is nowhere near the serious work I am doing in Angels. This is meant to be a spooky romp of a read. Something to get the imagination as well as the loins inflamed, ya know?

So yeah, that’s it for this time around. Who knows I may end up with a separate series of how I design book covers and why? Who knew? I should probably youtube this shit to expand my market share?

 

Eh, who has the time? I want to write dammit!

Comments (4) | Trackback

4 Comments to Covering Old Ground

  1. Michael says:

    I love the reworked cover. The eyes and the darkened road set the mood. You know you can vent anytime you want to. It’s what you creative geniuses have to do to keep the mojo juices flowing. 😉

  2. S A Collins says:

    Thanks Michael – it’s all for you really. This is my way of saying thank you for your support from the very beginning. Let’s see what Hank and the boys get up to soon, eh?

  3. Kris says:

    In case you’re really searching for future design-related topics, let me put a vote in for a post that would explain fonts and how to choose them for those of us who are whatever the font version of tone-deaf is. It’s the last thing I do for every cover, and it’s often the thing I’m doing at three a.m., eyes crossing, completely unable to tell if I’m helping or hurting matters. (For the record, I have the same problem at the optometrist’s. “Which one’s better? This one or this one?” “Um…”)

    • S A Collins says:

      You know – I never really thought too much about it. I mean, I do like doing these sorts of posts and yeah, since I am a total font whore I guess I could post one on that topic alone. I just might be convinced to cover that. The only problem is that I probably will blab about it too much. Yeah, that’s the worry there.

      Let me think on it. I am sure I can come up with an angle that might satisfy your font related queries. Maybe you can suggest a few for me to respond to… a prompt of sorts? What’s on your bee-in-a-bonnet font list? Hmmm? Inquiring minds…

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