What sucks you into a cover and makes you pick it up? The cover artists, if they are worth their salt, know what has worked in the past and what hasn’t as well as the current trends. It can be as simple as a horror novel having a light on in the dark house sitting on the hill, or as complex as a beautiful expression of art that speaks across the demographics.
Me, I like the cover that uses art along with all the other tricks of the trade, and it doesn’t have to be a lot of art. It could be as simple as an arm that drapes to draw your eye down to the title, or the shadow without the body that leaves you wondering where the shadow-caster is. Art makes you think, art makes you question, shows you connections that are there only in your mind. Art is a magician. So when I saw my cover for the first time, I was breathless with the high contrast between the main figure and the stark, icy background. It speaks on many levels–it is art.
Is there snow in THE TURN? No. Is there even a woods? No, and I can’t work either into the story as I did the helix necklace. Do I care? Absolutely not, because even if the snowy woods is simply there because it makes a nice white background to show off red dress to a better advantage, to me, the snow is an expression of the stark emptiness facing the world if Trisk should fail in her cross country trek. It is the silent purity of nothing broken by wind and ice. A glittering sparkle in the sun hiding death in the night, bitter on the skin, even as it is beautiful. (Maybe this is why I like the snow.)
It’s art, even if it wasn’t meant to be, and the only thing I asked of my editor of this cover element was could we have more snow, less billowy dress, because the snow spoke of the pure, clean image of death that dogs Trisk’s path, and the billowy dress–which I’ll show more of tomorrow–didn’t.
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