Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Shadows Blog Tour: Paula Weston Talks Book Covers!

Shadows was published a few weeks ago here in the UK, and I read it last week. It's SO good - I absolutely loved it! Here's what it's all about:

It's been almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn't help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn. And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who's been appearing in Gaby's dreams, he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth - and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares. Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly - who can she trust? 

Honestly, it's one of the best paranormal/angel books I've ever read. Thanks to Paula for writing this guest post on one of my favourite topics - covers!


Musings on cover designs
by Paula Weston

I know we’re not supposed to judge books by their covers but we all do – or, at least, the cover tends to influence initial interest in a book.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate with cover designs for the first two books in the Rephaim series, Shadows (out now) and Haze (out in June). I love them all! So far, there are two versions of each: the Australian and New Zealand covers from Text Publishing:

 And the UK covers from Orion/Indigo:

 Tundra/Random House, which is releasing Shadows in the US and Canada in September (and Haze a little later), will use the above Orion/Indigo cover art.

The Australian/New Zealand cover for Shadows was the first to be created. I was hoping for artwork that was atmospheric, a little moody and more indicative than literal. I also hoped it wasn’t too heavily weighted towards ‘romance’. There’s definitely a romantic attraction (between Rafa and Gaby) driving the series, but it’s certainly not what you’d call a traditional love story. More like an antagonistic romance...

The first draft design created was everything I’d hoped for:

I loved it. My editor loved it. But my agent pointed out that while it was beautiful, it didn’t necessarily fit with what readers of paranormal stories look for in a cover. She made the valid observation that most of those stories have figures of people on them (or faces).

So it was back to the drawing board, and the next concept was the guy with the hoodie and the wings. We all loved that just as much. It was still a little edgy, and it also had a sense of fun. And the wings let you know the story has something to do with angels.

Wings also play a strong role in the UK covers, which are visually stunning and amazingly atmospheric. I especially love the Haze cover, which has an edgy urban fantasy feel about it. And the moon. I love the moon.

Other covers I like

There are some truly beautiful and eye-catching covers out there. As I mentioned above, I’m a big fan of the indicative cover, and here are some of my favourites:

Here are some of my favourite covers featuring people:

And here’s my favourite cover from 2012 (aside from my own, of course).


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