Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Book cover: The Azalea Bones

Here is another book in Annie's Publishing's cozy mystery series "Mysteries Unraveled." (For an explanation of "cozy mystery," see my post on the first book in the series. Quick summary: cozy mystery book covers are generally bright and colorful scenes with a small element that suggests a crime has been committed.)

In this book, a photo shoot for various crochet pieces is being held on the property of a rich, retired judge. A dead bush is dug up in order to pretty up the yard and OMG SKELETON ARM!

The art order for this was very detailed:
The cover should have colorful azaleas to the left and right of the spot where the dead one has been dug up. The background, centered on the open spot, should be a wrought iron garden bench looking away from the scene with a crocheted afghan hung over the back of the bench. I want a skeletal forearm and hand visible in the disturbed ground where the dead azalea has been dug up. A spade or a shovel should be on the ground as if the gardener drops it when he discovers the skeleton. A nice Victorian looking house would be a good contrast for the background. Maybe not dead center, but on one side or the other with a veranda-style wrap-around porch showing.
In other words, they wanted:

  • two azalea bushes
  • dead azalea bush that has been dug up
  • iron garden bench
  • crochet afghan hanging on the bench
  • skeleton hand in the dirt
  • shovel on the ground
  • Victorian house with wrap-around porch

Yeah, it's a lot, but I like the challenge. Trying to get all of these elements to fit together in an attractive way is a puzzle to be solved. In this case, the foreground, midground and background in this scene was pretty much already laid out for me, so I focused on giving the client different options - three different benches, different houses, different shovels, etc.

The client liked the foreground of #2 and the background of #3. They asked me to paint the house white, so that it wouldn't interfere with the title text too much.

The client pointed out that I had forgotten to add a dead azalea bush that has been dug up.

Easily remedied! Yay digital!

The publisher didn't send me a picture of the fully designed cover, but I found this tiny image on their website:

I received a hardcover copy of one of the books in the series in the mail yesterday, and it looks and feels really high quality. If you're interested in ordering a copy, visit Annie's Publishing. (I do not receive any royalties from sales of the book.)


Thanks for leaving a comment! I read each and every one!

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