Yesterday I received the rough drawing for the cover of my new book, Trouble at Turtle Narrows. The artist's first drawing is something I always look forward to, but with a bit of trepidation.
The covers of my children's novels have always shown the main characters (s) in a brief scene from the story. How can I expect an artist to draw these characters, who until now have existed only in my imagination? That's a lot to ask. I hope my characters will come alive for the child who reads the story. But have I managed to describe them well enough that the artist can see them too?
The cover illustration is the first thing a young reader sees when he picks up the book. He may not even look inside, if he's not attracted by the picture on the front. I've heard writers lament that the artist gave away the ending by choosing to portray a particular scene on the cover. Others have complained that the scene never even happened the way it was shown.
This particular cover has been through three different versions. The artist who was working on the first two rounds left the company (amicably) for a change in career. We were down to the wire; publication dates were looming.
The final artist filled in at the last minute and I think she's done a terrific job. I love her placement of the three characters, approve of their clothing, even their hair. With this drawing she's captured a moment of high anxiety for the kids in the story. This cover is everything I hoped it would be.
Till next time.