When I sit down to read a book the first thing my mind does is relish the cover. If it's a good cover, it wets my appetite for the interior of the book. While sometimes a cover can be a compete fraud and give you absolutely nothing of value relative to the content inside, when it does parallel the story/facts of the novel that enhancement is like adding a condiment or spice to your food. What was good before, becomes even more tasty.
You ask "How did you come up with this cover?" My answer: I didn't at first.
Why? Because I wasn't sure whether to emphasize the characters or the idea. I am not much of an artist when it comes to adult characters or at this point don't have the resources to purchase professional models to act out my stories in front of a camera, which I'm pretty sure is what most professionals with an established readership do, or at least their publishers do.
I've learned many writers, the self published ones, like I am, use copyright images that can be purchased for a simple fee on the Internet. Now that's a good thing and a bad thing at the same time.
On the one hand you have a definite product you can use at once. But on the other hand it's probably not exactly what you need, so then you must tweak it. So how does one go about tweaking a real life picture of a human being?
From what I know of illustration and I've been an illustrator for over thirty years, I'm pretty sure they do it by fudging the images. What this means is that they hide portions of the actor, or add parts of other images to draw the emphasis to , so that the lacking character qualities aren't missing.
You want a lusty picture, then you get someone who has a certain look, then add items into the image that imply lust, even though they might not be really that. I learned from a film class at UNLV a long time ago that Russian directors learned that by having an actor look at a particular object or person, they could give that actor the quality of that observation. Hence, get an actor and have them look at a sad person, and you see compassion coming from them, even thought that is totally an illusion.
As you can see from my cover there is no cheating in this in terms of real people. I chose instead to go the way of the intellect for this one. Why? Because the main theme of the book is the use of the intellect to conquer time and space limitations. That a group of scientists became so involved in their project that their very words themselves became charged with energy and thus became transportation to adventures in fairy tale and science fiction realms.
Now that you understand my thinking behind the beginning of my process of creation, the next blog will be about how I actually constructed this image.
Until then, be peaceful and have a happy life as best you can.