It turns out I really enjoy book covers. I like looking at them, I like thinking about them, and I love working with professional designers to make them.
I’ve had such fun as these six covers for my re-released collection-in-progress were created, that I hate to see the cover design part come to a conclusion. Aren’t they lovely?
What I’ve enjoyed most is seeing my main characters come to life.
When I first wrote One of One (called x0 at the time) I was obsessed with giving form to my mental picture of Lola, the main character. I wished I could draw well enough to show the world how she looked. I can’t, so I scoured Shutterstock for artists images that captured what I was seeing in my mind. These were some of my favorites.
When I decided to rename the books, I needed new covers. Current fashion is to show the characters, so it looked like I had to find someone who could show the world what Lola really looked like, and would do it at a price I could afford. I found a group called Deranged Doctor Design.
For each cover, DDD found Shutterstock models whose faces were “close enough” to my main characters, and then the faces were altered (if necessary) to make them more accurate. Then the head was stitched onto a body that worked well with the cover design and character. (This process, I presume, yielded the name of the company. I mean what kind of deranged doctor stitches heads onto new bodies?)
The first head DDD proposed for Lola wasn’t right. She looked too young, but it was more than that. It just wasn’t Lola. I could tell.
The second head looked right as soon as I saw it. What I didn’t know was that the model was blonde, and a creative designer at DDD had already turned her yellow tresses just slightly darker, into a more coppery brown.
The only change I requested was to make her blue eyes brown, which the designer did with no problem.
When it came time to create the last cover, we needed Lola to make a second appearance, but not with an identical face. Unfortunately this particular model didn’t have many options to choose from.
Third from the right had been used. I liked the second one, but it lacked all trace of superhero steel. The first one had an interesting wistful tone, but not really right either. That left #4.
The first version of the cover came back with Lola looking like this. That’s right, the model is blond but the character isn’t.
I was good with her expression, but her blonde hair and blue eyes had to go.
Here she is with her darker hair and yes she looks more like Lola. Eyes will be brown in the final version coming on Monday.
It’s funny how she is close to what I saw in my head all along. It’s even funnier that now when I picture Lola, this unnamed model with her altered hair and eyes is the image I have. I guess this is what she really looks like.