Thursday, January 2, 2014


Happy 2014 to all!

Out with the old year, and on with the show!

While we've been enjoying our holiday revels, the merry elves at Thomas Dunne Books are busily cooking away on the forthcoming US edition of Alias Hook.

While it would probably be illegal, immoral, and fattening to reveal the cool new cover art they've devised for the book at this early date, I can show you some of the sketches I sent in when they flattered me by asking if I had any cover ideas.

(As I told the brain trust at TDB, try to imagine these as rendered by a professional designer who actually knows what she's doing.)

This is my attempt at being graphic (above). That's a swatch of fairy dust curling across the sky, along with a Red Moon that figures prominently in the plot. At this point, there was talk of changing the title, so I didn't include any verbiage on this image.

I notice the actual TDB cover art is similar in color scheme to this sketch, except much more graphic and interesting!

And here's another idea I submitted, going for mood and narrative this time, instead of a clean design. I'm so partial to this one—I managed to sneak in a mermaid and a fairy!

And since my editor wants potential readers to know the book is female-friendly, I put my heroine's face on prominent display to suggest that the book is, in fact, a love story. In general, I'm not a fan of characters' faces plastered on the cover, for fear of interfering with the reader's imagination. (Unless the book is, you know, The Girl With the Pearl Earring.)

But, happily, the design team at TDB came up with a way to suggest a feminine presence in the cover design without resorting to a conventional portrait. How did they do it? Stay tuned.

Oh, those clever elves!


  1. From Sally J:

    I like your deep blue cover best, eye-catching. I think the more literal the images, sometimes the more it looks like a young adult or children's book. Adult novels seem to be more abstract, graphic or symbolic or with more general scenes, painted or photographic.

  2. From Nancy R:

    I like the "fairy dust" cover----simple yet striking. The ship could be a little bit bigger.

  3. From Linda B:

    I love your ship in the night with fairy dust illustration - it's beautiful!

  4. Well, judging from the three emails above, which I received off-site today, my "fairy dust" cover is the clear winner! The other one was more fun to draw, but I agree with Sally about a too literal and detailed a cover image; they always remind me of Classics Comics Illustrated.

    You'll all be happy to know the actual book cover is much more in the graphic mode. I'll be posting it soon!

  5. From Vinnie H:

    I like the cover art you designed. I know you are partial to the one with the figures, but I love the one with the ship and red moon!