Friday, 23 April 2010

Cover Art - The Hungarian - Romance & Gothic blended together


Beware. The wolf is coming.

The cover of any novel should embody the mood and essence of the story. It should set a visual image in the reader's mind that allows the reader to remember the story. It should resonate as powerfully as the story it represents.

Tall order, huh?

That's why I love my cover for "The Hungarian." I think it does all that.

The Hungarian is a paranormal romance. Count Matthias Duma harbors a dark secret but when the exotic Katherine Archibald comes into his life, he risks everything for her love. It's set in the early 20th Century. The first half the book takes place in England and the second half of the book takes place in Hungary.

In 2006 I wrote a short story called "The Wolf's Kiss." It was well received and I had a lot of encouragement to make it into a novel. The first draft was just what a first draft should be – awful. I revamped and reedited it, coming up with a first person narrative for the story. I showed Gail Delaney at Desert Breeze who asked me to write it in the third person. I did and Desert Breeze signed it last year.

With the story set, it was now time for cover design. Desert Breeze has a talented graphic artist with Jenifer Ranieri. Her cover for "White Tiger," Book 1 in the Chronicles of Kassouk series not only won an Ariana Award for Sci-Fi romance, but it also won the QUASAR award given by EPIC. Jenifer took my ideas from a cover intake sheet, but she also goes the extra mile. She gets input from Gail Delaney, the Editor in Chief, who has read the story. And in my case, Jenifer lives in the same area I do, so I was able to meet with her.

Having been to Hungary and to Budapest, I wanted something that embodied the gothic romance of Budapest. For me, Széchenyi Bridge, does just that. It was built in 1848, and is one of the earliest known suspension bridges. It crosses the Danube River. On the east side is "Buda," and on the west side, is "Pest."

Since Matthias, my hero, is a werewolf, he has unusual eyes – malachite-gold. Jen was able to take the bridge and blend in a unique picture of Matthias's eyes, coming up with the gothicly romantic cover that captures the darker mood and feel of the story.

Personally speaking, as an author, I don't trust my own vision of the cover, because I know my own graphic skills. While I have an eye for what I like and what I think works, I felt a lot of relief knowing Jen was able to take my rough ideas and polish them off.

I can't wait for the wolf.

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZwaF8hAdow

"The Hungarian" will be available 1 MAY 2010 through Desert Breeze Publishing, All Romance Books, and Amazon on the Kindle Format. Here's a link to the Book's Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZwaF8hAdow

11 comments:

Bekki Lynn said...

The is a fabulous cover, Steph. The next cover sounds even more so.

StephB said...

Thanks Bekki. I really loved working with Jen.

Smiles
Steph

LK Hunsaker said...

I love the bridge on the cover. It's such a strong metaphor. ;-)

Lindsay Townsend said...

I echo what others have said. Amazing cover! Sounds a superb, edge-of-seat-reading story.

Congratulations!!

Mona Risk said...

What a beautiful cover, Steph. Just looking at the picture I am plotting a new trip to discover Buda and Pest and the amazing bridge. I love the background with the green eyes.

StephB said...

Thanks, all. Mona, I know how you love to travel and I highly recommend you put Budapest on your list. It's an awesome place.

That bridge rocks the cover, doesn't it?

Smiles
Steph

Savanna Kougar said...

Powerful cover and from everything you've said, it sounds as though it represents your story.

The Bridge and your hero's eyes are particularly powerful.

Celia Yeary said...

You have every right to gush! It really is gorgeous--intriguing and mysterious, yet sensual. The eyes truly make it. Celia

Keena Kincaid said...

Love, love, love the cover. It gave me the shivers.

Diane Craver said...

Gorgeous cover, Steph! I bet you can't stop staring at it!

StephB said...

Savanna, Celia, Keena, Diane, thanks for popping in. I chuckle, Diane, because I can't stop staring at it! It's my wallpaper on my computer. hehe. Bad, aren't I?

Smiles
Steph