I was looking around Amazon with my own novels as a starting point and I realised that there many fine examples of book covers out there. In fact it seems that everyone has upped their game with regards to covers. As I perused the offerings that came up as being in the same genre as mine, that would be historical fiction by the way, I got the impression that mine were looking a little dated!
I decided to go back to the drawing board and see if I could come up with something new. Now I do not consider myself incredibly talented when it comes to graphic design, I just like playing around with images and seeing what I can make happen. Also, I do not have the money to spend on professional book covers as I am still waiting to be discovered as a writer.
To be honest I kind of got off to a bad start as I attempted to recreate my original image for ‘The War Wolf’. This was a mistake as what I wanted was something new. After a while I accepted that my gut knew better than my heart and abandoned this first attempt. The second went much better.
I was looking for a bold image that was simple, as most bold images tend to be, but carried with it a look that was germane to the product that it was advertising. I still wanted to use the image of the Coppergate Helmet from York and I decided that a brooding face hiding in the shadows of that piece of armour would look quite arresting. This was one of those moments when going with your instincts turns to be the better choice. Almost immediately I liked the picture that I was able to create. In fact the image was very striking and I realised immediately that I could use it for all three books!
In their previous incarnation I was relying on the layout of the covers to establish a degree of unity between the volumes of the trilogy. It was fine at the time of imagining, and even when I had all three covers created, but I was not so sure just lately, well if I had not been I probably would not have started the redesign!
The new book covers are all based on the one same element and the positioning of a secondary element that is unique to that story. For ‘The War Wolf’ there is Coenred in his armour with a Saxon banner of a wolf behind him. ‘For Rapture of Ravens’ has the same Coenred but a different hue and a Viking raven banner. Finally, ‘The Blade’s Fell Blow’ has that image of Coenred but this time there is an ephemeral portrait of Mildryth. I did consider using a Norman banner but then it occurred to me that Coenred’s impetus for being at Hastings is actually all about returning to the woman he loves and it seemed to me that that should also be the main impetus of the picture as well. It kind of ties up the trilogy for me.
As a closing note writing on the final volume is going very well. I am almost finished now but I am undertaking some rewrites and then I will be going into the editing. Just recently several people have contacted me asking when this book will be finished, which is very encouraging, my answer is October 2017.