As an author it is always nerve wracking to see your cover for the first time. Different publishers have different approaches. Sometimes the author gets asked what direction they would like to see the designer go up front, sometimes they get shown a draft, or options and are asked for their input, often they are presented with the cover as a fait accompli. Either way there is always the fear that it won’t be right; won’t represent the book as you feel you wrote it. There is not much worse for an author than feeling like your precious baby is going out into the world dressed in rags.
I needn’t have worried. My first impression of the cover for Phoenix Rising is that it is beautiful. I love the colours, which are the colours of the Phoenix, and the fact that it looks like part of the ship itself. I think the colours will be eye-catching on a shelf.
My second impression, once I really started looking is that is clever. I feel that the tagline: Sail. Salvage. Survive is memorable and gripping and the strapline and ‘They can fight for the future, but they can’t escape the past’, is an absolutely perfect summation of the story.
As I looked closer I realised, with delight, that the designer had a real feel for the book and had incorporated elements from the story throughout. The skull and crossbones on the front, which looks as if it is rusted into the painted ship, is not only stunning, but tells us that the novel is about pirates. The way that the faces of Toby and Ayla are incorporated into the eye sockets is brilliant – you can see how they are trapped inside their pirate lives – but Toby is looking at Ayla as his way forward while Ayla is looking out towards the future, and her eyes are the ones that engage the reader.
The way the teeth include the broken cityscape and ship is excellent and I am crazy about the way the flames of the Phoenix are rising up from the bottom.
In short I love my cover and I hope you do too.