Great news! I got the images last night from the model for the cover of Losing Dani Strumm. I'm so excited, and they turned out great.
The hardest part was deciding which to use because they were all good. However, I did finally choose the ones I will use.
I have always struggled with the covers of my books. For me, it's hard trying to decide what image captures the entirety of your story. My stories usually have multiple story arcs and are multifaceted. Trying to make a single image to reflect the book is challenging.
I mentioned in previous blogs that I used stock images on my first Pandemic Dawn novel and how I wished I would have done it differently. The third and fourth novels featured images from hired models and photographers, which I loved far better than stock imagery.
Still, choosing the cover topic takes time and thought and never fully represents the book's whole.
The first book in the Pandemic Dawn Series showed Dorothy on the cover, though she was only one of the many storylines, knowing she would play a significant role in the series. For the second book, I used an image of a military man in a bunker since the second novel would center around the government's coup—book three in the series displays Makayla Atkins young on the cover and grown on the back. The fourth book has Tia on the book cover.
I think a compelling image of a central character is a good representation of my work because I focus so much on the characters rather than their situation.
As I try with all stereotypes, keeping away from images that look awesome but may not truly show the work within the pages.
I see this a lot with game apps for the phone. You see this extraordinarily crafted image in high resolution with all of these things going on, and you think to yourself, "that game looks amazing!"
Then you download the game, and it looks like trash. Or, the game style advertised is entirely different than actual gameplay.
I never want to misrepresent my work to sell books.
I would instead want someone to read my book, then look once more at the cover and say, "that IS the character from the story."
I spend a lot of time working on characters and can see them in my mind before writing them. I know what they look like, how they act, their personalities. So when it comes to choosing a cover, knowing what I want for a particular character is simple. Finding someone to fulfill that is much more difficult.
I got lucky for Losing Dani Strumm!
As I have mentioned before, I started writing Losing Dani Strumm a couple of years ago when I got the idea from a crazy dream I had one night. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when I was talking to my wife about trying to find someone for the cover of the book. I always try to hire local, new talent first. As I described "who" Dani Strumm was, my wife said, "you are describing someone we know."
It just so happened we knew someone who fit my description. Someone who appeared Swiss (because of the last name Strumm) appeared to be in their mid-20s with the astronaut look.
We had our match. The model also had just entered the military. It was a perfect match for the character.
So it's time to get to work on the cover.
I know what I want, but the final cover depends on how it looks. Sometimes ideas sound good but don't always look good.
So I am excited to share the sample cover as soon as it's finished!