Sunday, June 10, 2012

Never Judge a Book by It's Cover

Who can say they've never fallen victim to judging a book by it's cover?  You can all clearly see my hands are tucked into my pockets, right?  I've picked up books based on cool covers without doing the due diligence of finding out what people thought of the book.  The most memorable example was Cassandra Clare's CITY OF BONES.  There's some guy with markings all over himself giving off some kind of green light, and there's a really cool cityscape below, and what is going on here?  That doesn't look like a city made of bones?  Where are the bones?  Are they under the city?  Are they that dude's bones?  What's going on here?  I finally got the book and lucked out.  The book is good, and I'll probably get to the sequels at some point. 

So now I'm working on a new cover for my rewritten, second edition of the book formerly known as ERRANT INTERN (see previous blog entry for explanations on why the name changed).  As you can see from the cover below, the book is now called THE INTERN'S TALE (see also previously referenced blog post).

On the first edition, I'd stuck a picture of a castle on the cover.  Lazy.  No other way around it.  There aren't actually castles in the story, there are castle skyscrapers.  Very different structures, and none of them are on a cliff like in the picture you see on this blog.  (I still like the picture, would love to visit that castle, it's just not terribly relevant to my book).

I knew I had some drawing to do.  Had a few ideas, thought about painting something.  But first I had to figure out what, exactly, a mechomare was going to look like.  With all of the unusual things in THE INTERN'S TALE, I think mechomares are what people will be most interested in seeing.  Now, for the uninitiated, a mecomare is a mechanical horse that rides much like a motorcycle: a steel horse, to borrow a phrase from the great bard, Jon Bon Jovi.  I knew what one looked like in my head, but I needed to get it down in picture form.  Treadfoot, Kip's mechomare in the story is a Vlaamperd-Excelsior model, a fine mechomare by any measure.  It's moniker  is a combination of the horse breed known as the Vlaamperd and one of several motorcycle models called Excelsiors. 

And those two real life examples are what the picture is based on.  I drew it up and then started playing with the picture in an online editor.  My wife had an inspired idea before I'd started that had stuck with me.  She had suggested doing something that looked like blueprints.  My idea had been to do something in a simple, fine-lined, medieval style of art.  The cover is a blending of those two ideas and I think it's kind of a fun looking shot.

I imagine the picture represents Kip as he was at the Ferrisborough Squash Festival and Jousting Tournament, matching wits against the pompous Jex Halfmoon, Esquire.

I know we aren't supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but I hope this cover does a better job of getting someone interested in judging the inside.   


  1. I absolutely love the cover. Tell your wife she was absolutely right.