For inspiration, I hired an artist via elance to create a custom cover image for my second novel, Hold On, Let Go (now in-progress). I love the results, and the artist, Emma Dodd from Scotland, was a dream to work with - excellent communication, professionalism, responsiveness, attention to detail and skill. After a bit of correspondence to determine what I was looking for, she sent me several mockup images and tweaked and re-tweaked according to my feedback in a process that took almost a week and nearly 30 text messages through the elance dashboard.
Before I explain further, you should know the novel's logline:
After sixteen-year-old Matthew crashes his new car on his birthday, leaving his girlfriend Di in a coma, he becomes suicidally obsessed with her memory, his parents threaten to move to force him to start anew, Di’s best friend falls for him, and Di’s spirit refuses to leave her dying body until somehow, supernaturally, she can help Matthew to quit holding on and learn to let go.
Here's a play-by-play of how the cover creation collaboration worked:
My oldest son occasionally says: “Want to know the definition of suspense? I’ll tell you tomorrow.”
This joke captures the essence of suspense, which is to ask a question and then… make em wait!
Good stories constantly imply interesting questions. The questions and their answers are like the bread crumbs that lead you into the fairy tale woods. Reading is fun when you know you’re going into the woods AND you know that the author will guide you through its maze-like wonders and terrors skillfully, step by step, bread crumb by tasty bread crumb. You don’t have to worry about getting truly lost. You don’t have to worry about the woods holding nothing of interest. The skilful writer gains your trust with the placing of the bread crumbs. Then you’re along for the ride. And if the answers to the questions are not immediately provided, the ride will be filled with thrills and spills – suspense!
Writer, reader, runner, teacher, father, infp, huffleclaw.