The novel is set in prehistoric Orkney, in northern Scotland, and inspired by a local folk-tale. It has a dark, brooding tone and an intense, fast-moving plot, with lyrical language and a sense of beauty, mystery and wonder. It is written to appeal to 12-14 year old male and female readers as well as to adults. It is a fantasy story, with a touch of horror. My influences include Michelle Paver, Philip Pullman and Robin Hobb.
I would like a cover which gives a sense of drama, urgency and threat as well as (ideally) the beauty and mystery of the setting.
The covers I like tend to feature a single bold, clean, arresting image, with a dark and ominous feel to them.
I am planning on releasing books for younger readers in the future. These will have more busy, bright covers. It is important that this series be clearly differentiated from my work for younger readers.
I would like the cover to possibly depict one of the finfolk, a race of reptilian people depicted in the novel, or possibly the Azawan, a sea serpent also featured. It could also perhaps feature a symbol based around one of these, possibly in a Celtic style. The symbol of the Orkadi people is a boar, so a symbol based around a boar could work, though boars themselves don't come into the story so it might feel not quite relevant enough. One of the main characters lives in a clifftop tomb, the Tomb of the Eagles, which is now a tourist attraction - the entrance to the tomb, as it would have appeared at the time, might work.
Please fee free to explore your own ideas.
I am most interested in digitally created cover art but also open to stock images.
I have included sample sections of the novel containing images/scenes that might inspire the cover. I am open to a design that depicts a scene from the book, a non-human character from the book or perhaps something more abstract/symbolic. The northern lights feature in the story (though not prominently) so it might work to incorporate them. Please let me know if you would like more text to work from (and sorry if I've provided too much).
I have visualised the finfolk as having faces like Komodo dragons, though with human-sized skulls and bodies, and long reptilian tales. They wear scant clothes made of fish-skin and carry spears with flint blades. The opening scene features the lead character interrupting a finman performing a spell on the beach in the early morning - in this instance, the finman is wearing a hooded cloak. I thought an image of him turning to face the viewer, with the sea behind him, might work as a cover, though of course the hood is a bit cliched - I could just have him put his hood down if that would make it better.
The sea is a powerful presence in the story and I make a lot of effort to depict how it is believed to be endless by the characters, and how that affects their worldview. So I think the back and/or front cover should use the sea as a background.
I have attached some book covers I like, a PDF of an advert I have made for the book to use until I have a cover image, some text from the book and a few photographs I have taken in the area where the opening scenes take place.