I am looking for an eye-catching, wrap-around cover for my new YA fantasy novel set in the ongoing Tales of Goldstone Wood series. The title of this book is DRAVEN'S LIGHT.
Because this is part of an ongoing series, it is important for the cover to fit within the series’ brand. That being said, I am looking for a darker tone for this image than most of the previous covers. Something that really brings the creepy factor.
Here is the back-cover synopsis:
In the Darkness of the Pit
The Light Shines Brightest
Drums summon the chieftain’s powerful son to slay a man in cold blood and thereby earn his place among the warriors. But instead of glory, he earns the name Draven, “Coward.” When the men of his tribe march off to war, Draven remains behind with the women and his shame. Only fearless but crippled Ita values her brother’s honor.
The warriors return from battle victorious yet trailing a dire curse in their wake. One by one, the strong and the weak of the tribe fall prey to a ravening illness of supernatural power. The secret source of this predatory evil can be found and destroyed by only the bravest heart.
But when the curse attacks the one Draven loves most, can this coward find the courage he needs to face the darkness?
I am picturing a full-body image of the hero character descending a dark, spiraling stair into a cavernous lair. He carries no weapon, only a humble candle. The candle shines with a white light, for it is lit by the fires of the moon. Despite this light, the image should have a cold feel.
The hero looks like the model in the images I have provided. (I HAVE RECEIVED PERMISSION FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER to use one of these images, so he is available for your use.) You do not have to use this model, but this is the right look for the hero, except that he should have a full beard, not the little chin-scruff. Not a long beard, but filled in with a mustache. (I’ve attached another image that depicts this.) He would wear rough, Nordic garments like this model wears.
The villain of this story is a Faerie creature that is never seen in the story itself. All that we see is a pair of long-fingered, evil hands. I would love to see these long-fingered hands incorporated into the image somehow. I have included a stock image of reaching monster hands. I DON'T WANT to see that goblin's face, which is too ugly, but the hands might work very well, reaching toward the hero. They should be grey or blue, not red, however.
The hero does not have to be on the spiraling staircase. Another option would be to have him in the underground lair, still carrying his candle. Show the stair in the cavern behind him, or possibly on the wrap-around side. Incorporate the evil hands somehow.
Another setting might be an outdoor scene. For this, I picture the hero beside a twisted, dead tree, which is on a high, bare hillside above a river. The tree grows on the edge of a deep, black pit, which descends into the hillside. The hero is preparing to go down into the pit, carrying the candle.
I would like to see cold, blue color schemes and white light. I do not want to see monochromatic, however. Natural flesh-tones, please.
For the underground scenes, it needs to feel dark and cold and creepy—but the image itself needs to not be too dark. If the image is too dark, it will print a flat black, losing details.
PLEASE MAKE THE IMAGE A WRAP-AROUND, with the scene from the front cover continuing onto the back. I don't need the back cover image to be greatly detailed (there will be text there anyway), but to match the rest of the series look, I do need wrap-around.
Again, I am looking for a photo-manipulation style that goes with the previous series’ images. However, I would like to see a darker direction for the image, more akin to the DRAGONWITCH (see attachments) style than any of the others. Please do not use silhouettes for the hero image. That would not fit with the series' look.
No text necessary (our typesetter will see to that), but allow for text in the same places as in the previous books (title along the top, author name on the bottom, back cover text etc.)
This is a short novel, not a long one, so it has a very small spine. I have included a Createspace cover template for the correct dimensions.
I will need the final image in a jpeg.