Book cover for a paranormal fictional novel of 85,000 words. Will also need a back cover and spine design. Dimensions for front cover: 5.06" by 7.81" (same as back cover, of course). Will advise as to spine width when I get the number of pages back from my formatter.
Title: The Strange Life of Brandon Chambers
Author: Scott Spotson
Basically, I would like this to be a design contest... no faces, or people shown as characters, on the cover. I would like the title to be prominent, like no more than two words side by side, like a tower of words but the words not touching each other and with gaps in between. The title is, "The Strange Life of Brandon Chambers". So, "Strange" can be above "Life" and "Brandon" can be above "Chambers". The essence of this book is a man who's bedevilled by strange clues all his life... things go missing, strangers appear in his house without warning, and there are weird images that he sees outside, like for example a rabbit with a small gas mask that fits perfectly. He's haunted throughout his life by those strange clues, but he's not delusional. This is a tense novel, but not a horror novel. No killings in this book or anything like a stalker or even any physical harm or fighting, it's more psychological suspense. Brandon is a white male in this book, reasonably fit and good-looking, and his age is shown from ages 7 to 30 over the years. He attends Northwestern University in Chicago for the second half of the book, attaining his license to practice psychology as clinical psychologist. As a pre-teen, he lives on an army base and is unhappy there because of his sudden switch to care under an unforgiving guardian, a sergeant, when his parents die mysteriously. When he is a teenager, there is one chapter where he swims and sees a moderate -size ninjen in the murky waters of the river. Again, his character wouldn't be shown on the cover, but just to give you an idea of the maturity level of the readers. I would consider reading level to be adult readers.
Maybe a little like Donnie Darko movie, suspenseful and dark, but not horror. The movie indeed is horror, but the book is not like that except for the suspense up to the part before bad things happen. But in Donnie Darko for example, for long stretches in the movie there are strange, inexplicable non-violent events occurring and the viewers feel uneasy and unsure what is going on.
See if you can think of a background that is creepy but not horror (i.e. Leaves? Images that puzzle the mind, looking like incomplete items that repel the mind? Vines? Fuzzy ghost faces? Kitchen image but with strange things hidden in the dark shadows?) No hackneyed images such as graveyards, skulls, or Halloween themes please. This is an intelligent book, with discussions about what the images mean, and a mindset to figure out the unsettling clues and unknowing who planted them. At the end, the book is a little spiritual (but not religious) and the final outlook is positive as the main character finds out the answer to the clues.