When James Garcia Jr. approached me about doing a cover for his paranormal romance, “Seeing Ghosts”, I was giddy with anticipation. I had read the excerpt he posted on his blog and studied his short synopsis, reading it over and over again, trying to get a “feel” for the story.
Usually, I have to convince my clients that their covers shouldn’t be a laundry list of things they think are important. A cover should be spare of ornamentation. You want it to incorporate only the most essential things to convey emotion, genre, and story. But I didn’t have to do any convincing with Jimmy. He was open to anything I had in mind.
Almost immediately, I knew how the cover should look.
I was taken with the idea of a dead wife and a man not quite ready to let her go. It was personal and it was surreal. Losing a mate is soul-wrenching and I wanted to convey that overwhelming sadness of the living, and the otherworldliness of the Afterlife.
I must confess, the model I used for Seeing Ghosts was someone I was keeping for myself. I loved everything her body language and expression said, and everything it didn’t say. I hoped I might be able to use her in one of my future novels. But when I read Jimmy’s synopsis, I knew that model belonged to him. It was as if she was made for his story.
The house (seen in the print version of the book) was a different matter. Jimmy had renderings of the house he had in mind and it took me quite a while to locate a few suitable candidates. We finally agreed on one house, but it was in terrible disrepair—far worse than the way it was described in the novel. This house was going to need some major renovation.
Luckily for Jimmy, I know a thing or two about remodeling houses—and Photoshop. When I was done, the house had regained all its siding, a new door, a solid roof, and no busted windows. If only real renovations went so easily.
The foreground, background, and sky were another matter. I needed atmosphere to create that otherworldly feeling to complement the stark reality of overgrown weeds and the specter of crosses.
The title was probably the hardest to conceive. I needed something simple, while reinforcing the “ghostly” theme. What better device than to make one word solid and corporeal and the second word at the edge of ghosting out.
There’s a misconception that all a good cover needs is to slap the right photos together, but that’s not usually the case. This particular cover required twenty-six layers of elements. There are very few covers I’ve designed that don’t require at least a dozen or more layers to get the look I want.
A good cover should create an emotional response. It has to make you want to STOP and take another look. I’d like to think I accomplished that with “Seeing Ghosts”.
I tease Jimmy Garcia that he was a lot of trouble, but in truth, I adore him. He trusted my instincts and advice and allowed me to create this for him.
The official release date of "Seeing Ghosts" is June 2nd so put this book on your “buy” list. You won’t be disappointed.
Do you have any questions about cover art? Any secrets you’re dying to know? I’m ready to tell-all.
Need a cover of your own? You can find more information about me and my work at Book Cover Diva.