Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Road To The Association Cover

The Cover For The Association

So another book has been released and another cover done. They say you should never judge a book by its cover but they also say not to have more than two drinks in an evening: in other words, people do it so you better accept it. With that being said, I thought my choice for a cover for my third book in The Amazing Morse series would be easy. Early on I used the term “sleep of reason” in my book, and it seemed a natural title for it. I discuss the breakdown of the current cultural paradigms and the chaos that could ensue from that. The term “sleep of reason” of course comes from the etching by the Spanish painter Fransisco Goya, so it seemed a given that the cover should be some kind of reproduction of the famous painting. 

The full title of the etching, by the way, is “The Sleep Of Reason Produces Monsters.” I think that very well summed up a major element in my series, that demons and ghosts are creations of warped human life/energy/chi or what have you. Plus, the sleep element is also stressed in the title. My main character has the ability to see things in his dreams that come to light in real life. So all I had to do was get the artist I had for the first two books to redo the original.
Except that the more I wrote the more I started to think that maybe it wasn’t such a good cover for the book I was writing. While it fit in well with the overall series, there was nothing that tied it to this particular book. And I was already looking further down the road to the end of this series. There will be some climactic moment, some final book that draws to a conclusion themes and ideas that have been working their way through this group of books. I wanted to have that title and that cover in my hip pocket, to be used later at the correct moment.
It’s nothing new for me. Perchance to Dream was supposed to be the name for my first book (lifted from Hamlet, of course). The original idea for the cover of that book was this:

If you think about it, there are references here to Hamlet, a man staring at a skull contemplating death. But somehow the idea of The Amazing Morse got a hold of me. I liked the juxtaposition of  Amazing and Morse, a rather common name. I wanted to show the distance between Dave Morse’s aspirations and necessary showmanship from the reality of his life. It was meant to be somewhat ironic. Plus it kind of rolls of the tongue, what with the alliteration. And so I saved Perchance To Dream for the title of book number two, which ended up ruminating on death a lot anyway and included a Hamlet quote or two.
And so I now had to come up with a new name for my current book, just as for the first. I considered The Nineteen Cuts, and may have also briefly considered a few other names. Then I thought of The Association, named after the group that had fallen into evil and had ended up being the antagonists of the novel.
I liked putting the title of the book on a tombstone. The Association had died a century and a half ago, although their ghosts remained. The original picture that we used for the tombstone came from The JFK Prep, the history of which was a major source of inspiration for the book

Here’s my original mock up for the cover:

It was at that point that Suzie O’Connell became involved. She had done the non-painting portions of my first two covers. She has been doing so well with her writing that I didn’t think she’d want to be bothered doing my cover, but she was kind enough to not only do it but also put up with my constant input and requests for changes. Here’s a big shout out to you, Suzie. Thanks for all the help and the infinite patience. You can find more of Suzie's covers as well as her writing on her website: http://suzieoconnell.com/# 
Oh, and remember what I said about the Sleep Of Reason for a future cover, Suzie 
And here’s the finished product:

P.S. It’s not something anyone would notice, but I nevertheless made Suzie replace a cross on the tombstone with a dagger. We authors are a demanding lot, you know.

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