Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Passion Post: Cover Art, Part III

Well, we were supposed to be spending today at Disney world, but apparently the combination of some NBA All-Star game and the Daytona 500 has turned central Florida into a logistical nightmare and has filled it with hundreds of thousands of visitors. In other words: Disney is going to be mobbed. So, we stay home. Which means, I have time to blog...

Let's wrap this whole monster up. Books I love with art I love just as much:

Incarceron and Sapphique by Catherine Fisher.

Oh, holy cow, these covers made me drool. The simple key and lock, the depth of the background with the cool collage of images, the font of the titles, the shiny...

There is nothing I don't love about these covers. And just about nothing I don't love about the stories inside! Steampunk meets sci-fi, with a dystopian feel. The characterization is awesome, the story world rich and imaginative, the plot very well-done, the writing clean. Love, love, love!

Dani Noir by Nova Ren Suma.

This is a MG novel, with voice, baby. The plot is nothing super-duper special, but it is SUCH a fun read. The main character is into classic, noir movies, and sees her life through that lens. Written in first person present, which is starting to feel overdone because so many writers think writing in that pov gives automatic voice...but it does not. First person present takes skill, and Nova Ren Suma's got it.

What I love about this cover--the black and white with that tiny splash of color. The animation style that is done perfectly for the feel of the book. The image is relevant to the story. And I love how the scene wraps around the book.

Winter by Keven Newsome.

Some of you may call "foul" on this one. It's a book published by my publisher. I edited it (well, I was one of the two main editors). Keven is the creator of New Authors' Fellowship where I was a featured author and am now an alumni.

But hear me out.

I read this manuscript long before it got published. NO, I did not actually know Keven at that point. I'd somehow friended him on FB via another friend, and he'd put it up for free on Lulu. I was simply curious. I found out while I was reading it that he'd submitted to Splashdown, but Grace had not started reading it. I knew--knew--she'd offer him a contract though. The story simply rocked. A Goth Christian who becomes a prophetess and battles a demon. I jumped at the chance to edit it.

And then when I saw what was happening with the cover art. OMG. I think I may have actually "squee"d. The girl is a friend of Keven's and his wife did the photography. An amazing artist named Holly Heisey did the  digital painting and such. The font is SO cool. The blue, the feel. And by "feel" I don't just mean atmosphere--Winter was the first Splashdown book to have a matte cover. It feels like a cross between satin and suede. (And yes, I so got matte for my cover because of that!)

A few other books/series I loved:

Eragon and the Inheritance Cycle. Love the series (although I still need to read the last one!) and the dragons are just awesomely done. I love how each is a different color scheme. I love the simplicity. And those eyes...

The Mistmantle Chronicles by M.I. McAllister. These covers took me back to my childhood. They reminded me of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, even though the style is very different. (Somehow, I remember the cover of the copy of Mrs. Frisby I had as a kid being very similar, but the copy I have now is way different and a Google image search is not giving me what I remember anywhere...sorry, mini-vent there.) These are juvenile level, btw, and unfortunately not easy to find :(.

Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull.

That's just the first three pictured there. The series has five books. All so, so fun and imaginative! I found some of the writing a little, well, annoying. The ridiculous array of dialog tags, the overuse of adverbs, and it was a bit wordy in places. BUT, read it anyway. You won't regret it.

The covers match the feel and stories, and they're just so eye-catching and flat-out well done artistically.

Alrighty then...this is getting pretty long. But I am pleased to realize I found a lot of books for which cover art and interior prose are well suited and awesome.


Kessie said...

In Fablehaven, he does overuse the dialog tags and adverbs. Sometimes I've actually sat and read strings of dialog aloud to my hubby because it sounds so ridiculous. But I like the characters so I keep reading. :-)

I like all these covers you posted up, too. I've never heard of the Mistmantle series, so I'll see if I can find it at the library. Anthro critters are really underrated. :-)

Kat Heckenbach said...

That's so funny, Kessie--I did the same thing! But not to my husband (he's not a fiction reader so he'd be clueless). Instead, I read to a writer friend of mine. Some of the dialog is rather stiff, too. The story and the characters totally make up for it though!!!

I think the Mistmantle series has gone out of print. I found the first one at B&N on clearance, and the rest I got through Amazon, either directly or from vendors there. It makes me sad because I really love the series. It's very well-developed.

Kristen Stieffel said...

No disrespect to Angel, but Winter is still my favoritest book cover ever, for all the reasons you cite. Plus, blue is my favorite color. And it helps that the model is gorgeous. And, of course, I am totally biased. ;)

Kat Heckenbach said...

You're forgiven, Kristen :). I'm a bit biased, too. I love my book cover, but it's very different and Winter is just so gorgeous!

Keven Newsome said...

I told Grace early in the process of making the cover that I was a very happy author. I hope we can pull off the second to look just as good. It looks like Holly may be out of the project for health reasons. Which means De and I will have to do it. But we've been practicing.

On a side note...I think I may fire all my notifications bot thingies for not telling me about this post. And I thought I was doing so good, too.

Kat Heckenbach said...

Well, I've seen what you and De can accomplish, so I've no doubt ya'll can handle Winter 2.

And I am SO sick if Google alerts telling me about my OWN blog posts. I SOMETIMES get notifications about other stuff, but it's usually me leaving a comment one someone's blog. But when I'm actually mentioned in another blog--nothing. Sigh.

Lyn said...

Good choices. And good series of posts.

Kat Heckenbach said...

Thanks, Lyn!