As I continue working on my work-in-progress, I get ideas for how I am going to make a cover for it. I have kicked around ideas and even tried executing a few of them. And when I say that, it doesn’t mean I literally kicked anything or shot anything in the head. I did drawings and thought seriously about how to put them together.
Remember this one? I drew this because my current novel has two people in it that claim they are actually dragons in human disguises.
One of those people is the girl Fiona Long, who goes by Fi most of the time. She is an aggressive red-headed girl who makes the boys cringe on occasion. She tells them her real name is Firefang, and she’s a red dragon wearing a human meat-disguise. Of course, the boys in Norwall, Iowa immediately believe her, because dragons are so common in Iowa.
So, I took these two image-ideas and slapped them together.
Oh, I forgot to mention, the story happens in 1976, the Bi-Centennial year, and the story climax happens during the 4th of July celebration.
I wasn’t really happy with how this first one looked, so I tried a second shot at putting them together in a slightly different manner.
Of course, the novel is not yet done. It is maybe only half done. So, for that reason, the cover does not have to be done also. And it does bother me a little that the title is The Boy… Forever, and yet, I have a picture of a girl and a dragon on the cover. Maybe Icarus needs to be in the picture too. Icarus Jones is the boy from the title. So, I need to work on that, and maybe redo the whole cover. We shall see. And that will make a possible future blog post too.
My daughter the Princess often disses my cover designs for my novels. The one I created for my half-written manuscript, displayed above, is really too yellow by about 500 degrees. I wanted to write a yellow book about sea stories and island magic set in Iowa, a State about as far removed from an ocean in any direction as a State can be (Well, maybe tied with Kansas and Nebraska). But yellow is not the right color. In fact, the green accent color makes me a bit nauseous next to the yellow. So, I vowed to my critic I would try again and do better.
Take a look at these alternative designs;
Will this one attract woodpeckers, do you think? Or is that too racy an idea for a novel about a young girl growing up. Woody Woodpecker is a sex symbol, isn’t he? No? Whereever did I get a fool notion like that?
I could really use your input. If you wanted to vote, you could choose a cover name from this list to tell me about it in the comments;
Purple and Wood
Something better, Stupid!
I promise not to get mad about any commentors who choose the last one. But I don’t promise to make any new ones either. It is, however, quite easy to make changes using computer programs. I don’t have to redraw anything. Although I could be slightly worried that the Tiki totem could be viewed as racist, even though his race is “little men made out of wood.”
Okay, I know it’s in German. Being from a German-American family from Iowa in a mostly Germanic/Scandinavian little Midwestern town, everything I write is in German, even though it’s written in English. So let me explain my square-headed German logic here. Here is a quote from Wikipedia to define it; “In literary criticism, a Bildungsroman (German pronunciation: [ˈbɪldʊŋs.ʁoˌmaːn]; German: “novel of formation/education/culture”), novel of formation, novel of education, or coming-of-age story (though it may also be known as a subset of the coming-of-age story) is a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood (coming of age), and in which, therefore, character change is extremely important.” I wrote one of these previously. My episodic tale of a young boy who is the new kid in the small Iowa town and through experience learns to become one of the gang, is called Superchicken. It is an example of the coming-of-age tale that closely follows the pattern. Edward Campbell has to learn the hard way that being mature both physically and emotionally is really hard work, and you can fall short of your goal without even meaning to. But his opposition to his parents’ rules and sense of propriety eventually leads to acceptance.
Miss Morgan, however, follows a slightly skewed version of the pattern. In the novel, Francis Morgan is a good teacher and mature woman at the very start. She has convictions about teaching and how to handle students that she is willing to fight for. And society around her seems to want to break her of her habits and convictions. Principals and school boards can bring enormous pressure on a teacher, and they generally don’t want to hear you’ve been teaching magic in the classroom. She is going to learn lessons the hard way, whether she wants to or not. But it is entirely possible that she will not change, not give in to society’s demands. I don’t think, however, that it means that she won’t mature and change in some very important ways.
I am working on this novel, The Magical Miss Morgan, this month. It fills me up and then exhausts me. It uses up most of my hard-won wisdom from my years as a teacher, and I am hoping it will turn out to be the best thing I have ever written.