Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Crafting a Tyrant - The Artwork #scifi #romance #spaceopera

One of the things I love about being an author is cover art. I've never had a cover I've hated, although another bonus of going indie now is having total creative control over artwork (even when limited by budget, stock photos, and the skill of the designer. I'm fortunate that the last of those is not in any way a limitation!). I didn't really have a clear idea of what I wanted for the cover of Keir's Fall to begin with - my cover designer Danielle Fine had sent me several layouts for Keir's cover (you can see those on an earlier post here), so that had somewhat decided the style of subsequent book covers, text etc - but that was it.
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As far as putting the main antagonist - Tyra-Lee - on the cover of book two, my only real inspiration for her was from this stock photo I spotted very early on when looking for cover ideas back when Keir was first published with Lyrical Press. Up until this point, I only had the image in my head of Tyra-Lee's very earliest appearance as Sylvi in a Doctor Who fanfic, as albino with spikes of white hair. But I found this image really striking, and certainly gave off the 'how dare you' kind of vibe that I could see Tyra-Lee giving anyone who tried to cross her.

However, most of the credit for the cover to Keir's Fall has to go to Dani. The original few drafts for Keir's Fall were pretty much the same - a couple of variations of the woman playing Tyra-Lee, and three or four variations of the lower image on the front. This is the one I went for.

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But at the time, I didn't realize quite how much of a transformation Tyra-Lee herself had undergone in the process. This is how Dani changed a fairly normal model shot into a Nercaandi tyrant.

Quite a transformation, right? So now you have some idea of the amount of work that goes into putting together a book cover. Not just the layout and text and images, but how much is needed for just a single element in the cover - to change a human being into an alien. Gives you an idea of why books about aliens often don't feature the aliens themselves...

Need some new cover art or marketing images? You can find Danielle Fine at her website http://daniellefine.com or on Twitter as @DanielleFine1. I don't need to tell you she comes highly recommended by me (psst, her cover for Keir is a finalist in the 2015 EPIC Ariana Cover Awards too).


Keir's Fall officially released yesterday, and you can find it at any of the retail links below the book cover in the post above or in the right hand side bar. Print will be coming as soon as I've received and checked over the proof copy. Don't forget, Keir is only 99 cents/Euros/pence right now, but only until the end of December. There's also a print edition of Keir being given away at Goodreads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Keir by Pippa Jay


by Pippa Jay

Giveaway ends January 07, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
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It's just nine days until I see The Force Awakens! Woot! Next week is my last post at Spacefreighters Lounge until the New Year as I take an extended internet break for Christmas and getting some reading done. I'll be posting more about the crafting of a tyrant over at my own blog on Thursday HERE, talking about the inspiration behind Tyra-Lee's characters. Next week at Spacefreighters, I'll be summing up the past year with all its ups and downs.

Pippa Jay signing off...


  1. It is so interesting to read about the creative process. Whether with writers or artists. I like your special cover with the disappearing/reappearing man(Keir?).

    1. Thanks! Yeah, that's an animated version Dani made for me as a marketing idea. Right now ereaders aren't designed for moving graphics, but it might happen at some point (yes, that's meant to be Keir jumping through time and space via a gateway).

  2. Love this cover, Pippa. It's so striking!


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