Don’t let this amazing cover image fool you: my novel has not found a publisher nor do I even have an agent. And no, I did not and could not create anything remotely this fantastic on my own.
What happened is that my family thought it would be cool if I had an image, possibly a potential cover design, for my “forever a work in progress” novel. They got together and hired Andrea DiVito and Laura Villari for the job (Andrea drew it, Laura did the amazing colors).
I’ve been a fan of Andrea and Laura’s since my brother Andy hired them to do the art for a Marvel Comics limited series called Annihilation back in 2006. Once Andy contacted them about this project, I emailed Andrea the broad strokes of what I thought would be an appropriate and compelling image for the story. We went back and forth a few times and this is the end result. If my novel is published, I won’t have any control over the cover—authors rarely do. Of course, I’d be happy if they used this, but right now, such notions are more of a fantasy than the novel itself.
While my main character (a teenage girl in modern Edinburgh, Scotland) does not actually use a sword in the story, she does take up arms against a sea of unending sword wielding assailants (sorry, Shakespeare) who step out of the land of myth and legend. She also teams-up with King Arthur. The image of her hand grasping the sword conveys the basic idea.
The sword is cracked and chipped because my working title is Fractured Myths—so a broken sword carries a bit of that idea. We can’t see that the sword is Excalibur, and since Excalibur is indestructible, I doubt anyone would leap to that conclusion, but if Excalibur were fractured, that would also make for a powerful image.
And then there’s the Celtic Tree of Life symbol in the background. This symbol illustrates the connection of our world to the Otherworld that is home to our myths and legends. The symbol appears in my story and is tied to the plot. This particular design is Andrea’s. As with every other aspect of this picture, he exceeded my expectations.
Anyway, I couldn’t be more pleased!
*Art by Andrea Di Vito and Laura Villari, copyright 2013 Craig Schmidt