The lovely covers for my Siren Song series were created by awesome cover/media artist Fiona Jayde. She works with my publisher and they enlisted her for the job, which made me quite happy. I had seen her work around the writing world many times and was always enamoured with it.
When I received the cover for the first book, The Wicked City, I was a squealy, giddy author indeed. June looks almost exactly like I picture her. I originally envisioned her with shorter hair, but because of the covers, I actually rewrote her to have longer hair because I liked it better. Her tattoos are also pretty spot on. I know it’s hard to create an artistic rendering of a character with a lot of tattoos, so I was quite impressed.
The only thing that baffled me, at first anyway, was why the artist chose to depict her with sunglasses on. There are no descriptions in the book of her wearing sunglasses. I discovered the cover model has sunglasses on in many of her photos (a lot of cover artists use stock photography to make book covers) so I figured this might have been the reason (some pictures there are NSFW, no nudity though).
But after some thought, it struck me. And also, touched me.
In my little made up world, people with exceptionally strong paranormal powers (and that’s not a good thing, trust me) are made obvious by the fact the color of their irises are either super-vibrant or drastically washed out. June has spent her entire life trying to hide the fact she’s paranormal so she can have a simple, regular life, and also because it brought tragedy to her family when she was younger. Except…her eyes are almost luminescent green because of her power, so she can’t hide what she is as well as she’d like. That’s when I realized Fiona made the artistic choice to hide June’s eyes.
This means she either read, or read enough of the book to make that choice, which really gives me a lot of warm fuzzies. I of course don’t expect cover artists to read every book they make a cover for, because then they’d never have time to get any work done. I did fill out a description of June and provided some background on the story for the artist, but I didn’t touch on her eyes that much.
The cover of The Bloody City depicts June much more ragged and her hair kind of unevenly colored because in that book she’s in hiding and has lost focus on vanity and beauty upkeep. The cover for The Burning City manages to capture the more concerned, matured state of mind June has evolved to, and she seems to be more ‘looking toward the future’ than on the previous books. These are all little elements, maybe only things I notice because I wrote it, but it’s always great when the artist ‘gets’ your vision for the story.
So here’s to all great cover artists and how wonderful they make our books look…thank you, from the bottom of my heart!
Urban fantasy and paranormal romance author.