How awesome is this?

It hits every single note that I asked for, and then some. As I mentioned a few months ago, I got to meet with Paul Higdon, the amazingly talented graphic designer behind Bethany House Publishers’ book covers, for a personal pow-wow on what the cover to this book should look like. I gave Paul a complete rundown on the plot of the book, the characters, the themes, and the tone of the book. He took all of my suggestions and ran with them, adding his own artistic ideas and really creating something spectacular.

I mean, I loved the Trilogy covers, but come on… This is next-level.

Aside from the plot stuff, here’s what I asked Paul for:

  1. I asked that it look like a movie poster. Mission accomplished. If a movie version of Offworld were ever made, and this actually was the movie poster, I’d be thrilled!
  2. I asked that it be photo-realistic. This is not easy to achieve, especially when you consider that Bethany House does not possess the kind of budget that bigger publishers have at their disposal. But you’d never know it! I mean, look at that thing. But anyway, the photo realism is important to me because if you venture too far into a “painting” kind of look, or an over-stylized look, it can detract from how real it looks.
  3. I asked for a title treatment that looks like a logo. Man, I love what they did with the title. I’m a little surprised at how big my name is (I wouldn’t care if if it was as small as “a novel”), but I’m in love with that title logo.
  4. I asked that tonally, it have a sense of foreboding and dread, but without losing the cool factor. Wow did they nail this. The tone the cover projects is just perfect for the story. I love the sleek, shininess of it with the wet pavement… It reminds me of how James Cameron lights a lot of his nighttime, silvery-hued scenes, like the scene in T2 when Sarah Connor escapes from prison.

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. It exceeds my hopes by leaps and bounds!

One last bit of trivia: The bicycle mistified me a bit, because there’s no bike or bike riding anywhere in the book. I asked why they didn’t go with abandoned cars, because there are plenty of those in the book. They told me they experimented with cars but found the look to be “too nuclear annihilation/disaster movie,” whereas the overturned bicycle had a quality of strangeness and loneliness that they felt would grab people. In the end, I think they made the right call.