When I finished writing Of Sea and Seed, The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book I, I realized that it was not only the ocean that connected all the main characters, it was also a small boat. I decided instantly that the cover had to incorporate both of those images. I did not expect the attention that that decision garnered.
The cover for Of Sea and Seed has been featured on Indie Brag’s Cover Crush Blog and has appeared under the Small Boats category on Fictionophile’s Cover Love Blog.
Recently, this same cover won an award — the 2017 Best Literary Fiction Cover Design from B.R.A.G. Medallion.
The creation of this cover started with the title and even that underwent a few changes… that happens to all my titles. This one was initially called Wave over Wave.
Gradually, I came to know that the sea was a metaphor for the matriarch of the story and the seed a metaphor for her offspring. Somewhere around that time, I read Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and well… you can guess the rest.
What about the small boat?
Each of the three point-of-view characters in Of Sea and Seed experiences a life-or-death situation in a small, traditional fishing boat, called a dory*.
I began the hunt for photos of sea and dory. I looked through all pictures I could find by Newfoundland photographers but could not find what I wanted, a picture of a lone dory tossed in a powerful sea. It was at my go-to site, Shutterstock, that I found the image below (© Andrejs Pidjass, www.nejronphoto.com.)
From there, I worked with the design team at Create Space.
The traditional Lunenberg dory, as depicted on the cover, has a yellow base and dark green gunwales. There’s a reason for those colors: the yellow makes the base visible against the water; the dark green makes the gunwales (the upper edges of the side of the boat) visible in the fog.
I asked the design team if they could make the green color pop a bit more. They responded by reversing the colors, putting the green on the base, the yellow on the gunwales. Uh-oh!
I knew better than to let that pass but I got a second opinion from my brother Richard who did not mince words. “No fisherman in his right mind would have gone on the ocean in that thing.” The act of reversing the colors had negated their purpose, making the dory unsafe, and making my dory story less plausible.
I explained. Create Space amended, happily.
I also requested that Create Space remove the red gas can in the above image (barely visible, but none of the dories in my story had one, so I wanted it gone.) Done!
One choice that Create Space made without any input from me was to flip the image of the dory. I instantly took a liking to the switch. If left to my own devices, I never would have come up with such a perfect detail. (It’s great to have a design team.)
I provided Create Space with all of the information required for the rest of the cover… blurbs, back copy, and my imprint (McRAC Books) with Logo. The fonts (love them!) were chosen by my Create Space Design team.
I am currently entrenched in writing Book II of the Kerrigan Chronicles, this one titled Of Sea and Sand. (Could change, stay tuned.) As I work, I am keeping cover possibilities in mind. There will be an ocean. No doubt about that. But what else? I am looking for commonalities, one of which will surely leap to the fore and land on the cover.
NEWS FLASH! This weekend, I learned that Of Sea and Seed is a semi-finalist in the Literary Fiction genre of the Kindle Book Review’s Kindle Book Awards. Goes without saying that I was thrilled and immediately sent in my email requesting the semi-finalist sticker.
( A note to Lynne Legrow , a.k.a. @fictionophile: Thanks for putting my book in the Small Boat Category of your Cover Love Series, but, with another sticker on the way, I think I’m gonna need a bigger boat! Ha!)
Readers, love looking at great covers? Writers, looking for great cover ideas? Check out the covers posted in the Fictionophile Cover Love Series! So many themes: windows, lakes, doors, gates, jars, piers, umbrellas… over thirty categories to choose from. Lots of fun!
Many thanks to all who helped make the cover of Of Sea and Seed a success!
My best to you,