Thursday, March 04, 2010

A Drumroll Please...

Okies, since the Harper's catalog is out there and y'all are actually telling me about my own cover, I guess it's time to spill the beans. So here it is, making its debut on the blog, the one, the only,

Shifter 2...

Rocks doesn't it?

This cover is near and dear to my heart, because I got to do something very few authors ever get to.

I designed my own cover.

No, I didn't draw it, that's the abundantly talented Brandon Dorman, but my editor asked me way back when if I had any ideas for the cover. And I got to do some clip art mock ups to show the things I had in mind. Brandon took one of my ideas and ran with it, creating the cover you see above. He naturally changed it and made it better, but the concept was mine, and I'm so thrilled that I was lucky enough to have this opportunity.

My publisher is made of solid awesome. With chocolate filling. And sprinkles. She's that fabulous.

So, you wanna see my ideas? Keep in mind that they're just mock ups using clip art, stock photos, and some PhotoShop filters. The goal wasn't to produce a printable cover, just convey ideas of what we might do for the cover illustration.

This was the one he went with, obviously. I love how he swapped the hands around (I thought this felt to Twilighty, but that's how the stock photo was) and moved the city to the top. He also did cool things with the flames and I love the way Brandon did the pynvium and flames to draw you into the center.

This is the same idea, but I tried purple instead of the red. I think the red is much stronger, don't you? Maybe purple for book three, or perhaps green. I think green might work.

Next, I tried it with just one hand and darker colors. Way too Twilight. It also doesn't have that same "trying to contain the power" feel the cupped hands did.

Here I tried just the pynvium and the flames. This looks like some killer asteroid from space movie poster, so that wasn't gonna fly.

Last, I tried using a person (this isn't what I think Nya looks like, she just had the right wistful gazing off into space look I wanted). It didn't really work, and I loved the idea of using the hands again as a theme for the series more.

However, I did just get mock ups for a totally new re-packaging of the series for the UK edition, and they are uber-cool. Totally different feel and tone than the US ones, and vastly different from the UK hardcover look. I can't wait to show you those, but it'll probably be a while since they're still in the mock up stage. They're using Nya on the cover and I love they style they're going with. (I love the original PM cover, too, bu the way)

So there you have it. Blue Fire is the name of book two, hitting the bookstores October 5, 2010.

Oh, I guess a blurb would be nice, too, huh?

Part fugitive, part hero, fifteen-year-old Nya is barely staying ahead of the Duke of Baseer’s trackers. Wanted for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, she risks capture to protect every Taker she can find, determined to prevent the Duke from using them in his fiendish experiments. But resolve isn’t enough to protect any of them, and Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them all out of the Duke’s clutches is to flee Geveg. Unfortunately, the Duke’s best tracker has other ideas.

Nya finds herself trapped in the last place she ever wanted to be, forced to trust the last people she ever thought she could. More is at stake than just the people of Geveg, and the closer she gets to uncovering the Duke’s plan, the more she discovers how critical she is to his victory. To save Geveg, she just might have to save Baseerif she doesn’t destroy it first.


  1. Ooo! Pretty!

    It's funny, but the hands cupping the fire resembles an idea I have for a possible cover of my novel in revision, though the backgrounds and colors differ. Not that I ever expect to be consulted, even if I do someday sell that novel.

    But it's fantastic that you were consulted for your cover! *dances happily*

  2. W00t. It's awesome that they consulted you. Congrats on an awesome cover!
    (and yeah, the blue one doesn't look as dramatic as the red. It just looks--cold. Red has a sense of urgency, partly because there's a feeling the whole city might be burning).

  3. Ooh, that's so pretty! :D

    It's fantastic that you got to design your own cover. :]

  4. Congrats - having that degree of input on your cover is SO cool!

  5. I love it -- and I also love how much input you had (and that you shared it with us!)

  6. Awesome. Love the end result! And how cool that your vision set the stage for it. :)

  7. Awesome!!! The cover turned out amazing, I love the end result, the colors are all fantastic and flow is so vibrant! Love how you showed us every angle! Cool to see where you started from!

  8. Your vision for the cover was perfectly in keeping with the mood of the first Shifter, so fans (like me) will love it. Brandon Dorman interpreted your ideas beautifully. Gorgeous!

  9. Thanks all! I'm way excited and can't wait to see the printed version. I got so lucky with this publisher. It's really be a dream to work with her and the rest of the gang at B+B/Harper.

  10. What an amazing cover! I am really looking forward to when the book comes out. More Nya. Yes!

  11. Gorgeous! I love the title Blue Fire. Not quite as good as my suggested title "Escape from the Edge of the Dark Night of The Fiery Blue Skull." but it will do nicely.

  12. :O OH MY! Ok, calm down, Glen. It's only a book cover. An awesome cover for the second book of an awesome series! I am literally jumping in my chair right now, Janice. Is it going to be called Blue Fire in the UK?

    This cover is awesome. But as always, I'm sure us Brits will come out on top like the last time - our cover was totally awesome times 2 better than the US cover, which was really awesome. Plus we had the best book name too! HA! Come on, Janice-UK-Publisher! Make me proud!

  13. The cover is amazing! Beautiful!

  14. Awesome cover! I can't wait to get my hands on Shifter 2!! It's so cool that you got a hand in designing it.

  15. I think you should stick with the hands all the way though the serise that way you can tell by looking at them they are linked like with Twilight they all have black backgrounds and a simple picture in the middle your serise has the hands and city and that is how they are distinguished.

  16. I LOVE YOUR BOOK!!!! I can't wait for Blue Fire, I did a review for The Shifter in my school newspaper, and its kinda awsome in my opinion!

  17. Fantastic, Janice! As you say, you are very, very fortunate to have such a terrific editor--but then she's fortunate to be working with not only a terrific writer, but a highly talented graphic designer... now THAT's a win-win.

    I think the choice of orange as a dominant colour for the cover is a terrific one, as it's the complement for the blue of the first volume. My only comment is that I'd like to see the Pynvium looking a little less lavender and more vibrant, with the bluish flames coming off it bluer right around the metal, then changing hue... but, hey, I WAS a colorist for 20-some years, so I gotta chip in... ;-)

    What's the city you picked for your mockup? Is it a fantasy composite, or real... it feels familiar to a mediterranean traveler and serious map geek.

  18. Thanks all! The goal is to stick with the hands for all three books. I like the theme there as well, and how the hands tie the series together. (and thanks for the review!)

    Doug, I still like that title, too. :) It's so very Daniel Pinkwater.

    Glen, yep, it'll be Blue Fire in the UK as well. They're redoing the UK covers, and they look amazing. Totally different look and feel, and I can't wait until I can show those off. (They're still in the mock up phase). I think you'll still be proud.

    Dario, the colors are richer in the actual file, and I think the final will be even more so. It was that way with Shifter, too. You can only capture so much on screen.

    I don't remember exactly what my mock up city was, but it was in a Mediterranean area. I was looking at Med/Byzantine/African architecture, so I would have looked for photos in those regions.

  19. This is just about the latest comment ever, but the cover is fabulous and I'm sure the book will be too! Can't wait!

  20. Only 6 days 'till "Blue Fire" comes out!! I've been waiting forever!! It has a beautiful cover and from the previews I think it'll be an amazing book!