Friday, August 15, 2014

On #CoverArt - Putting a face to Janie from the Odd Series

This is kind of another peek under the hood kind of post, this time about covers instead of word counts.

Since I am self pubbing the Odd Series, I had the great pleasure to control the cover art. We discussed, AT LENGTH, all kinds of cool things we could put on the cover (since this series is chock full of things that would look pretty darn awesome on a cover--and coincidentally I have an artist on hand who could have drawn me up some really awesome stuff), but finally I decided that I'd settle on ONE model, a Janie looking one.

That part decided, I really wanted her transformation over the series to show on the book covers. The actual model? I couldn't change her since she was a stock image I bought usage of from Shutterstock.


For the first book, I chose a pic that looks really human. She is pretty, sure, but she has some flaws. Some wrinkles around her eyes, some veins showing in her eyeballs, her eyes are a pretty normal hazel.

Just like Janie at the start of Odd Stuff, she looks human.

Here is the original pic of the model side-by-side with the cover I put together.

As I said, though, I couldn't change the model herself, but Janie changes. As the series goes on, she gets a bit less human, recognizing things about herself that she'd basically been in denial about. With that knowledge, her powers go darker. Her eyes become just a smidge less human looking, her skin the pearly white of the siren and she's less able to hide what is inside with illusions outside...

That said, for book two I modified the model just a bit. Most won't even notice the darker eyes, the paler skin, the removal of 'flaws' or humanity, however Janie is indeed darker and more set in her power base.

By the end of the trilogy? Janie is feeding regularly and from a FONT of power. She's given into the darkness, even if she still hates herself for it, and longs for the humanity she 'gave up' along the way. Her eyes, to reflect this, are the black of her hunger. Her skin is the pearly color of the siren, a creature of the sea. Her hair? Gone entirely silver. Her battle in this book is as much against the bad guys as herself, so I darkened a lot of things to show this--including the lipstick on my stock model.
All 'flaws', though are gone--she doesn't even have veins in her eyes any more, they almost glow instead. We're left with full-power Janie.

And she's hungry, hence the full-black eyes gone to dilated pupils.

Most readers won't even notice these changes, but I put on the covers as a bit of an easter egg for the ones who read the books.

Here's hungry siren Janie.
Below you can see the full transformation to learning to be what she always has been without shame.

Also intentional in these images is the direction the model is looking. Of course I couldn't control that, but I chose images of her specifically because which way her eyes were pointed.

The first Janie? Looking to the side, almost sly or coy. She's not able to meet the reader's eye because she's living a lie. 

By the second book, she's not munching candy since her hungers for other things are growing a bit...but she's getting a smidge closer to looking toward you.

By book three? Janie is finally able to meet your eyes, even if she is a monster. She knows what she is, she owns it, and maybe even learns to love herself...something we all have to learn to do and, like Janie, maybe struggle with over the years.

So, that's the story behind the covers. If you have any questions, feel free to toss them in the comments section below. I'm happy to answer, even if Blogger won't let me post comments (and I don't know WHY, but it has been going on for a year), I'll be happy to try to answer them in another post or on facebook or twitter.

Happy Writing!

Oh, and for those interested (because I forgot to make it easy for you) here are links and such for the books.

Odd Stuff, Odd Series Book 1

Odd Melody, Odd Series Book 2
(Now available for preorder, releases 8/25)

Odd Fate, Odd Series Book 3
Coming Soon

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