I am so excited to finally be sharing more with you on the run up to the release of The Edict in December! The cover of The Edict starts with an old friend. Venetia and I go way back. We’ve been friends for several years now and she’s easily one of those people I describe as lovely inside and out.
When I first met her I said, ‘One of my favourite authors called Georgette Heyer wrote a book called Venetia.’ She promptly replied that the very same volume was one of her mother’s favourites and her namesake! I mean – it was like a meet-cute for friends.
When I started my journey towards becoming a hybrid author (both published through a publishing house and self-published) I came to Venetia to talk cover design. We’d chatted years earlier about the idea of it when we worked in a shoe shop together in between aggy customers and trying on shoes under the counter. I knew she was a graphic designer and had been working with an independent publishing house so it was perfect. Just a few years in the making.
First design meeting
When I started planning out The Edict (read the blurb here) project and had my manuscript sent away to the editor I asked to meet with Venetia to finally talk about that fabled cover. We met in Costa and talked about the project over hot chocolate and coffee (or something of that variety). She was so enthusiastic from the outset, she let me rabbit on about the story, the project timelines, what I envisioned for the cover. All the time she listened and actually told me it was so much more helpful talking 1:1 with the author about the work and I really think this collaboration is why the cover became such a clear embodiment of the book.
We talked colours, styles, themes, elements and while she let me talk she also dropped ideas in here and there which I would never have thought of and which really started to tie the whole thing together into a fully fledged concept. We worked out the timeline and payment arrangements and parted ways with her promising an initial design.
She started working on individual elements first and then came up with the full front cover. The best part was, when I asked to meet to discuss the initial designs, Venetia came with a gift! I was asking her how she managed to create the seal on the front cover, she said, ‘it’s funny you should ask that…’ and proceeded to pull an unassuming little cardboard box from her bag.
She handed it to me saying it was a gift for me and when I opened it lo and behold, Venetia had not only imagined a wildcat from the world of The She Trilogy she had commissioned a real seal to be made and it came complete with sealing wax, candles and teeny wax pouring spoon!
It was AMAZING! Here in my hand was a seal like those I imagined they used in my book. The wildcat is a creature specifically from Emrilion, the kingdom in which the story takes place, and Venetia had listened to my descriptions and created it! The seal is a really important part of the book. In The Edict believe it or not, there is an edict, a few actually, a type of law and they are sealed with the royal seal, the one you see appearing on the cover of the book. It’s one of these edicts that forever changes the life of my heroine Kiara so you can see why it’s a central aspect of the cover. Keep an eye out for up-coming giveaways on the run up to The Edict’s release, because you might just be receiving a copy of The Edict sign, sealed and delivered!
The initial designs
I’d told Venetia about the richness of the Reluwyn people in the The Edict. They’re originally nomadic tribal peoples who have become a settled nation and risen up to rule an empire. They enjoy feasting and fighting and it’s this lavish lifestyle which is brought out by the deep reds, jade and almost golden yellows. It’s the colours of the cover which make it so exciting.
The finished cover
After tweaking and amends and getting it just so, we ended up with a cover that Venetia did an awesome job of making and which I’m so chuffed with. You can see it here:
I’m looking forward to sharing with you the sneak peak of the VERY FIRST copy of The Edict, which is my proof copy. There’s nothing quite like holding your book in the format of a book (not on a computer or in A4 print-out versions), for the first time and this one was extra special because I had seen it from the first tiny idea I had when I was 17, right through to print…