Many of you were kind enough to comment on three different versions of Chaco: my supernatural character who can appear either as a ridiculously beautiful young man, or as a coyote. (But not just any coyote; he is Coyotl the Trickster).
My publisher had asked for a somewhat lighter feel to the image because the tone of the book overall is light. Chaco is (usually) a cheerful guy.
The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of my original, Chaco #1, with 10 votes, #2 got three votes, and #3 got two votes. I also favor the original.
However, my friend Erica Chase asked, “Is there a happier looking coyote?” I thought this was nothing short of brilliant (typical of Erica). So I went looking for a coyote whose expression was less threatening and more upbeat. And then tried to match the coyote with an image of a young man that more or less matched (or was at least complementary to) the coyote’s expression. The image below is the result, and if you would be so obliging, I’d like to know if you think this is an improvement. Or not. (To see the three images I posted for comment, please go to https://obsidianmirrorblog.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/vote-for-your-favorite-coyote/)
I sent last week’s cover art to my publisher. One of his comments was: “…the book itself also felt a bit more light hearted than the dark cover with the serious boy (who was definitely not so serious in my mind, as I read anyway).”
The man (Chaco) changing into a coyote is central to my story. Chaco is Coyotl, the trickster folk hero of many Native American cultures. He can shift back and forth at will, and this comes in handy several times during the story. So I’d really like to use the image of the shape-shifting man-coyote. But my publisher is right: the tone of the book is on the lighter side.
I picked out a few more handsome latino men from iStock.com, where there is a plethora of such men on sale for very little money, and created two alternatives to my original. I present them here for your deliberation: which is the best Chaco: #1, #2, or #3?
I’ve gone back and forth a couple of times with the publisher, AEC Stellar, and I think we’ve probably arrived at an agreement.
So now I get to do something fun: design my own cover art. AEC Stellar has people who will do this, but from my standpoint, one of the advantages of working with a small company is that they are willing to let me do my own cover design if I want (and it meets their standards). I realize that most people wouldn’t think this was fun, but I also paint in oils and design jewelry and I’m pretty good at Photoshop. You can purchase excellent photography and illustrations from an online stock provider for very reasonable prices and manipulate these images in Photoshop. I did a lot of this when I was working on marketing materials for Cisco, and I enjoy it.
Here’s my first concept. Do you like it? Dislike it? I’d love to know.