I recently had the great pleasure of working on an e-book cover for one of my favorite authors, Garth Nix! Newt’s Emerald ~ a Regency Romance (with Magic!) about 18 year old Lady Truthful Newington and the double life she must lead to pursue her house’s stolen heirloom.
Danger! Disguises! Sorcery! And a spirited heroine of course! I have read the book and happily recommend it. You can now preorder it for your Kindle on Amazon.com. Available Nov. 29.
If you like the cover, you can also buy the poster from my INPRNT store.
For the illustration, Garth gave me some conceptual possibilities and visual references to look at, and thought a modern interpretation of the lovely 1950’s Arthur Barbosa covers for Georgette Heyer’s Regency books would be nice (I agreed!)
The cover needed to communicate the Regency period and show Truthful in full period dress and/or disguised as as a man. The story is fun and adventurous and I wanted to communicate that too. All delightful elements to work with, amirite?! I think the cover we went with shows the Regency style and the different worlds of Truthful’s twin identities the best, I love it! But if I ever get a chance it’d be a blast to take one of the other sketches to final too. (Hello swashbuckling pirate escapes!)
See more commentary about the sketches & final in the image captions.
The cartouche with the name & title was a tip of the hat to the Barbosa covers, so I was drawing from those covers and other Regency fonts for decorative inspiration. In the end I thought the rectangular cartouche had too much white space, so I changed the shape and added more flourishes with the titular emerald.
All in all, a dream assignment. I’ve been a fan of Mr. Nix’s since I read Sabriel as a teen—also highly recommended. My self-directed Sabriel illustrations for the Picture Book Report are actually what brought my work to his attention, so I guess it just goes to show that fanart can lead to paid art sometimes! (hooray!) ☆