Many of you will remember the original Darkness Haunts cover that I have been using for over a year now. It was my first book and I was quite proud of it at the time I published it, but I also knew it wasn’t quite the right look for Melena. Sometimes you just have to settle for what you can get (stock photos) and I couldn’t afford a professional photo shoot at the time. My cover artist did a great job with it, though, and it drew in plenty of readers so I can’t complain.
But it was time for change.
After the awesome experience with the photo shoot for Chained by Darkness, I decided I had to redo Darkness Haunts. It just couldn’t stay the same anymore. I am very pleased with how it turned out and hope you all will be too! So here it is:
This was not done alone. There are many people who helped make this cover come to life and they deserve a mention…
I enlisted the aid of several enthusiastic fans of the series who helped me with the planning for this cover. Plus some other projects related to the series such as the Lucas promo pic in my last post and the soon to be revealed Darkness Divides cover. Thanks to Heather, Rachel, and Kristy. You ladies are awesome!
They worked hard with me to come up with the pose ideas, hair styles/make-up, wardrobe, props, and backgrounds. I also had their help in selecting the right model after the casting call. A lot of people don’t realize the level of detail that goes into these things, but it can be much more complicated than you’d think. We exchanged countless emails and spent many hours researching potential ideas. I cannot begin to express my gratitude!
I also have to thank my photographer, Teresa Yeh, for her amazing work. She did a fantastic job coordinating this shoot and was so patient with my nitpickiness over all the details. Not to mention me bombarding her with packages after I started ordering the wardrobe and props! She did an awesome job of finding the right model to fit Melena’s look, too. Haley (the model) did a great job of following my pose/facial expression guidelines and really captured the look I’d asked for!
It should be mentioned that we had one major hiccup just before the shoot. The package I’d sent containing the weapons and related props got delayed due to the snow storms bombarding the northeastern US. Despite my begging and pleading, UPS couldn’t get it there in time. No way was I going through with the shoot if we didn’t have the weapons! The stylist handling the model’s hair and make-up came through for us, though, when she heard what happened. Her husband offered up his gun and knife collection for us to use. I certainly wasn’t going to complain if we could use real ones! It was truly gracious of them and I can’t thank them enough!
You’d think I’d be done with my acknowledgements, but I’m not. After the shoot took place someone had to do the artwork that goes with the model shot (the background and touching her up to fit it). A big thanks to Claudia at Phat Puppy Art for her part in this. She had this cover and the one for Darkness Divides done within a couple of days of receiving the shots. I was blown away!
Then Ashley over at Bookish Brunette moved super-quick to get the typography on there so I could get it out as soon as possible. The photo shoot took place on Sunday (February 16th) and you’re already getting to see it today (February 21st) despite the chain of people involved. Truly, I have an amazing team. This was definitely not a one person operation, but rather something far more complex!
So now onto my explanation for the design on this cover…
It should be kept in mind that it portrays Melena at the start of the series. She’d had some rough experiences in her past that gave her an edge, but the things she was about to encounter in Alaska were unlike anything she’d faced before. It’s the beginning of a journey that has continued to test her at every turn. At this time, she was still innocent in a lot of ways when it came to the supernatural world. Over the course of the books she’s had to learn to toughen up a whole lot more if she wants to survive (as you’ve seen). This cover and the one you’ll soon see for Darkness Divides provide a stark contrast from how she appeared at the beginning and how she’s looking at the start of book 3.
Hope you all like the new and improved look. I’m truly excited to be revealing it! For those wondering, I am working to get a new paperback version available soon. I’ll post an update once it’s ready 🙂
The photographer, Teresa, was kind enough to share some behind the scenes photos of them getting Haley (the model) ready. You can see Nadia, the stylist, working on Haley’s hair. Nadia’s husband was even nice enough to jump in and help. He was also the one to rig up the holster and knife sheath you see Haley wearing on the Darkness Haunts cover. I couldn’t have asked for a better team of people for this shoot!
Awesome cover, and great new look for Melena. Congrats!
I like the new cover.
Very “eye catching”! Sexy heroine on a mission!! I love it!!
I love the cover. Melena is a pragmatic character and I love that she doesn’t look like she dressed up to have her picture taken. She is sensibly dressed to do what she needs to do and that is really great.
Thanks everyone for your nice comments. Glad you all like the cover! I’ve updated this post with some behind the scenes photos I hope everyone will enjoy 🙂