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Mnevermind 3: Life is Awesome
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: JCP Books
Length 61000 words
One of the main reasons I began self-publishing in 2007 was to take control of my cover design. I have an MFA in fine arts and many years of experience as a graphic designer, so for me, handing over the cover art to someone else was like trying to describe a crucial chapter in my story while someone else wrote it.
I’m especially proud of the cover art for the Mnevermind trilogy. Since the stories are one arc and they don’t stand alone, I was very conscious of presenting them as a trilogy. Typographically, the word “Mnevermind” has visual hierarchy over the name of each individual story—in other words, it’s the most important type on the cover.
The mood of the series was also important to convey via the cover art. Since there is a fictional technology at the core of the story, it’s a Sci Fi series. However, anyone expecting heavy tech or space opera based on the SF classification would be pretty disappointed. The main way I convey the tone is with the dreamy atmosphere, the sparkles and smoke and texture, plus the limited color palate. The flock of crows taking flight also conveys that it’s more of a psychological speculative fiction than a technical one. Odin’s ravens Huginn and Muninn represent thought and memory, which is the core concept of the series.
Crows are part of the series logo, the dome of Madison’s Capitol surrounded by flock taking flight. Madison plays its own snowy part in the story, anchoring it in a particular place, during a particular season. The trilogy takes place over the course of a cold, snowy, grueling winter, and believe me, by the time spring comes around, Wisconsinites are all eager to run outside in shorts and T-shirts, whether it’s fifty degrees out or not. Much of Wisconsin is farm country, but Madison is more known for its liberal attitude and its science and technology. It was the perfect setting for my memorysmiths to be plying their trade.
And finally, the cover models themselves are special to me. It can be difficult to find models that haven’t already appeared on a dozen other covers. Luckily, I’m not too keen on beefcake type guys wandering around shirtless for no good reason. What I look for in a model is someone whose face tells a story. I had been saving the Elijah model for years hoping to someday write a character he could embody. He had such an interesting gothy vibe that his fashion sense ended up integrating into the story in the character’s background and wardrobe.
I found my Daniel model as I was writing the first book. Actually, I used him for another project, then went in to check out the photographer’s entire portfolio. The cool thing about this model is that he is the photographer. His face really told a story—exactly what I was looking for—and I think the fact that he’s a visual artist made him a much more dynamic and useful model.
It was exciting to bring Daniel and Elijah together on the Life is Awesome cover. When I view it, my gaze circles the cover and then gets pulled into the focal point of Elijah’s direct eye contact. I find that an interesting irony, given that within the story, it’s painful for Elijah to look anyone in the eye. It’s fitting, too, since there’s a lot of puzzling dichotomy in the series!
I hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about the concepts behind the cover art as much as I’ve enjoyed creating this special trilogy.
Enter to win ebooks 1-3 of the Mnevermind series! Winner will be selected at random among all comments left on this post! Contest closes February 17, 2015 and books will be delivered after release of book 3 on February 24, 2015.