Category: Book Covers

The Underwater Ballroom Society anthology cover

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If you been hanging around my social media over the last couple of days (which, I assume, everyone does), then you will have probably noticed the announcement for the upcoming anthology The Underwater Ballroom Society, which will be coming out at the end of April. I’m really pleased to have a novella in the anthology, which is full of so many of my favourite writers. I thought about telling you about the novella, but I think I’ll save that for another post. What I want to tell you about today is the cover, which was revealed yesterday on the Book Smugglers blog.

Because, as well as contributing a story, I also designed the cover, which you can see here:

This is actually the first time that I’ve designed a cover for an anthology rather than for a novel or short story. The anthology consists of fantasy and science fiction stories all of which include at least one scene set in an underwater ballroom. You can read more about the concept in the cover reveal blog post. These stories include a wide range of genres, settings, and time periods. My first ideas for the cover were all scenes of or in an underwater ballroom. But, inevitably, when I sketched these out they tended to give the impression of a particular story or location. That can work for an anthology, but in my opinion, particularly with such a diverse anthology, it’s better to have a cover that represents the concept overall rather than any particular expression of the concept. I wanted a cover that would give the feel of the stories as a whole without actually showing a scene from a particular one of the stories.

So, I decided to do away with the ballroom altogether and go with “underwater” and “dancing” as my concepts, in a scene that at least hinted at a speculative element (as all stories are science fiction or fantasy to some degree).

I’m not an artist, so my covers use a combination of stock photos, but I really enjoyed the process of painting the water and combining the images to create this underwater scene. I hope you like it too.

Like I said, I will tell you more about my particular story and some of the other stories in the anthology as we get closer toward the publication date. For now, you can add this on Goodreads and subscribe to the anthology newsletter, which will give you the chance to win one of fifty free copies of the e-ARC when it is available. I will also offer a few free copies of the e-ARC on my own newsletter, which you can subscribe to here or on the front page of my website.

I can’t wait to share this anthology with you. There are a wonderful variety of stories for you to read by some amazingly talented writers, and I feel really privileged to have been invited to be part of it.


Cover Designs

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I don’t get to spend much time on cover design anymore (or web design, for that matter) because most of my non-childcare time is spent on writing, but occasionally I get to do the odd cover. Here are a couple of covers I’ve designed for Steph in the last month.

First up is a cover for her short story, Shadow Duet, which is a sequel to her historical fantasy, Masks and Shadows.

I was particularly pleased with this one, because I made it entirely from freely-available, public domain images, so other than my time, it didn’t cost a penny.

The second cover is for Steph’s forthcoming novella, Snowspelled. My contribution to this was a little less, because I was working from a specially-commissioned artwork by Leesha Hannigan. All I had to do was add text, make a few subtle adjustments to make the text more visible, and add the frills. But I think it turned out really nicely. Here it is:

Follow the links to find out more about the stories!